By: Kiko Lee, Founder/CEO of Be By Intent LLC
It’s not the absence of fear. It’s pushing forward in spite of it.
Good Morning America is part of the weekday morning ritual in my home. It quietly plays in the background as I’m getting ready to conquer the day, and I pause every now and then to catch some of the interesting and informative highlights. Monday, October 16, 2017 was no different…until it was. I had gone upstairs for something and on my way back down I was stopped in my tracks by an interview Robin Roberts was conducting. It had nothing to do with celebrities or politics or natural disasters. Quite the contrary, there was this young, somewhat shy, unknown (to me anyway) woman making simple, yet profound statements that would resonate with me throughout the entire day. “You can be anything. How you grew up and your circumstances do not define you. If you’re willing to be fearless, if you’re willing to push your own boundaries.” Two words from these statements would consume my thoughts the rest of the day. “Be fearless!” These were the words that lit up my minds-eye like a theatre marquee. These were the words I couldn’t escape for about a week after I heard them. These were the words, not only spoken, but lived out by Amanda Lucidon, who “worked her way up to White House staff photographer, one of the few women in this role in history.” These words are what she expects people to learn about herself and former First Lady Michelle Obama when reading her book,Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer. And the spirit behind these words is what inspired me to start Be By Intent, and that I hope inspires you.
Lucidon was “the only female photographer”on staff during her four years at the White House and the road there was not easy, but the lessons learned were priceless. She learned resilience through her challenges, she learned how to find strength in her weaknesses, and she learned to accept herself for who she is. Finding these things: resilience, strength, and acceptance was and is a constant pushback against challenges, weaknesses, and disapproval. And I don’t know that it gets easier the more you do it or you just develop thicker skin, but I do know that the rewards of pushing forward in spite of our fears far exceed anything we can imagine for ourselves. So…choose to be fearless today, who knows, it could land you in the White House or be the launching pad for your new business.
Good Morning America (GMA). Michelle Obama’s White House photographer shares the stories behind iconic photos. YouTube, Robin Roberts interview with Amanda Lucidon, October 16, 2017. Accessed July July 5, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARxiHFMEdxw&t=4s