“Dream Big or go home” is the motto I will live by for the next year as a motivational speaker.
A year ago, I took on the responsibility of blogging with 8 Women Dream and dedicated myself to achieving my goal as a motivational speaker motivating girls.
It was the best decision ever!
“Follow your heart and your dreams will come true.” Anonymous
Now that I have gone through the first year of dream challenges, I know that people didn’t expect me to actually leave my design career to pursue my dream. Neither did I, but all I can say is that it’s been the best journey ever!
Once you start dreaming, you put effort into your vision, and affirm what you want, the rewards are very sweet indeed.
Recently, I was invited to speak at The Princess Day Project in Hanover Park, Cape Town, South Africa. Hanover Park is known for being a poverty-stricken area in what is known as Cape Flats. Cape Flats has a high percentage of crime and gangs.
I met the organizer of The Princess Day Project at one of my talks in December of 2012. She was so passionate about her initiative that I knew that I had to partner with this organization.
As the chairperson of my foundation, Inspirational Women International, I was moved by the passion this woman had for the girls in her community. I needed to be a part of this event.
The Princess Day Project was held in the local community venue.
There were young girls ranging from the age 12 to 20. They all dressed in shades of pink with their highest heels –looking smartly dressed. I was the keynote speaker at the event and participated on a panel of speakers.
As I sat waiting for the rest of the panel to arrive, I kept going over my points of my speech.
My title was, “How to Wear Your Invisible Crown.” I usually skim through my cards before giving a speech. I probably look a little crazy speaking to myself, but it’s a practice mechanism so that I don’t read from the cards too much and they are just a guide. One of my dream goals is to completely memorize all my speeches and give them without notes.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
My practice session caused some of the girls to giggle. I smiled and thought, “Yeah, I think I should stop doing this.”
A few distinguished guests arrived, and some celebrity DJ’s from the local radio station came to join me and the others at the table. It felt good to be sitting with these women — it actually felt better than good — it was amazing. All the ladies immediately clicked with each other.
We listened to the different speakers give the girls wonderful advice. I kept thinking how beneficial this was for the girls. I remember being lost at 16. I wanted someone to encourage me with their wisdom, which is why to this day I am still so thirsty to learn. I believe that we are never too old to learn something new that will create better opportunities.
When it was time for the panel questions, we were first asked personal questions about relationships and first kisses.
It was funny to answer these questions. The panel poured their heart into the answers revealing harsh truths about the difficulties of growing up in South Africa.
When my turn came, I did something I never did before.
I confessed to having my first kiss at 17. I explained to the girls that I was waiting for the right guy who deserved my first kiss, so it had to be special. That was always a promise to myself. I laughed as I was thinking, I hope my mom isn’t in the audience.
“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” Erma Bombeck
When my moment to speak arrived — it hit me — I needed to inspire 100 girls, some parents, community members, religious elders, and guests I had never met before.
It’s called nerves, dreamers. They always appear when you are about to walk your talk. But I easily shrugged it off because I was excited for the opportunity to give back to the community and let young people know that they deserve to be treated special.
My speech went well. The audience smiled, laughed, and agreed with what I had to say.
I did get some blank stares from a little girl who kept walking to the front of the stage, but her presence reminded me of my daughter. I kept thinking, I’m doing this for Aliya. I want her to understand that her mom wants to leave behind a legacy of inspired women. I want my daughter to be proud of me and love me for following my dreams.
Upon completion of my talk, I received a warm applause. It felt amazing. I wanted to do it all over again. The stage was my new home. It’s become the place where I live my dream.
We then crowned each girl, played some games, had mentor discussions about real life problems, and offered solutions.
After seven hours with them, I was left with a heart filled with love. I appreciated each and every hug, every thank you, every smile, and even all the giggles. It was just a beautiful dream experience.
I couldn’t stop smiling.
I was still smiling when I fell into bed that night. My husband was even smiling because I’ve been motivated by my dream and I am in a good place in my life with this new occupation. He said, “I can see that you love what you do!” His words echoed as we closed our eyes and I secretly said my prayers.
Before falling asleep I thought, “Dreams do come true.”
As I hugged my pillow, before slumbering off to my dream world, I could not help but re-visit my big dream of speaking on that international stage. I have never wanted to make that dream as much of a reality as I do now.
Here is a heartfelt email from one of the ladies who attended the The Princess Day Project:
I’m laying on my bed! Reflecting on the happenings of today! Wow! It was remarkable! In my reflection I see you and hear your talk! Seriously! I’ve been inspired! Keep on what you doing! I place you on my inspirational women list-with Maya Angelou, Oprah and Sue Ect. My motto for this year is embrace life and life it to the fullest! You have inspired me to strive for more than what I already have!
Have a great evening! Would love to have you at my school! Our kids will love you!
Keep well and God bless, kissy to your sweet daughter!
Love Princess Tracey-Lee
“Your dreams come true when you act to turn them into realities.” Anonymous
and I am a living testimony of that!
PS. I am happy to announce that I have renewed my contract with 8 Women Dream, and will be extending my stay on this blog for another year.
Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves. You can find Sue on her Twitter page @Sue_Levy.
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