You’re Not Born Strong

Does your energy-in match your energy-out? People say you’re difficult. They say you act like you don’t care; they say you are mean, but what is happening inside you may not be what they see externally. You put a smile on your face and pretend everything is okay, but deep down inside, you’re suffering. Mass Appeal sought stories on working on what is happening inside, so it shows up positively on the outside. Tammie Pikes’ inner world was in turmoil, and her outer world was fake. She had a mask on that no one could see behind. She was the ‘perfect’ mother, wife, friend, and employee on the surface. Until the walls came slamming down after her third daughter was born with a health condition that led to a traumatic hospital stay and continued issues that led her to experience anxiety and panic attacks. She fell apart. Learn how her breakdown led to her breakthrough in Inside Out.

Somehow you’ve been labeled the “strong one.” As if strength is inherent and not a choice. You had two options, to be strong or to be weak – you chose to be strong. When others label you as inherently strong, it undermines the hard work hard and sacrifices you’ve made to be strong. You weren’t born strong; you earned it. But because you have been labeled strong, people expect you to deal with anything, even when it’s not your problem. Jenna Parkany knew breaking the status quo would inspire more people and show them they could do it too. She was determined to make the most of college; however, it became the first place she experienced firsthand sexism, sexual assault, and misogyny. She thought that was something women dealt with years ago, not in 2015. If only she knew what she knows now. Parkany experienced immense grief when she unexpectedly lost her brother in a house fire. From that moment on, everything shifted. People told her to slow down, while her inner voice told her to keep going. That voice protected her from every emotional heartache she had in the past. Again, she dove into everything. This time, she became even stronger and learned that people don’t overcome grief; they manage it. Read her full story in Bulletproof.

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