As a board member of Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, there’s no question I give to, advocate for, and volunteer for the organization wholeheartedly. I jumped at the chance to write a blog post for the Inspiration Project. But here’s a secret… this is the sixth time I’ve started writing this post; and it was originally going to celebrate World Gratitude Day (September 21st, by the way).

Now, lest you think Girls Inc. has a bunch of procrastinating slackers leading it, let me explain and back up a couple of months. I had the opportunity to participate in Lunch Bunch during the Girls Inc. summer camp. I shared with my five girls what the career note cards said – careers are rewarding and you need proper preparation like specialized coursework or volunteerism or internships. The preparation may be difficult, but it’s worth it in the end.

Real Perfect Girls

But there’s something I forgot to share with the girls around our lunch table. You can be smart and you can be hardworking and you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to do it. Do I heed this advice all the time? Clearly not, or you’d be reading a post about gratitude. I wanted my first Girls Inc. blog post to be perfect; to reflect how board members are insightful and grateful and inspiring and that we live the mission in every Girls Inc. action we do. How can we inspire and be inspired if we’re not perfect? Hoo-boy, looks like I have some Girls Inc. programming that I need to attend!

As a former girl, I know the girls we serve feel the pressure to be perfect in their homework, their relationships, and their bodies. I’m smart and I’m hardworking and like many girls and women struggling to find motivation or inspiration, I need to remind myself that I (or my blog post) don’t have to be perfect. I just need to be doing. Real girls, real women, real leaders aren’t perfect. Real people are doing and they are doing great things like deciding on careers, expanding programming, and writing blog posts.

Girls Inc. reminds me that I don’t have to be perfect. They inspire me to strong, smart, and bold.