You know when you’re so into your work, day in and day out, and you feel tired, brain-damaged, and almost like a machine… And then you go to one event. Instead of going home, which is what you’d much rather do(!), you decide you’ll go to that one event for a cause you really care about. And then this change happens! It starts in deep down in your belly… this rumbling of excitement, that then spreads to your chest and makes you breathe deeper, stand taller, feel bigger. Inspiration. Motivation. Empowerment. Hope.
That’s what happened to me last night at the United State of Women event in New York City. A colleague, and friend, that used to work at the White House under President Obama’s administration, was co-hosting the event. An example of all the incredible, energetic, young people that were about to populate the room — a mixture of women (mostly) and men, many from the previous administration.
I got there early, with another five–six women waiting. The room filled effortlessly quickly with about 200 people; women eager to meet and talk to each other: Vanessa, a former public school teacher that is running for city council in NY; a health & wellness magazine editor who also runs a grassroots activist organisation for New Yorkers, called Rally+Rise; Kalisha, the Director of The National Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives; Evelyn, who worked on Hillary Rhodam Clinton’s campaign; Mara, that worked for Obama’s campaign; Jordan, Managing Director & COO at the United State of Women; and Jenn, Executive Director at Civic Nation. Young, accomplished, ambitious women.
And then… Tina Tchen. The woman that for eight years served as Assistant to President Barack Obama, Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Talk about role models! She worked daily on issues like equal pay, women’s healthcare, parental leave, girls’ access to education… Such a force! We definitely need more Tina Tchens in our world. More dreamers. More doers. More women leaders.
Sometimes you just need to place yourself in this environment of inspiration and empowerment in order to shake up and wake up your inner dreamer. After this evening and all my interactions and all this buzzing energy in the room, one phrase got stuck in my head: “Why not?” Why not be in the next city council, why not create your own organization for change, why not be a CEO, a COO, a General Manager, a Founder of something you believe in?What is stopping us? Who is stopping us? From executing greatness? From inspiring change? From causing a revolution? It’s fear. It’s ourselves. It’s the “norms” and the “should’s”. It’s “safety”.
Well, next time you have this crazy idea, or you feel this flame burning in your stomach, just think of that one phrase. Why not?
For me, FPower is the channel. We want, and we will, inspire women to lead; to overcome fear; to recognise greatness in their peers; to instill hope in their societies; to overcome the should’s and shouldn’ts; to thrive. Because what are you doing in life, if you’re not contributing to your society and the people around you? The people you live with, suffer with, empathise with, smile with, and grow with.
So go out there. Change the world. If people think you’re crazy, just prove them wrong with your success.