When I founded Enlightening, Empowering, Engaging: E3 for Young Women and Girls (E3); it was because I wanted to develop a platform to help our young ladies in their individual personal development.
I’ve attended numerous professional development and empowerment conferences and one trend I continue to see is that many adult black women are still trying to overcome feelings of unworthiness, inadequacy and low confidence. No matter our degrees, titles or accomplishments, we continue seeking validation of our greatness.
I believe that we are conditioned early in our lives to seek importance from without instead of within. I also believe that we are trained not to comprehend our own divinity.
With this conditioning, our focus remains outward, not inward. It is often expressed with chronic followership, envy, or resignation of one’s inability to attain position, assets, or status that we admire of others.
My objective is to attack this very conditioning, that impacts my adult peers, within our younger generations. I believe if we can eliminate these painful traits of low confidence, inadequacy and poor self esteem in youth, we not only empower them but also catalyze their evolution.
It is unnecessary for our young ladies to wade through self doubt and uncertainty only to discover at 35, 40 or 50 years of age that they are not only sufficient but divine.
E3 is broken into three components: Enlightening, Empowering and Engaging. In enlightening our youth; they are provided not only the truth of their people’s history but also the truth of themselves and others.
For example, teaching our youth that their people’s most significant historical impacts occurred during the civil rights movement or even in the construction of the pyramids is misinforming them. They must know that their people’s history extends to the Creation by The Creator. They were thought of in the Beginning and their creation was a Divine plan. Our youth must know they are not here by accident or mistake. There is nothing trivial about their existence nor of the impacts they can make today and tomorrow.
Enlightening our youth includes informing them of marketing schemes targeting them every second they live. We must expose advertising committed to creating and magnifying personal insecurities to ensure a dedicated consumer base. In so doing, we show them how to trace our consumer habits to our inadequacies.
Once enlightened, they must be empowered to express that which is within them. We have to encourage them to get out there and give themselves ‘permission’ to walk tall in their excellence. Remember, they are conditioned to doubt themselves. We must help them in removing that weighty doubt and transforming to an empowered mindset. Instead of, “Can I?” I want to help them shift their language to, “I will because I can!”
The final phase of E3 is guiding our young women in their engagement with their school, work, family and social settings. This includes helping them develop communication and presentation skills.
One of our greatest hindrances lies within our inability to express ourselves clearly. When we are unclear, we leave people to have to ‘guess at’ what we are trying to say or leave them to come to erroneous conclusions. Therefore, teaching our young people how to say exactly what they mean is important. We cannot suffice ourselves or them with the silly idea that speaking well is a ‘white’ thing. No, no. It is a ‘success’ thing.
But in addition to good grammar, public speaking is a skill I believe is essential for our young women to practice. As most people have some anxiety with public speaking, I believe it is important to help tackle this right away. Our young ladies have way too much genius for their brilliance to be imprisoned behind the walls of insecurity.
My motto is “Competence Breeds Confidence!” It is impossible to move forward when we are trapped behind barriers of fear. All our young people need is a little help removing these barriers. To assist them in liberating themselves, I help them accept being uncomfortable temporarily for a lifetime of freedom.
This is E3 in a nutshell. I am grateful to God for the privilege of working with our young ladies. And I am rewarded beyond measure when they come back to say how much E3 has benefited them.
E3 in a math equation is this: Self Knowledge + Self Empowerment + Self Expression = Self Liberation.
E3 is delivered via keynotes or interactive workshops. If you are interested in learning more about how E3 can benefit your organization, school or group, email me: questions@NurahZaheerah.com.
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Nurah strives to enlighten, empower and engage her readers with the wealth of knowledge she has gained from her own experiences and those of others from whom she has learned.