Who Do You Think You Are, Oprah?

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

 E.E. Cummings

For my 30th Birthday, I announced the launch of our magazine on my personal social channels. 28 magazine sales came in during the 30 days of accepting pre-orders, and I was on a high. BUT, fear crept in and whispered in my ear, “Who do you think you are, Oprah?

So I dragged production out for 6 months. Because… well, I’m no Oprah. “I’m JUST Erikka.” I literally began to question… if I was “fit” to produce a whole magazine… if my journey was “worth” actually being a cover story.” Who the hell do I think I am was a thought that lived rent-free from September to December.

One day after my friends kept asking me, “Where the magazine at, bro?” – something clicked. I’m not just… but I am… 

My Truth: Being Like Oprah?

Can I be honest?

This was nothing new. I’ve battled with self-doubt before. I’ve dealt with understanding God’s Plan. But this felt different because I had enough Faith in God to know it could and should be done, but I lacked the faith in myself that I should be the one doing it. We all have struggled with self-confidence at some point. We’ve all struggled with imposter syndrome, feeling inadequate. This felt deeper. I realized two things:

  1. I was trying to fit into a mold. Though I knew I was creating something God-led, I was forcing it to be something like everyone had seen before. When that was never the plan, I was supposed to be creating something new.
  2. The fear of creating something new goes hand-in-hand with the fear of the unknown. I couldn’t help but think, “Will it be accepted?” Oprah broke the mold when she created her magazine and she remains on the cover of each issue.

But again, I’m no Oprah.

So, it all boiled down to self-confidence. What do you do when you lack the confidence in you? Here are three things I did:

Recognize the Root.

For me, it was a combination of fear and comparing myself. Imposter Syndrome is REAL. The thought that I was inadequate consumed me. I had to allow myself to sit in those thoughts, then deal with WHY I felt I was inadequate. Where was the “fear of inadequacy” coming from?

To help me get to the root, I had to recognize the root was internal and to truly dig deep, I kept asking myself why – this would lead me to the common denominator. 

Change Your Thinking + Be Ready To Clap Back.

Once I recognized the root, I needed to change my thinking. It is a must to create a positive mental space and positive self-talk. With every negative thought, I was prepared to clap back with a positive one.

“Words matter, especially the one’s you say to yourself.

  • “You’re not Oprah.”
  • “I know, I’m Erikka.”
  • “No one wants to read about you.”
  • “There are 28 people who already bought it who do.” 

Be sure not to get caught in the trap of negative talk. Come ready to clap back!

Take Away the “Just” and Know YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

Maya Angelou

Be you, proudly. You are not “just _____.“ When you add the “just” in front of your name, you are immediately diminishing who you are. Say it with me… I’m not just (insert name here), but I am (insert name here).

Also, remember you’re always good enough to (at least) try. No matter how convinced you are that you may “fail,” you aren’t inadequate. You may not level up, but you’ll never know unless you try.

Build Enough Strength

  • So, I said all of that to say… No, I’m not Oprah. But I built up enough strength to do something Oprah did, to create something new in my community. If I did it, so can you!

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