we might be in a different month but i am still obsessing over “more than enough” by elaine welteroth. i find myself referencing gems from her book over and over again in session with clients.
most recently, i was working with a young woman who apologizes quite frequently. she apologizes when she is voicing her opinion. she apologizes when she disagrees with someone else. she apologizes for simply being who she is. we have been doing a great deal of work to explore where that comes from. what exactly is she sorry for? who does she find herself most frequently apologizing to? the answer was simple: she is sorry if anyone is perceived as being uncomfortable or inconvenienced and she most frequently apologizes to her father (and any other authority figure). i had to read her this line…
“women aren’t taught to get comfortable with making people uncomfortable.” -elaine welteroth
in hearing it, she was stunned. there was this realization that her father would not even consider apologizing when necessary, much less because someone else was slightly uncomfortable. why had she been conditioned to do so? she put getting more comfortable with making people uncomfortable on her summer to do list. as she preps to leave for college, i couldn’t think of anything better.
when i was in both undergrad and grad school, there was an incredible focus on what did we want to do with all of this knowledge we had acquired. what were the next steps? how would we have an impact on society? what would be our lasting contribution? what do we want out of life? and yes, each of those are important things to think about. it certainly has helped steer me in the right direction. but still, there is something missing from that equation and elaine welteroth, author of “more than enough” (and total badass) hit the nail on the head.
“discovering what you don’t want is just as important as finding out what you do.” -elaine welteroth
as i prepare to take the next step in my career, i have come to realize that while i knew so much about what i wanted, i didn’t realize what i didn’t want until i did a true analysis of my current position alongside my future position. while i will do a deeper dive about this next step on my instagram live this sunday, just know that you are worth the investment it takes to discover both what you want and don’t want. and if you haven’t done so already, order a copy of “more than enough” here.
after grad school, i told myself i would get back into reading for pleasure. when there aren’t thousands of pages to plow through every 10 weeks, it is funny how you have the capacity to consume books for fun. during the pandemic, i asked my fellow bookworms for recommendations and this one came up over and over again. a couple of weeks ago, while in puerto rico for spring break, i finished a book by elaine welteroth that i am certain i will read again and again – more than enough.
first, this was an incredibly easy read. it felt like elaine and i were either exchanging stories at a boozy brunch or at a sleepover with girlfriends where you share your deepest and darkest secrets, hold on to the magical nuggets of wisdom that are dropped and laugh until your sides hurt. as a fellow black woman who was raised in california (and even did a 10 year stint in the bay), there was so much familiarity. elaine covers everything from imposter syndrome to being the only person in a space that was not created with you in consideration to colorism within the black community to navigating heartbreak to remembering not to shrink ourselves in an effort to make those around me more comfortable with their shortcomings.
there truly is something for everyone but a little something extra for those of us identifying as millennials, women, black, biracial or simply someone trying to shatter both ceilings and stereotypes. my top takeaways from the book were:
own every piece of yourself unapologetically
if you believe a space is for you, others will believe it is, too
the dopest shit happens outside of your comfort zone
there is a fine line between being dedicated to your work and your work being detrimental to your health – know the difference
don’t be afraid to let your loved ones show up for you in times of need
something tells me that my upcoming thought of the week will be courtesy of elaine welteroth. i can’t wait to see what she does next.