Last updated on September 21st, 2022 at 01:15 pm
My dream is to be remembered as someone who inspired positive change in people on a global scale with motivational talks, art, articles, and future books.
This week, I had the privilege to give a motivational talk to the girls at an Academy in Cape Town, South Africa. There were 170 young women in the audience with about 5 teachers.
I cannot lie and say that it wasn’t intimidating when I first saw the audience. I had to take a deep breath before I uttered my first words.
But my excitement quickly overcame my fear because I was going to speak from my heart and truly risk vulnerability for these girls who needed to hear my stories.
The girls I was addressing were between the ages of 17 and 25. The girls have been through hell and back, yet they came prepared to hear my talk about changing their lives for the better.
When they first entered the hall I noticed their cold stares and felt their lack of trust. It sent chills down my spine. I expected them to say something horrible during my talk, but as it turned out, they were very well-mannered and listened intently.
I began my talk by explaining that I have been in situations where, I too, was deeply hurt and felt there was no hope.
Being a teenager is difficult. You are often confused, sad, and uncertain about the future. In my case, I harbored thoughts of suicide. But I was lucky enough to realize that there was hope for me. This is why I wanted to speak to these girls–to give them hope that things can get better once they ask for help, work to shift their mental attitudes, and seek out the support that is available to them.
5 Steps to Pursue Positive Change
Step 1: Face Facts
One must first accept the harsh reality of suffering and past hurt, however brutal.
Step 2: Practice Forgiveness
Life happenings can leave you trapped in a prison of pain, blame, and resentment. Time to forgive yourself so that you can be free from the pain.
Step 3: Permission to Heal
Instead of punishing yourself and hanging on to the “story” of your hurt, give yourself permission to heal.
Step 4: Don’t Punish your Future
Do you plan on punishing future people in your life for your past sins, or will you be strong enough to give them the trust they deserve?
Step 5: Move forward
Now is the time to take off, and reach for a new positive outlook because there will never be a better time to start than right now.
I ended my presentation with
Because yesterday is behind you and your dreams for tomorrow are waiting with open arms.
Pursue to live the life of your dreams
“When the remembering was done, the forgetting could begin.” ~ Sara Zarr
During the talk, I was surprised by the memories that flashed in my mind–moments when I was at my lowest. I decided to share a few with the girls. “Oohs” and “aha’s” and heads nodded in agreement. They appreciated my vulnerability while I impressed upon them that they are not alone.
It is empowering to share personal experiences with others when it feels safe. I encouraged them to trust that they have the strength to make it through whatever they are going through and come out of it stronger, better people–just like me, and go after their big dream. All of the times my heart has been broken, when I felt rejected, and the one time in my life when I had suicidal thoughts–all happened for a reason. This reason. To be right there on stage sharing my story.
At the end of my presentation, the girls were full of smiles and bright faces. The energy of the room had relaxed into a soft hum. My dream to touch the lives of women was launched. It’s liberating when you live your life purpose and do what you are meant to do.
Before leaving the venue, I had this momentary feeling of belonging–as if I had come home. I knew the stage was going to be my new home, a place where I will touch the lives of many. I can’t wait for my next talk.
Tell yourself, what I tell myself every day:
I refuse to give up.
I will learn from every experience.
I believe that dreams come true.
I will pursue it.
I want [name goal or dream]. I want this really bad.
Your dream will not only change your life but it can change the lives of those around you. Quit saying that you are going to do your dream someday. Get up and go do something about it right now. The world is waiting for you and your vulnerability.
Here is a link to the full presentation on Slide share: Pursue Positive Change by Moving Forward
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.
Note: Articles by Sue may contain affiliate links and may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link.