WHO I WAS.
For a long time, doubt was one of the biggest motivators as to why I couldn’t excel. Doubt was always the driving force behind my fear, why I didn’t want to do anything outside of my comfort zone, why I just didn’t want to try. It was crippling. In so many ways I doubted myself, who I was (to myself), to my family, friends, colleagues. I never felt like I “fit in”. I still feel that way to some degree. Doubt was the “icing on top” that made me stay down, even when the smallest part of me wanted to just even…try.
Growing up the biggest people pleaser, I would always doubt how I would respond to people around me. I would carefully pick the words that I say with a fine-toothed comb, and replay them in my head, even before they would touch my lips, and float on my tongue. I would be afraid. I did not want to hurt anyone. Much less, make them upset or uncomfortable. I would doubt myself when it came to others, so much so, I would doubt what I say to people. Due to this, my doubt would be the monster of fear, pressing me not to move forward. I’d constantly be stuck in the same place, and never voice how I REALLY feel. The doubt led to multiple moments of uncertainty and sucked me. Many times into pure anxiety. Little did I know that later on in my life I would be diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), I only realized later on in my life, what a huge role doubt played in this. I didn’t want to leave the house, was not comfortable with many “friends”, being afraid to step in the light and really just speak my mind and say what I really want to say, or do what I wanted to do. The doubt had completely drowned me in my own uncertainty. It was consuming.
It destroys you. Destroys the heart, and the mind so much. You question yourself, hell, you DOUBT yourself. Even your own THOUGHTS are questioned and don’t even feel real to you anymore. Not only is it a mental game that you play with yourself over and over again but it physically affects your will and WANT to just function day to day. Doubt sucks you in and affects you physically. Loss of sleep, weight loss and gains over my entire life, the struggle of maintaining relationships with people, withdrawing from the world- are all things DOUBT willfully played my life. It prevented me from achieving some things that I wanted to, crush my spirit, more often than not.
That was until one FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT happened.
WHO I BECAME.
In my early twenties, I was having a conversation with my aunt, crying on the phone (about something which I now cannot recall) when she said to me
“Hopola hore o mang, o ngwana mang, o tswa kae”.
Loosely translated it means “Remember who you are, who your parents are, and where you come from”. A GAME CHANGER. A powerful black woman in my eyes was saying this to me, and all it said to me was REMEMBER WHO THE FUCK YOU ARE. A woman I look up to, respect, revere for all that life has thrown at her, still stands. She owned her power at the moment she said those words to me, and unknowingly, she gave me mine. My father would always say “hopola hore o tswa kae” (remember where you come from), but having the same words come from a woman who has been through so much, resonated with my being so much more. I tapped into a part of myself that was asleep. Dormant. For many years. I woke up an unapologetically ME version of myself, which even now, I’m not sure existed. Now it does. Hell, it THRIVES. I realized that I am made in the image of God, but also, am a product of AMAZING parents. Strong, powerful, resilient, loving, parents. Completely unmatched. So, I asked myself, why… Why was I letting other people affect me, impact ME and my life? Why was I giving them, and this DOUBT so much power over me? I am my own power, and it was about time I started living it and harnessing what that truly meant. I spoke, from my mind and my heart, without the fear of what will be said. Yes, granted to a degree I still watch my words- not because I don’t mean to speak my mind, but because I want to make sure I know fully what I’m saying. I own my truth. Speak my mind. I OVERCAME. I have never felt stronger, more in tune with myself and my life, than I do now. I have taken leaps of faith even I myself, never thought I would. I achieved and will continue to do so. I will be, the realest, truest version of myself together, but more so- to myself. An obstacle that controlled me for most of my life. I refuse to give it power now. Do the same.
FIND your voice.
SPEAK your mind.
OWN your truth.
LIVE YOUR LIFE.
Most importantly, remember who THE FUCK you are.
My name is Katleho, I am Project Manager by profession, a blogger and a content creator but, most importantly, I am a daughter, a sister, a friend and one hell of a powerful woman. You are too. Never forget it!!!