Ladies, no one can steal your lane.
I gained quite a bit from this simple statement at the 1st Annual WEST Retreat. Earlier this month, I participated in The First Annual Women of Excellence, Strength and Tenacity (WEST) Retreat at New York University. WEST is a non-profit organization for women’s empowerment and this year the NYU chapter successfully hosted its first retreat. The event began with light breakfast, expectations for the day and interactive activities then ended with lunch and guest speaker, Ms. Tanea Smith, CEO of She’s Got Papers.
It was an amazing experience for growth and sisterhood. When I went in I told the group I wanted to be reborn. I know it’s deep, perhaps abstract, but my intent was to leave with a different perspective on my multifaceted woman-ness. I am a friend, a daughter, a cousin, a professional, a mentor and a mentee.
Fortunately my expectations were mett. I felt as though throughout the day various aspects of me had been revived and reborn. I recounted a childhood memory, threw out the negatives and dreamed with a group of tenacious young women. I left content with high spirits. The best takeaway was during the open forum with Tanea in which she said if you’re doing your own thing then don’t stress because “no one can steal your lane”. Tanea is always an incredible speaker. Her point stuck with me as I questioned how to manage doing my own thing while preventing people from knowing then stealing my every move. I internalized her response, confidently accepting the fact there’s no traffic when you’re in your own lane.
Often, we get so caught up in the rat race, we lose sight of what makes us unique in our own right and separates us from what some might call ‘competition’. I found myself trying to create a delicate balance between protecting and sharing my ideas and accomplishments out of fear that someone could walk away with my empire, all that I have built. I worried as if someone could literally bottle up everything I’ve done, said and thought, and run away with it! After letting some wise words of advice settle in, it came to me what should be obvious to all aspiring thought leaders and success seekers, no one can steal your passion.
When you are passionate about something there is expertise and drive behind it which no other human being can take from you.