There have been so many awesome women in my life who have inspired me. It is difficult to pick just one to write about. There is my mom who raised five kids as a single parent. Or the neighbor lady who first instilled in me my entrepreneurial dream. Or even my best friend who has always provided unqualified acceptance of who I am yet isn’t afraid to give me the answer I don’t want to hear. These women have all shaped and inspired me to be a better version of myself.

When I think about being inspired by someone, there is the concept of being inspired to be like someone and the opposite of that; being inspired NOT to be like them. Until recently, I had a person in my life who I respected and looked up to. Even though I loved her for who and what she is, we wanted vastly different things for our lives. The things that drove her were more money and job prestige. My concept of success was being in control of my own destiny and providing value to others. I am so grateful for her presence in my life. Because knowing her helped me see what was and wasn’t holding value for me. I had no desire to climb the corporate ladder and become some other version of myself because that is what was expected of me. I had no desire to be unhappy with my life just so I could get a paycheck. She helped me see that forging my own path and deciding for myself the direction that path would take, was very important to me. Finding my zone of genius vs my zone of excellence was uber important to me. I could work a balance sheet all day long, but that was NOT genius. That was excellence. There is a big difference. And within that difference lays the key to what I want for my life. I am tired of excellence. I want genius.**

There are so many people that I feel inspired to be like, but my sister is probably the foremost in my heart. She was born with a congenital heart defect. The doctors told my mom that she would not live to be a teenager. She proved them wrong. Her life is a testament to her determination to do and be the best version of herself that she can be. She was physically limited and couldn’t play sports or run around like other kids. Yet she still did what she could. Mom always coddled her because she was afraid her life would be cut short. Yet, she never expected that. Instead she turned and coddled me, her younger sister who was bigger and stronger than she would ever be. People thought I made her do these acts of caring, but she did them on her own because she loved me. Now, years later, she inspires me every day because she has so many physical discomforts and limitations. Yet, she keeps on going. She stops to listen and encourage me even though she feels horrible. If I am complaining because my feet hurt, she doesn’t throw it in my face that her everything hurts. When I am discouraged about my business, she doesn’t remind me that she is discouraged about hers or that she can’t physically do all the things she needs to, to really grow her business. This woman inspires me to keep on going through adversity and to love unconditionally. She inspires me to be the best version of myself that I can be, to tap into my creative spirit and most of all to love and care for others.

Who inspires you to be like them or inspires you to know what you don’t want to be like? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

  • * For more about this concept, check out “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks.

Sherry Parks is a Rediscovery Coach who helps women rediscover themselves and reconnect to the core of who they are.

To contact Sherry for more information about coaching join her women only Facebook group Lives in Balance.

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