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How To Defy The System and Wake Up Worthy

One of the issues that I talk with my clients of color about over and over again is self-trust. Oppression conditions us to look outside of ourselves for answers to every problem. We think that if we just get the right education, pray and remain faithful to the right God, meet the right people, marry the right partner, and make the correct strategic power moves, we will get to the promised land of peace, freedom, and financial stability someday.

What no one ever tells us, though, is that the real promised land of peace and freedom doesn’t come from external things. It comes from trusting ourselves and recognizing our power.

Right about now, I know you must be thinking, “what is Toya talking about? There is no way I am powerful. I don’t have a position of influence and my bank account is definitely missing a few zeros if I’m to be considered powerful.”

But true power doesn’t come from money. It comes from self-trust. It is a direct by-product of having unshakeable faith in your ability to overcome any obstacle and that you can rely on yourself no matter what.

Let me illustrate this idea with a personal story. Shortly after leaving my job and starting my solo law firm, I received a call from one of my former supervisors asking me to come in and interview at a firm that was looking for associates. I knew I didn’t want to be an associate and told my former supervisor so. However, I wanted to talk to the founders of the firm because it had been around for over 40 years. So I took the meeting. The conversation was a win-win for both sides. I really like the firm and the people, and they ended up offering me an associate role. Instead of giving up on my entrepreneurial dream though. I trusted myself and pitched an of-counsel contract arrangement instead. Something I had never done and didn’t necessarily feel qualified for. But it worked. They agreed to the contract, and it was one of the most lucrative contracts in my practice.

When you trust yourself, you go after the desires of your heart even if you are uncertain of the outcome. When you trust yourself, you don’t give up on your dream goals or stay in jobs, relationships, living situations, or cities, just because they are comfortable. Instead, you make tough choices. You ask for what you want and don’t equate whether you get it with your worth.

Unfortunately, oppression robs folks of color of self-trust at a very young age. Even though we know consciously that oppression accounts for many of the negative outcomes in our lives (I’m talking disproportion access to resources, racial profiling, police brutality, systemic poverty, here), on a subconscious level we blame ourselves. We start to believe that the negative outcomes we see are a direct result of our bad choices, and because we make bad choices, we cannot be trusted.

Please understand that I’m not saying that you won’t make bad choices in your life. That’s part of the human experience. But I am saying that you don’t have to equate the outcome of those choices with your worth or your power. If you confront oppression and trust yourself, you’ll access more power than you can imagine.

Woke Up Worthy’s mission is to help women of color (“WOC”) confront internalized oppression so that they go from chasing someone else’s dreams to living their dreams today and everyday.

This is my personal mission too. My work as a coach is to help my clients see through the lens of oppression so that they can begin to define success on their own terms. I’m excited everyday by what women of color can create once they decide to live life on their own terms, and I am holding space for you to do the same thing too.

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Dear Worthy Woman,

Every week I write to you so that you remember…

  • Every challenge doesn’t stem from thoughts that hold you back;
  • Some limitations are just straight-up oppression;
  • You have the power to navigate both!

This newsletter provides the inspiration and tools to help. You in?