I've realized, with the help of others, that I worry about stepping on people's toes too often. It's something I've always worried about. I have my own ideas and opinions, but worry that by putting them out there I might somehow "come on too strong" (whatever that means), hurt someone's feelings, or challenge the status quo in a way that makes people uncomfortable.
The first time I ever remember anyone bringing this aspect of my personality to my attention was when I had the chance to read a copy of a recommendation a high school guidance counselor had written about me in high school--it said something like "Leslie is a passionate person with a gentleness that sometimes gets in the way."
My mind was blown--as I had never thought about myself in just that way, but I realized it was very true. There are things I care about SO MUCH but I'm hesitant to put them out there too strongly.
But the thing is, I've realized recently that no one has ever accused me of stepping on their toes. So I don't know why I worry about it so much. In fact, I had a wake up call a couple of years ago when I was about to speak up in a team meeting where I was working at the time. I prefaced what I said with "I don't want to step on any one's toes but..." And my friend and co-worker at the time, interrupted me to say "Leslie-you ALWAYS say that and you NEVER step on ANYONE'S TOES...just tell us what you want to say! We really want to hear it!"
There was something quite empowering about that moment. It made me realize the world can handle what I put out there--the only one holding me back is me...not other people's toes. Other people's toes are just fine...
And so I am going to speak up now about something now that I am passionate about. And I'm going to trust that you, lovely readers, are wearing closed-toed shoes and have nothing to worry about.
What am I passionate about these days?
Empowering girls and women. To raise a whole generation of girls that aren't afraid to step on anyone's toes, especially when it comes to things they are passionate about. To help make it easier today for women to speak up about things that matter to them. Because I don't think I'm alone in my concerns about toes. It reminds me of this commercial from 2014 about women saying "I'm sorry" too much and when it is completely unnecessary (and when often they are the ones owed an apology). Or Jennifer Lawrence's recent letter in Lenny about her challenges with asking for the same pay as her male co-stars. She reached a point where she said: "I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable!" Hear hear!
I want to help girls and women speak up more and be confident of their own worthiness and value that they bring to the table, whether that's the water table, dinner table, or boardroom table.
But I can't do that if I don't speak up myself. So here goes...
I need your help. I've been working for Moms as Mentors, essentially unpaid, for two years. And I can't keep doing that. If we aren't able to raise enough funds during this crowd-funding campaign, I'm going to have to stop working on Moms as Mentors®. And that breaks my heart. Because, despite a lack of funds these last 2 years, the one thing we haven't lacked is AMAZING positive feedback about our programs. I just came across this quote today from a mom who had participated in one of our programs:
"This is a wonderful and empowering experience. I knew my daughter and I would enjoy the time together, but I never realized how much it would mean to her. At least twice a month she tells me she wants to do another MOM program. She says that she had so much fun, and she loved how it was just the two of us. We would love more programs to be offered and for them to be offered more frequently. There is no other program out there with this unique female-empowering and mother-mentoring approach. It's something that all mothers and daughters should be able to experience."
We have many more testimonials just like that one.
And we're not going to be able to develop new programs if I worry about stepping on people's toes.
And so I ask you, PLEASE consider making a contribution of any size to our IndieGogo campaign. Every little bit helps. Really. You could donate $1 and that would be helpful. But, if I'm really putting it all out on the line, please consider giving MORE than a $1. Heck, if you can, give a LOT!
And share this blog post with the women in your life. And, also please share it with the amazing men out there who want their wives, sisters, aunts, mothers, daughters, granddaughters to know they deserve an equal seat at the table and have the confidence to pursue their dreams, take healthy risks, try try again and more. And encourage them to make a contribution (and then share the post).
You can donate to the campaign here.
JOIN THE OTHERS WHO BELIEVE IN OUR WORK TO IMPACT THE NEXT GENERATION OF FEMALE LEADERS.
Our Empower Moms. Empower Girls. campaign ends on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd.
DONATE NOW and your gift will be matched through our "MOM MATCH CHALLENGE"