The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.”Serena Williams
I want you to close your eyes and think of all the women whom you admire; think about why you admire them and, what is it about them that motivates you to push forwards to achieve your own goals. Who comes to mind?
The first woman to motivate and empower me to look beyond the obstacles I saw in front of me was my mother. She was the wind beneath my wings because she faced many challenges herself but she never let these challenges stop her from achieving what she’d set out to do.
I take a lot from her example.
We all stand on the shoulders of incredible Black women who have overcome challenges in the face of adversity and, importantly, have vocalised their stories of success. In doing so, they have shared the knowledge of their experience, paving the way for other women and girls to follow, grow and succeed on their own journeys.
There are so many Black women and girls apart from my mother I find inspiration in, not only because of what they have achieved, but because they want to share their stories to help other women and girls learn and move forwards just as they have.
When I think of celebrating Black women and their successes, one of my favourite quotes by an ancient philosopher named Lau Tzu comes to mind:
A journey of a thousand miles, starts with the first step.
It reminds me that I should dream BIG and, aspire to succeed. In the midst of all of this, I must be the one to take the first step towards this dream. I possess all the dreams and aspirations out there but, without taking the first step, they will always remain dreams and aspirations. If we are to see Black women and girls truly succeeding as a collective, each and every one of us today needs to take the first step towards our dreams and goals, and continue sharing our routes to success to ensure the next generation can see, learn about and follow that path too.
Mentoring and passing the baton on
There is power in supporting, and also in being supported by others who are willing to develop, coach or mentor you.
A mentoring relationship is a wonderful form of structured support for women and young girls, and a great way to be motivated and empowered for personal and professional growth. If done well, mentoring provides a safe space for women and young girls to openly discuss their goals and ambitions, be it career development or career advancement and choices.
We can sometimes be our own worst enemies and stop our progress or even stunt our growth and potential. There are always ways in which we can keep ourselves on track and, by having little hints and tips is always a good reminder and affirmation that “You are enough” and that the only person that will limit you, is you!
Outlined below are some of my top tips to remind you to keep being your authentic self and shine at every opportunity.
Top Tips from a mentor:
Jacqueline Hinds is a certified Emotional Intelligence Coach (CEIC), Leadership Consultant and a long-time Routes2Success role-model and mentor. She is passionate about helping people of all ages to realise, unlock and reach their potential to be the best that they can be.
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, and working with young people from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic backgrounds, join Routes2Success!