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Lesson 5: Stop Shrinking! Take Up Space!

Sitting in a team meeting, I wanted to speak up, but I felt like I couldn’t.

“I am the youngest one here. I am a first-year teacher. Everyone has more experience than me. They will think I am too bold. They will think my ideas are too much.”

These were the thoughts that ran through my mind very often in my first two years of teaching. There was nothing my coworkers did to make me feel this way, but these were all fears I believed and let consume me. So many times I would take my ideas back to my own classroom and implement them myself only to have someone later ask why I didn’t bring it up to the team.

This did not only happen at my job, it happened anytime I was somewhere and I felt inadequate. I would literally shrink. This is completely opposite of what my mom taught me to do as a child, but it became my go to so that I could feel safe. This response also aided me in my relationships to not “cause any trouble”, but in all actuality, I was just putting the feelings of others before my own. That’s not healthy!

What I didn’t know is that while I was playing it safe, I was not walking in the will of God for my life. He put me here for a reason. There are things thoughts and ideas that only I have that need to go forth in the Earth to bring about the progress that He wants to do. And a big one, there are people waiting for me to share my story. I can think of so many times that I have been inspired by the lives of other people and what makes me think that God doesn’t want to use me in that way too?

The other side of this is that I am enough! Just as I am, I am enough, actually more than enough. Yes, there are things I will still learn throughout life and ways that I will grow, but just because I haven’t gotten there yet does not make me any less worthy of being my full self now. God is always doing a work in us, but that does not mean that we wait until that work is “complete” for us to truly live and be. Because another lesson there is, “As long as there is breath in our lungs, the work is never done.”

So I am learning to be me and only me. I am beginning to understand that anytime I don’t show up as my full self, that is not self-love. I am learning to love myself just as I am. I am learning to be bold and courageous. I am learning to take up space wherever I go. There are things that only Kieara Renee Reed can do in this world, and I am going to make sure it gets done!

How are you making sure to “take up space” wherever you go? Let me know in the comments. Your responses may be just what someone else needs to hear!

Love y’all!


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