Don't Start With Why

I have to vent for a minute. It’s that goal setting time of the year and I hear many women talking about Start With Why. If you’re not familiar, it’s a concept that has been around for a while as a way to inspire and motivate you into doing what you’re passionate about with purpose.

Now, while it’s an awesome concept, starting with why is just as relevant to me as “Lean In”. #sorrynotsorry

I have found, that as a Black Woman, there is always a compelling why.

  • For your family – someone is always in need.

  • For your community – racism, poverty, addiction, disease – choose one.

  • For the culture – appropriation, mis-education, gentrification.

  • For your damn self, as a way to deal with the daily experience of living as a Black Woman in the world.

Tell the truth, have you ever lacked a compelling reason to do anything?

No. At least I haven’t. 

And although these are all noble causes, they are all “whys” that come from a sense of suffering and surviving…

Not thriving.

Why is easy. Why is clear. There are a million “whys” to show up, be seen, and be heard, when the world broadcasts and replays almost all negative images of you and you battle assaults on your identity every. Single. day.

So, the question is not why. The question is who?

We are inundated with messages that try to define who we are as less than deserving of basic rights and privileges that we, and our ancestors, have more than earned; but have fought and died for.

Messages that our beauty isn’t the standard, our intelligence is intimidating, and our attitude is angry…except for when we’re completely invisible and unseen in the narrative completely.

So how can you know your why, if you don’t know and love your true who?

Too Deep?

Check it. (did i just date myself?)

If you watched the 6-part docuseries; Surviving R-Kelly, you saw everyone from adult men, to jurors, to other Black Women degrade, dismiss, and completely devalue the existence of Black Girls and Women.

We all felt triggered by what we saw. Partly because it was pure evil, but also because it touched a nerve of feelings that we could all identify with experiencing.

The point is, no matter how enlightened and evolved we have become, this notion of being devalued and invisible still affects us deeply and at an identity level. It’s seemingly subtle, but significantly dangerous and damaging.

It keeps us living trapped in someone else’s definition of who we are.

As a result it affects our view and treatment of ourselves in seemingly subtle ways…

  • When you diminish your esteem by staying stuck in jobs and relationships that don’t serve you.

  • When you skip your self-care every day for weeks on end.

  • When you put everyone before yourself at home and at work.

  • When you spend money to escape, but have no funds to invest.

You undermine and devalue your existence. 

It’s not the #GlowUps and the IG and FB highlights that matter most.

It’s the day to day, consistent choices and continuous habits that tell you who you think you are…

and who you think you are dictates what you think you can do, and therefore the life you live.

To be clear. These aren’t complaints.

This is a call to action.

It’s 2019. Do not start with why. Start with who.

Define who you are as the highest version of yourself.

Get to know and love her. Spend time nurturing, connecting with, and investing in her…

Then choose a why, any why…many whys,  and then make a Power Move to show up in your authentic power and rock the world.

Love and Light,


P.S. If you need a Power Move and you want to work with me to get it handled… CLICK HERE and schedule a clarity session to find out exactly how.

Radiah Rhodes