I recently heard of the #LeadersandDaughters Campaign as I saw several inspiring posts from moms and dads across the globe populate my newsfeed. This event series and campaign is centered around harnessing the power of leadership by encouraging people to write to their own daughters — letters about their hopes and dreams for them as well as practical advice and wisdom on how to navigate the challenges ahead in their career journey. With a goal of collectively inspiring, cultivating, and paving a better future for the next generation of female leaders.
I’m not sure if it’s just what’s been going on in the world lately, but I felt inspired to write from one woman to another. I don’t have a daughter yet. But God willing, someday I’ll have the opportunity and privilege to. This is for you, sweet girl. To my beautiful and fierce future daughter, I haven’t met you yet, but my heart already loves you. Just imagining who you’re going to be already has tears in my eyes. I know you’ll be beautiful. I know you’ll be fierce. I know you’ll be kind. And I know you’ll be a leader. Every mom wants the world for her girl. She doesn’t want hurt, shame, injustice, or insecurity to ever plague her. She helped to create her. She patiently prepared and awaited her arrival. She loved her, through every season and every trial. This girl would never have to question if she was enough – because she would be reminded of her worth every single day.
Baby girl, there’s one thing that I have learned throughout my life and career thus far. You have to be your own greatest advocate. I’ll be your biggest fan for life, but when you hit a certain age, you won’t care so much what I think. You’ll have to believe it for yourself. As a woman, it’s easy to feel down about yourself. There are always going to be prettier, skinnier, more successful, more put together, more athletic, more impressive women than you. Better professionals. Better moms. Better wives. Better daughters. Better sisters. Better friends. And just because of the way the world works, it’s always going to feel like you’re not enough and should have about ten more things going for you.
Be confident in you. What you bring to the table. What kind of heart you have. No one can ever strip that from you. It’s yours. People will try – they’ll work to bring you down, make you question your motives and your instincts, and even make you doubt why you believe what you believe. You may begin to question what made you you in the first place. As a woman, it’s more important than ever to be proud of and vocal about your confidence. Don’t let others use you, discriminate against you, talk down to you, or take you less seriously than they should. Your character will teach people how to treat you. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas, your hopes, and your dreams. Speak up. Take risks. Lead others. You’re going to have to fight to be heard, at times. Know that you’re deserving and valuable. You will have to believe your worth and make sure everyone else knows it.
Bring your best self to the workplace. Be proud of what makes you you. Defend it. Fight for it. Others will attempt to distort the way you view things. The way your mind works. What you believe. What you value. Don’t let them. It’s a fight, but it’s a battle worth winning. I know you’ll be a fighter and I know you’ll have some sass (because let’s face it, I am your mom), but I know more than anything that I will raise you to believe in who you are, in the gifts and talents that God has given you, and will urge you to fight to make them known, seen, and heard in every area of your life. Because they were meant to be shared. And they were meant to make a difference.
Sweet girl, the world will be tough on you. It will be scary, disheartening, and saddening at times, but it can also be encouraging, exciting, and victorious to be a part of a movement that silences the evil and the selfish plots among many. Your confidence, faith, loyalty, and love have to drive you. Be real. Be raw. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be your own greatest advocate. Be you. Someday, you’ll be teaching your own daughter these exact same truths. Live your life, now, for her. You’ll hold her, care for her, teach her, prepare her, encourage her, and love her. Then you’ll have to watch her fly. Live each moment of your daily life and your career to defend and honor your next generation. They need your brutal honesty, relentless bravery, and unwavering confidence. They need your strength to create a better world.
My girl, I already love you. I already know you are going to be an amazing, inspiring, world-changing gift to the world. We need strong women. We need role models. We need fighters. We need inspiring stories of bravery and confidence. We need you. Never forget how much I care for your beautiful soul – unexplainably, irrevocably, always. All my love, Mom