As you know, I founded Black Girls Smile Inc. in 2012. And while the journey has been amazing, over the last year and half I struggled to make sure our programming and initiatives were still tied to our founding mission. And as I floundered around trying to connect the dots from our work to our community, the bright line finally came on when I started with the very beginning and foundation of our work…our mission statement. And as I got back to our mission statement, it grounded my and BGS’ work. As quickly as I was floundering around, I was able to just as quickly get back to clarity by realizing all of our programming, initiatives, social media, blog posts, partnerships and most importantly our work with the community has and will continue to be guided by our mission statement. This clarity and specifically mission statement was exactly what I needed to help guide me to the next phase with BGS.
And as I reflected on this exercise I did for BGS, I thought about my personal life. One of the main reasons I left my job in May I got so uncomfortable not being connected to my work. And as I take this time to figure out my next steps, I was floundering on many ways. Trying to figure out my schedule, priorities for the day, which projects to dedicate time to. And I decided to try something out..what if I created a person mission statement to help ground my life? So I tried it out (and I’ll share my personal mission statement below), and guys…the same thing happened, immediately I felt clarity and grounded. All of my work made sense, all of my projects made sense, because I was able to connect everything back to my mission statement, my why. And the projects and tasks that do not feel connected and able to amplify my personal mission statement I felt lighter and comfortable letting go or falling by the wayside.
I have admit, during this “floundering” period with BGS and personally, these feelings of unclarity created space for doubt, sadness, hopelessness and depression. Not knowing who I was, and why I am did not create the ideal space and environment for mental wellness. BUT, when I was able to ground myself and connect back to my why at all times (keeping my mission statement in my head) I was able to more easily navigate feelings of doubt, sadness, hopelessness and depression because when I didnt know what to do or how to do it, I knew why and that gets you (and me) started! In an eloquent and story-telling way, I am articulating that my personal mission has helped me tremendously with my mental wellness, because I always know my WHY. Everything can be going to shit, and/or I may feel stuck in a situation but knowing my WHY, I have the hope and confidence I will always get back to you. It’s become my flashlight.