Author: Heather Lowey
“YOU ARE ENOUGH.”
Look in the mirror. Right now. We’ll wait for you. Now tell yourself, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Say it again. YOU ARE ENOUGH. And again. YOU ARE ENOUGH. With more confidence this time. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Is someone in the room with you? Look at them. Yes, right now. Tell them now, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Now back to the mirror, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Are you starting to believe it?
This was at the heart of Gretchen’s inspiring story at the full house Hatch for Linking Indy Women. Gretchen’s credentials include trainer, mentor, Catholic young leader, spouse, mother of three, Alpha Gamma Delta member, and a myriad of other women inspiring titles. She loves to love people and help women find value in themselves. To know they are enough. Her work is centered around developing confidence and competence. Although her start was to train car salesMEN on how to use software, she has come a long way from those less than inspiring conversations to be a direct and confident leader and mentor. And if you are looking for the “ANY” key on your keyboard, you may need to go through car salesman software training….
How did she get to be the direct and confident person who stood in front of us? By realizing she did not need to wait on someone to ask her. She could be a speaker. She could be good at it. “Why has no one asked me?” But the better question, “why am I waiting on someone to ask me?” This began a transformation in her own confidence and owning the fact, she was enough. And when she is enough, she’s her best self. This was definitely a ‘drop the mic’ kind of moment in the presentation. Thankfully, she continued.
This realization of being enough though, can come with some additional changes to lifestyle. As Gretchen looked at her life, she began to realize she had some emotionally toxic relationships in the form of what should have been friendships. Even she herself was becoming too focused on being someone, forgetting to BE someone. A focus on making an Instagram worthy life versus actually having true self-satisfaction and happiness. She wanted grace. She needed a role model. Who better than Audrey Hepburn? Especially, as Gretchen admits, she missed her own calling as an actress. “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
Surround yourself with like-minded people who will also speak your truth. If they are always telling you how amazing you are, this can be uplifting for a while, but they probably aren’t your true people. You need people in your life who will build you up in love. She shared the story of her friend Rachel and her friend’s bold move of calling out Gretchen’s tendency to use the F word too much. It was out of love from which Rachel shared this feedback with her and out of love that Gretchen received this knowledge to make herself better.
Gretchen’s big career shift happened about ten years ago after having to participate in a massive layoff of staff. Knowing she never wanted to take part in something like that again, she started a new job. However, one month into this new great job, she became pregnant with her third child. She began to compartmentalize her life. At work, she never talked about being a Mom. In her mind, being a Mom wasn’t enough. She could do it all and needed this separation to prove her own worth. It was in this tension of being humble and selfish where she began to find her comfort in knowing, SHE is enough. Gretchen is enough. If she is giving lovingly of herself, she does not need to compartmentalize because she is enough. Without love, there is nothingness. Apathy is the opposite of love, not hate. When you feel discomfort or tension, claim it. This is your truth. It’s getting uncomfortable because you are getting closer to being your truth.
So, how do you know you are enough? You have to take care of yourself in three major ways:
- Eat to live, don’t live to eat
- Take care of the temple. You only have one.
- Surround yourself with life givers- she had to change her life by changing her friends
- Grace over judgement
- Do not spend time showing people why you are worthy. They should know it.
- Spend time in silence
- Examine consciousness
- Focus on gratitude
She closed by discussing the ever-popular subject of balance. The thing about balance is that it is not a box we can check off. Everyone’s definition of balance is different, and it should be. But if at the root of the balance meter is love, it gives us grace. Grace for ourselves and grace for those around us. While this feels squishy and soft in a business world, it’s so very important and leads the way for people to find their personal balance. Women in leadership roles can change the perspective of balance to empower love and grace.