Was this the face that launched 1,000 ships?

Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air

Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;

Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
-Doctor Faustus

Are you worth fighting for?

HELEN OF TROY, the face that launched a thousand ships. She was so beautiful, so desired, so full of light that a legion of men fought to win her back.  Her beauty started the Trojan War and since then hundred of artists, writers, and poets have created beautiful things in her honor.

HELEN OF TROY – Was beautiful and she was worth fighting for.

Women grow up wanting to be beautiful and worth pursuing.  Our path into successful adulthood involves making ourselves accomplished and beautiful on the inside and out, so that a man will fight for us, pursue us, and invite us on a lifelong journey.

That is an incredibly simple synopsis. But it’s true for many of us: “Women, be beautiful and talented and a man will be attracted to you. He will find you and take care of you and bring you on his adventures.”

This story works for some people. It is a good story. But in a lifetime, we live many stories. This is one. We repeat this story because we do not know that there are more options.

There are other options.

Here’s a secret…  We are strong. We are capable. Putting on boots and going out into the world does not reduce your chances of success, it improves them.

What if we fought for ourselves and started to pursue our own adventures? What if we dreamed and worked and grew in strength, not to impress someone else who will finally pick us, but to reach a personal and amazing dream all our own?  What if we were willing to go to battle for ourselves?

We have instinctually learned that it is acceptable to rely on others to move forward in life – through movies, tv, princess stories…. all of it.  Both relationally and professionally, we have learned to fix ourselves all up, get pretty and talented, and then wait to get picked.  Like Jr. Highers at our first dance, we spend hours getting ready for that special night and then we just stand in the corner, playing with our shiny hair… and waiting to be asked to dance.

It’s a princess syndrome – a Helen of Troy inheritance… We forget that we have the ability to dance all on our own. (AND even better, we are no longer in Jr. High!)  The dance floor is open! We just need to have the perspective and courage to walk on out and get down with our bad selves.

It’s time to tell another story.

“I realized that searching for a mentor has become the professional equivalent of waiting for Prince Charming. We all grew up on the fairy tale “Seeping Beauty,” which instructs young women that if they just wait for their prince to arrive, they will be kissed and whisked away on a white horse to live happily ever after. Now young women are told that if they can just find the right mentor, they will be pushed up the ladder and whisked away to the corner office to live happily ever after.
Once again, we are teaching women to be too dependent on others.”
Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

“It’s a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority that comes from a publisher or talk show host or even a blogger saying, “I pick you.” Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you–that Prince Charming has chosen another house–then you can actually get to work… No one is going to pick you.
Pick yourself.” – Seth Godin

Pick yourself. Listen to your heart, listen deeper than the outspoken parts that want to be picked. There is more in you still. Quiet dreams. Protected dreams. Hopes and longings your heart has held tight. If it sounds crazy, if it requires action and believing in your own worth – you’ve found it!

What if you chose to be your own Helen of Troy?

What if rather than waiting for your worth and beauty to be authorized, certified, and notarized by someone else, you decided to choose yourself?

You’re worth fighting for. Yours is a face that can launch 10,000 ships.

You are beautiful.


 Beauty worth fighting for

If you really were as beautiful and talented as you always hoped someone else would think you were, what would you do for yourself? How far would you go and how hard would you fight for love – for yourself?

What are you waiting for? Stop waiting for someone else to notice your beauty and move a nation or ask you to dance. Be your own Helen of Troy. Choose yourself and your own adventures. Move nations and mountains and 1,000 ships for your own awesome self today.