Andromeda Raheem

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?

I identified my passion and the work that satisfies me versus the work that pays the bills by eliminating money from the equation. To find my purpose, I had to figure out what comes naturally to me and what I enjoy doing even when I’m not getting paid for it. For me, that’s writing and motivating others. Prior to starting Women By Choice Global nearly 5 years ago, I always had a passion for writing and knew that I did it well by the grades and accolades I received in school, as well as the compliments my employers gave me. Long before I even thought of being a motivational speaker, I motivated my friends regularly by texting them quotes and affirmations that inspired me. Blogging without monetary gain is where I began and that has opened doors and attracted opportunities far beyond what I imagined possible.

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?

A woman I eternally admire and respect is Oprah Winfrey, but it’s not because of where she is now, it’s because of where she started from. Even with all the odds stacked against her, the trauma she experienced, and the rejections and failures she faced, she didn’t let any of it stop her from becoming all that she is today. I can appreciate the determination, passion, and resilience it took for her to accomplish all that she has. I also respect her humility, transparency, and willingness to share the things she has learned while also putting others in position to be great. Oprah succeeded by being authentic and true to herself. She is a reminder to me that I don’t ever have to force myself to fit in a box or look a certain way to win.

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?

It’s important for us to celebrate who we are today because today is all we have for sure. I have personally started practicing being more present in the moment and celebrating how far I’ve come versus always focusing on how much further I have left to go. Not only is tomorrow not promised, but when we’re constantly searching for the next best thing, we miss out on acknowledging that we’ve been strong enough, smart enough, and blessed enough to make it this far. I used to accomplish things and not take time to appreciate and reflect on what I had done. It caused me to be discouraged a lot more because when things would get tough, I would convince myself that I wasn’t doing enough. Now, after every goal I reach, I pause to celebrate what I did and remind myself that I am capable and amazing. It has a much more positive impact on my confidence and self-esteem.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

This year, I adopted a morning routine that consists of me journaling and affirming myself, so the last time I said something good about myself was today. Affirmations keep my thoughts positive and my spirit high. Whenever I even begin to doubt myself or talk down about myself, I begin to speak positive words about myself and remind myself of the good I do and the impact I make on others. To answer your question, it makes me feel strong, like I can do anything.

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

I think women shy away from celebrating and praising themselves because of how others have made us feel about it. Growing up, many of my peers made me feel like I was doing “too much” or said things like, “you think you’re all that” whenever I would excel in something or look nice. For a long time, I dimmed my light to avoid the attacks from insecure people. I didn’t want to stand out or call too much attention to myself. I struggled with accepting compliments and wouldn’t make a big deal about any major milestones or goals reached. I think if women felt like others would happily celebrate their accomplishments with them instead of isolate, criticize, and abandon them, they would more freely celebrate and praise themselves.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?

Honestly, I am still working on this. However, I have learned to say thank you and receive what is being said to me instead of feeling like I need to respond to a compliment with a compliment. These days, I let the compliment do what it is meant to do, which is make me feel good and confirm my greatness, as opposed to searching for reasons to deny and discredit it. I don’t work for compliments, but when I receive them, I accept that I earned and deserve them.

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE, AS WOMEN, ARE NOT ENOUGH AND HOW CAN WE TAKE THAT POWER BACK?

I think society reinforces the idea that women are not enough by constantly making us feel like being who we are is not enough. Women are under a great deal of pressure to look a certain way to be considered beautiful and get seats at certain tables. Unfortunately, many of us don’t feel like our appearance would be acceptable without altering it in some way. From our skin to our hair to our weight and fashion choices, there’s a lot of emphasis on our appearance and how we should expect to be received if we don’t show up looking like what has been deemed beautiful and acceptable. I think we take our power back by resisting societal beauty standards and choosing to be who and what feels most true to us. There’s a lot of amazing women in this world who never get a chance to shine as bright as they can because they don’t look the way those in positions of power think they should. Standing up for one another and being brave enough to stand up for ourselves is one way we begin to make a shift in the right direction. It’s a must that we collectively start forcing our gifts, talents, and intelligence to be recognized first.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

THE TRIBE Movement is important because women need more spaces and environments that encourage them to be empowered and authentic, to love the skin we’re in and recognize the strength and beauty in both our likenesses and our differences. I love and appreciate this movement. It’s needed.

Occupation: Founder of Women By Choice Global

Website: www.womenbychoice.com

Instagram: womenbychoice