I started going to counseling for the first time in February of this year. I’m not embarrassed to admit that because it’s been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. This past year as a country we’ve learned a lot about the importance of respecting women and the horrible things that can happen when that respect is pushed to the wayside. Something that hasn’t been discussed as recently is also the respect that women have for themselves. Positive self-talk is a true talent. I can only hope that it comes more natural to me as I get older.
ZGiRLS tells us to imagine ourselves as an 11-year-old. Okay, I’m imagining my lanky, young 11-year-old self. I was obsessed with pigs (weird as that might be, picture attached for your entertainment). Okay, imagining. Now I’m imagining that instead of falling off into the abyss of high school materialistic pleasantries shortly after, I was confronted with a group of girls all feeling the same things, yet, instead of being judged or judging, we allowed ourselves to be humble, vulnerable, raw and beautiful together. Can you imagine that?!?!
One of the biggest things that I’ve learned in counseling is that all these years the number one thing that my inner voice was telling me was that “I wasn’t good enough”. For whatever reason. I allowed those negative thoughts to push to the forefront. To cloud out any positive and happy thoughts and take over. Just because they could. Just because that’s often how fear can take over the human body. It wants to take control and you can so easily let it if you’re waiting to become confident rather than (quoting a good friend who just wrote an article about this) daring to listen and daring to speak.
ZGiRLS provides a place for thousands of girls to steer away from all of those bad thoughts. They acknowledge the truth that girls’ confidence plummets during puberty. They acknowledge the fact that 7 in 10 girls don’t think they’re good enough. That by age 14, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys.
These facts do not have to hold true, but they will continue to if we put our heads down and listen only to the negativity.
Or, we can acknowledge the proven way to help girls build confidence for life: by giving them a positive and life changing mentor who teaches them confidence-building mental skills, alongside a group of girls who all need it and crave it too. Since 2012, over 2,500 girls have had the opportunity to experience the ZGiRLS program.
We dare you to think back on your 11-year-old self, or your sister’s, or your cousin’s or your future daughter’s. DARE you to support an organization to provide the tools for these beautiful lessons. The gift of confidence is the greatest way to honor the strong women and girls in your life.
I can’t run the half marathon this year because of injuries that have taken me a while to accept. Running used to be my medicine and now I’m finally seeing the beauty of medicine of the mind. So please stand along beside me as we cheer on these women to run 13.1 miles for the sake of young girls and their confidence. Please, share your gift today!
P.S. Every contribution made before November 27th determines the number of girls that can be supported in 2019. Help ensure EVERY girl has access to life-changing confidence-building tools and mentorship.
$50 - Trains and certifies a new female athlete ZGiRLS Mentor
$100 - Sponsors a girl to participate in a 3-month season of ZGiRLS Circles
$250 - Trains 10 new ZGiRLS Mentor volunteers
$500 - Sponsors an entire ZGiRLS Circle for a season
$1,000 - Sponsors a girl to attend a week of ZGiRLS Summer Camp