Last week, I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine. I went to her about an issue in which I behaved justly, speaking up and standing up for someone that I respected and someone that I considered another friend of mine. However, I felt bad about it, feeling very guilty for coming off as aggressive to the other individual when I honestly was not. I was reassured by her that I did the right thing and realized that my insecurities were creeping up on me. And as we spoke, she told me that as I build this platform of mine, I need to think of ways to stay true to who I am and that I should write a mission statement. I loved that she said that, especially since I have realized that with every year that goes by, I become more confident in staying true to who I am because I continually become more aware of who I am. But I am human and, at times, insecurities do come my way. I find it very beneficial to spell who I am and who I am striving to be. This brought me to writing the following manifesto:
My name is Mary and I am a fighter, a survivor, an empath, and a woman who strives everyday to live everyday with purpose.
I am a Christ follower who is passionately against human injustice and I am a firm believer in the power of stories.
I am a creative who has thoughts and ideas that can bring positive change in the lives that I am privileged to come in contact with.
My multicultural background, my womanhood, my blackness, my education, my opinions, and my intelligence are not weapons to be used for intimidation; they are tools to aid in the empowerment of others.
I do not know everything and that is perfectly okay. Otherwise, I would not know the thrill of learning new things, neither would I be given the chance to admire the brilliant minds of those who deserve the recognition.
I believe confidence is a journey, not a destination. I believe in walking in someone else’s shoes as far as my empathy can take me.
I believe that my voice matters and I make it a point to speak up about the issues that tug on my heartstrings, even when I am very afraid. May I never forget to use wisdom when I do so. May I also never forget the value in silence.
I also believe in not taking myself too seriously. I believe in pranks, puns, making weird noises, and laughing loudly at what amuses me even others don’t appreciate it.
My inner peace and my mental health come first and foremost. I am allowed to opt out of conversations and interactions if I need to, online AND offline.
My being sensitive is not a weakness. It is a strength. May I never forget the instances that have made me realize this.
In my blog, my writing, my music, my community service, and my pursuits as a biochemist, if I have not encouraged and empowered others to be the best they can be, my work means nothing. May I continue in this mindset and may I continue in my pursuit of living a life of impact.
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My one regret is not doing this much sooner. Writing this manifesto has had given me a much clearer picture of who I am and has boosted my self-assuredness. Considering the amazing ways many of my readers are passionately living a life that empowers others, I did not want to keep this exercise to myself. I knew that there are others who just might find value in doing this too and so, I have made this a link-up. While there is no wrong way to do write your manifesto, I created a handout as a guide to writing it for those who may need it. The handout is in the space below and the link-up is at the end of the post.
Welcome to the Manifesto Link-up [Closed]!
I’m so excited to read your posts. In order to foster a sense of community and support while doing this here are just a few things to keep in mind.
1. Make sure your link your manifesto post itself and not your homepage. Linking your homepage or a post unrelated to the topic will result in its deletion.
2. You can hashtag your posts with #VMMmanifesto when you share your post on Twitter so we can track all of the posts on there as well. You can tag my Twitter handle (@verilymary) too if you want to make sure I see it. I will definitely be retweeting them as I read them!
3. Here is a button to add to your post to let people who visit your blog find the link-up. You are more than welcome to use it
4. This is the most important rule of all. Respond to at least one person who has linked up their manifesto post. Failure to do so may result in your post being deleted from the link-up.
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I can see this exercise being beneficial for bloggers, leaders who want to facilitate an empowering exercise for their teams, and anyone who wants to have a visual reminder of who they are as they leave their mark in the world. How else can this exercise be beneficial? Let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!