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Stop Running For Second Place!

This week Stacey Abrams appeared on The View and was asked about the rumors that she was being tapped to run alongside (behind) Joe Biden as the 2020 Vice President candidate. With no hesitation, Abrams stated, “I think you don’t run for second place.”

In one sentence, Abrams spoke an entire sermon, and it resonated deeply with me. While Abrams was talking about the primary, I took her comments as a lesson for my life to stop running for second place.

Who stands at the starting line of a race and says, “I want to be second?” Your mentality should always be, “I want to be first!” The goal should always be to run to win!

Image by Thomas Wolter from Pixabay

However, too many of us are running to be second especially Black women. And often as Black women, we do that because the world never told us that we could be first. As my friend, Mahogany Mayfield said, “Black women are always the feet and not the face.” We are always the labor. We had to be in the back. We were in the kitchen. We were to be seen and not heard. We were in the background nursing babies that we didn’t birth. We were in the background building up men to be the face of the movements. We were in the background when White women got the right to vote in America. Entire movements, that we were left out of, have been built off of our ingenuity and tenacity. We couldn’t dare step into the spotlight. It was never our time to shine. So, we settled for good enough. Second place will just do.

We settle for second place in our jobs as a man stands up and recites everything we have said as if he came up with the idea. We settle for second place in our relationships being comfortable being the side chick. We settle for second place in our finances, robbing Peter to pay Paul every single month. We settle for second in our health, not taking care of ourselves and putting everyone else first. We settle for second place in our marriages because having a no-good man is better than not having any man. So, every day we place ourselves on the backburner a little bit more.

The reason Stacey Abrams could say what she did with such authority is that she understands her worth.  She realizes that it is not her that needs to attach herself to anyone to be great; she recognizes that she is standing in her greatness. She understands her value. Stacey knows what she brings to the table. She knows who she is and won’t apologize for it.

That is where many of us fail and why we have a second-place mentality. We do not know our worth. You do not achieve greatness with a second-place mindset.

My question for you today is, at what point are you going to believe that you can be first?

At what point are you going to stop settling for second place?

At what point will you stop having a second-place mentality and show up in your life with a first-place mentality?

At what point will you look at yourself and see where you are self-sabotaging first place by back burner behavior?

How long is it going to take you to understand your worth and your value?

Joe Biden didn’t randomly pull Stacey Abrams name out of a hat. He understands her worth. He knows the potential of having such a formidable partner on his team, should he decide to run. Similarly, other people can see your greatness, when will you?

If this world has never told you that you can be first, my sister, you can! Stop running for second place and challenge yourself to show up with a first-place mentality!

*I did a live video about this topic if you follow me on Facebook @HannahDrake.*

2 replies »

  1. This can sometimes be easier said than done because people love a “second place” woman, don’t they? There’s always somebody standing nearby ready to take you down a peg or two”, or put you “in your place”, which just so happens to be behind their sorry ass. I’ve met those people. (Those people ain’t in my life no more either.)

  2. I think Stacey Abrams is fantastic and hope that she has a massively successful political future ahead of her. Biden, on the other hand, is a relic from a bygone era and one I absolutely want to move away from. For him to use Abrams as a point-scoring talking point is a) a sign of how out of touch he is and b) how much capital Abrams possesses. I love that quotation from Mahogany Mayfield and thank you for sharing it.

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