A few interesting things happened this year that have me grappling with how to continue helping women and girls bring out their best. The question that constantly swirls through my head these days is 'How do I continue to meet their unique needs, stand out from the growing number of other girl empowerment groups out there, and have loads of fun?' I wish the answer was clear, but it's not.
I keep telling myself, maybe clarity will come by reminding myself of the reasons why I created the Gutsy Girl Club to begin with......so I think back to July of 2013 and the story of why I decided to open the doors to begin with.
My girls were 7 and 10. I had a deep desire to help them stretch their wings, make new friends and discover their strengths so they could begin to find their own way. The club started out as a small gathering of girls, mostly friends of my daughters. I crafted a Neverland experience for them. During a couple weeks in the summer we had a magical time skipping down the wooded path, chasing butterflies, giggling our way through creative art projects, and connecting with each other. Over the next few years these camps expanded and were offered to friends of friends and girls all the way up to age 12. Teen mentors were brought in to further enhance the support the young girls received and in addition I spent more of my time in conversation with moms about how they could best 'be there' for their girls.
In August of 2015 life pulled us in a new direction and I packed up the Gutsy Girl Club and all of my belongings, including my two young girls, husband, and pooch. We moved thousands of miles across country and landed in Durango, CO. Quickly we began to settle in to our new surroundings.
Initially, life felt idyllic. My girls were melting into life in their new home, we were all diving into all sorts of outdoor activities and I was networking like crazy, and sharing the work of the Gutsy Girl Club. In December of 2015 I launched a book called 'The Art of a Gutsy Girl,' which shares a bit of my personal story as well as the foundations needed for all girls to be their true selves. Then, my confidence in my future success came to a hault.
An author by the name of Caroline Paul contacted me to share her newly launched book called "The Gutsy Girl."
Hmm. On the one hand I was excited there was another dynamo out there doing the work that I felt was so important. On the other hand, gosh there's someone else doing similar work.
As time progressed, my self-doubt crept in. As part of her launch she went on a book tour and began building a following using a Facebook page named (theGutsyGirlClub). The fan page handle I created in 2013 for the club is GutsyGirlClub.
Not surprisingly, while her community began to grow, in her shadow so did mine. Not only did I receive new Facebook followers, but new followers joined me on Instagram and Twitter. It became apparent new followers were confusing me with Caroline - a handful commented about her book on my page.
This outer blurriness between us was symptomatic of something I have been dealing with for a while. I don't blame Caroline for my current position, if anything it has brought to light a deep inner struggle within me that needs to be resolved. How do I be a gutsy girl? How do I soothe my own fears about showing up big in the world?
Hence the pause. The desire and drive to be there, to be different and stand out from the crowd is very powerful. I'm not one to stand in anyone's shadow. Therefore I am off on an adventure of answering the question - 'What am I doing and how do I stand out? How do I be there for women and girls in a way that is helpful and meaningful?
I invite you to stay tuned....being the positive spirited person I am, I imagine I will return to you having discovered something even more magical and inspiring to share with you.