Recognizing Inner Strength to Unleash Personal Potential

“If people were silent nothing would change.” — Malala Yousafzai.

Life is constantly moving a mile a minute, but how often do we stop and think about our purpose? About the impact we could make? It becomes almost second nature to be trapped in a routine, blinders on, unaware of whats occurring around us. But what would happen if we took those blinders off? Infinite strength and potential.

The education system engrains in our minds the “other” — those who are different from us, and therefore must be inferior to us. Textbooks are written from a White, Western perspective and students quickly become blind to the realities that surround them. Without understanding individuals and cultures beyond our own, it becomes impossible to find our own purpose and take action towards ethical change. Becoming successful is far more than just making money, it is about creating a higher quality life for yourself and consciously recognizing how you, as an individual, can create change. This can only be done by recognizing your inner strength. By recognizing your own inner strength you come to the realization that everybody has their own inner strength, it just may not be unleashed.

Embracing inner strength is crucial, but so is the awareness that not everybody has the resources to unleash their own inner strength and personal potential. In Western culture we become blind to the realities that exist outside our shell, our way of life, which inhibits social change and justice. We tend to think on an individual level rather than a global level — what would happen if we shifted that mindset? A better, stronger world.

Many people are opposed to exploitation, but quickly shut out any harsh realities that they could potentially be reinforcing it. How often do you pick up a cute, trendy shirt that you convince yourself you need, and think — I wonder what it’s background is? I wonder what the lives are like for the people who made this shirt? Thinking sustainably not only betters the environment, but betters the livelihood of communities and, in turn, allows for a fulfilling life.

UNLEASHED by Kara Ross aims to allow young girls and women in developing countries to find their inner strength and unleash their own personal potential through education and job creation. The ready-to-wear clothing by UNLEASHED is crafted by artisan women in Bareilly, India and are produced in organic cotton to limit detrimental environmental effects. The UNLEASHED project and purpose extends far beyond clothing and aspires to aid these women, allowing them to remain at home to care for their families while also opening their own bank accounts and becoming self-reliant.

Taking even a second to make a conscious effort to think beyond the piece of clothing in front of you and think about it’s production and background, could change a woman’s life and allow her to unleash her strength and potential. Move away from the attitude of “it’s just one shirt/necklace/pair of shoes, it won’t make a difference” and start moving towards thinking from an outsiders perspective and how your personal decisions allow or inhibit their personal potential. It starts with awareness — shop smart, shop sustainably, aim to achieve inner strength and potential in unconventional ways.