4 Tips for Speaking Potential Over Her
BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM
Journals—my all-time favorite thing to collect. Although, now we could argue my obsession has escalated to typewriters… as I just added number nine to my collection (no lie). From a young age, I loved to scribble words onto paper while sitting on the floor of my childhood bedroom, spilling the latest schoolyard gossip and writing the name of my latest boy crush 57 times.
As much as I enjoyed writing, it never once crossed my mind that I was good at it, let alone that people would ever care to read something I wrote. Until an angel of a middle school English teacher changed everything.
We were assigned to write a collection of poetry and come up with a title for it, as if this was a legit published work of literary genius. This was a project I put my entire heart and soul into. I titled it, Nothing But The Truth, strung the hole-punched pages together with ribbon, and proudly placed it in the hands of my teacher. When I received my grade back a few days later, I couldn’t believe it. In beautiful blue ink, one of those 100-percent smiley-faces was staring back at me. With it, an inspiring and encouraging note from my teacher that read something along the lines of, “You have a true gift for writing, Nikki!”
I can’t tell you exactly what clicked that day, but it’s as if one killer grade on a school project and a precious teacher’s affirmations began to shape my future. Every time I sat down to write from that moment on, I held my head a little higher and found confidence in the way I strung words together. With my newfound love and passion for writing, there was no turning back.
All of this to say, you would not be reading this blog had it have not been for Ms. Carstens. She spoke potential into my life—and even at a young age, it made a lasting impact. Imagine if we were to harness our power and use it to encourage the women in our lives to believe in their potential. We would see bold ladies stepping out in faith to follow their purpose and chase their dreams—not governed by failure or doubt, but driven by passion.
It is of the utmost importance that we take the time to lift each other up. I understand it may be intimidating or you fear you don’t know the words to say. Don’t stress it, girl. I’ve included four tips to guide you.
1. When you see something good, call it out.
You know those hard-to-handle days where everything seems to go wrong? You woke up late, your hair is a mess, and you’re not sure if you brushed your teeth. But, then… someone gifts you with a compliment. Suddenly, it’s as if your chaotic morning never happened because the kindness of another illuminated what truly matters. That’s the power of calling out the goodness in others—it trumps negativity, insecurity and fear. By speaking up when you see an opportunity to breathe life into someone, you strengthen another woman to find her voice. From the tired mother trying to tame her screaming child in Target to the college student on the verge of quitting because her anxiety has gotten the best of her, these are the women who are in need of a compliment. Find something to praise them for and do it.
2. Selfish ambition. Get rid of it.
When it comes to encouraging another, you must not do it for your own personal gain. If your words are tainted by narcissism, your efforts are wasted. In doing good for another, you should never expect a reward in return. When you tell another woman of her potential, it must come from the purest space in your heart that truly wants her to succeed—not because you want to gloat about your “good deeds.” A fake friend never gets very far, remember that.
3. Small acts of kindness cultivate hope.
When I first launched this blog, I had no clue what the future would hold. At times, I found myself questioning if I was doing the right thing. As if on cue, my boyfriend, Alex gifted me with a personalized engraved pen with the words “Crowned Chics.” It was sitting on my doorstep when I arrived home from work the night before the website launch. This gift was more that a kind gesture, it was his way of showing he believed in me, my vision, and this blog. In turn, knowing the man I love took this dream of mine very seriously, I did too.
4. if she doesn’t hear you the first time, don’t give up.
At times, our loved ones take awhile to come around to the idea that they were made for so much more. You can say all of the right things, yet it’s as if your powerful words of inspiration have fallen on deaf ears. Do not lose heart—they will eventually see the light. If someone has been tortured long enough by their haunting inner-dialogue that says, “You’re not good enough” it will take some time to retrain their brain. Do not be discouraged—instead, accept the challenge and be persistent. You never know which pep-talk will lead to a breakthrough. Believe it’s coming.
It is our responsibility to speak potential over the women in our lives. Why? Because we know just how heavy the weight of disappointment can be on a women who believes she’s been defeated. It takes another woman who’s been through her own share of discouragement to remind us of the possibilities that come when we boldly step toward our destiny.
Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.