We are often so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to do what makes us happy. Or maybe we’re already there, but we continue to struggle with our demons, those little voices that tell us that we’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not talented enough—that kind of talk. I’m sure you’re familiar with it, as are millions of other women all over the world.
It’s tough living in a society where we are constantly bombarded with messages of what to become, how to act, and what to believe in, that sometimes we find ourselves lost in the midst of it all. What am I good at? How do I pursue my passion?
And so we asked around. We asked one woman, in particular, who seems to have grappled with these voices and doubts too, but also found a way to manage them—Sofia Cope
Sofia Cope (link: http://www.themadmuse.co/ )is a creative powerhouse. She is the founder of Open Art School (link: http://openartschool.com/) and The Mad Muse (link: http://www.themadmuse.co/), where she teaches modern-day creators about artistic ideas, self-expression and holistic self-branding
Her courses are not about teaching one to stay within the lines of convention, nor are they about doing things a certain way (I enrolled in one of her courses). They are about knowing yourself, what your story is (scars and all), and learning how to build concrete plans so you can live your dreams. We asked Sofia for some tips and thoughts on self-empowerment and overcoming personal challenges that you may find helpful in your own journey.
Hi Sofia! First off, how would you describe your work in relation to your advocacy/drive to help and inspire others, especially other women?
It is a fact that us women have faced an injurious past, and it’s a sad truth that there are still loud echoes of injustices and gender inequality today. We do need empowerment still.
My work, however, revolves around the idea that a woman can only truly be empowered when she can finally position herself as a creator of her story [as opposed to just being]a victim of her circumstances.
I make it my job first and foremost to remind other women—and also men—that there is no truer power than to take creative responsibility for your life. A few of the ways I help them express that is through the arts and creative entrepreneurship/vocations. I believe we will only feel genuinely accomplished and fulfilled when we create something contributory.
Based on your experience, what hinders most people from achieving their goals and pursuing their passions? How can one move past these challenges?
‘Self doubt’, among others: “Do I have what it takes or not?” It’s a question often rooted in fear of failure, criticism or rejection. The reality is—and this is what I always tell my students—it isn’t about whether you have it or not. There are days when you’re great, and days when you’re not. What matters at the end is the satisfaction you get from doing what you love, pursuing your passions because it seems like the truest and most joyful thing to do.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to find confidence in her work or her craft?
Be interested in your growth, first and foremost. Your desire to grow must outweigh your fear of rejection and failure. This is how you ultimately find confidence.
There is no growth in hiding and doubting. Growth only happens if you keep moving and showing up. And remember that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to do come prepared and do your best always.
Based on your own journey and the challenges that came with it, what would you like to tell other women who are still working towards selflove and empowerment?
Loving yourself is a lifetime practice. It is something you do daily, in both big and small ways. It is true that it is hard to achieve but rather than looking at it as an end, treat it as a reliable means to living a more authentic and empowered life.
A great manifestation of ‘self love’ is in doing things that you are passionate about. Find what it is that truly gives you joy and a sense of purpose. Find a community to cultivate and serve. Joy and service are, without a doubt, great sources of empowerment.
What do you feel is your foremost struggle when it comes to pursuing your dreams? For similar content, follow @LifestyleNetworkTV on social media or visit us at www.lifestylenetwork.tv.
Photos from instagram.com/sofia.cope