Jaclyn Steele

“You are stronger than you believe.”

I watched Wonder Woman (again) last week. I was having a rough day and my eyes were tired from staring at my computer screen. It was one of those afternoons where from the outside looking in, it would have appeared as though I was being productive, but truthfully, I felt like I was just clicking between tabs and incessantly checking my email.

When that happens, I take it as a clue I’m in dire need of a re-set. I took a deep breath and asked myself what I needed… After a few moments, I felt a little nudge telling me to watch Wonder Woman. There was a message in it that I needed to hear.

The older I get, the more I listen to and take action after these nudges. Its intuition bubbling up to show us there is a better way than strong arming through. We know we are human, yet so often, we treat ourselves as robots. We fool ourselves into believing we can power through anything and not deal with the consequences that ensue from this unsustainable behavior. I’m all for working hard, but I’m also alllll for listening to my intuition when it tells me I need a break.

So, I watched Wonder Woman and this scene, one I completely forgot about, hit me straight between the eyes. (It’s in the first 35 seconds).

“You keep doubting yourself, Diana!” – Antiope

“No, I don’t!” – Diana

“Yes, you do.” – Antiope

“No, I don’t!” – Diana

“You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know.” – Antiope

This first time I saw this movie, I didn’t realize the significance of this scene. Diana is training physically and she is becoming stronger and stronger, but her mind still hasn’t developed fully. Our thoughts, what we really believe about ourselves, directly affects our ability to fight for our dreams.

Let me say that again in another way… what you think you are capable of, you are.

Bringing it back to this scene, Diana is becoming a very competent warrior, but what her aunt is trying to teach her is that there is also a battlefield in her mind. She is going to have to train in that arena just as hard, if not harder, than she does in the physical realm. And while we may not be Amazons or demi gods, we all fight on the battlefield of the mind periodically.

Just recently, I fought a battle of my own. It was Wednesday of last week and I was invited to be a part of a song writing circle at an intimate venue in Athens, GA. There were 5 other female songwriters besides myself on stage and between each song the host would ask us a series of questions related to what we played. Some of these women have toured internationally and have bands and pressed records and merch tables and big reputations, and for a moment I wondered what am I doing here? My songs can’t possibly be good enough. But I’ve heard this tape before. Many times. I recognized it like an acquaintance from high school you wish you could avoid. But you can’t avoid doubt. Everyone, if they’re honest, experiences it from time to time – some experience it all the time. In this instance though, just like Diana, I had two choices: I could shrink and allow the doubt to threaten me like a sword at my neck, OR I could face it head on and fight back.

I fought back. One chord at a time, one verse at a time, one song at a time until the doubt faded peacefully into the back of my mind like a wolf retreating back into its natural habitat.

It’s so easy to doubt ourselves. Not only is self-doubt a human tendency, but we also live in an age where we are set up to constantly compare ourselves to others – driving home this idea that we aren’t good enough, or ready enough, or whatever enough. This negative energy storm sucks the life right out of us. It takes the wind out of our sails and keeps us in a place of complacency.

Let me ask you something: do you want to live a life of complacency? Or do you want fulfill what you came here to do?

What I’m learning personally, is that I have to fight for my desires. And fight hard. No one is going to hand them to me. No one is going to magically discover me and sign me to a multi-million dollar publishing deal. No one is going to pick up a sword and be my stand in for the battles I don’t feel prepared to fight. There is no “tapping out” in life. The only way forward is to face my fear, and if I’m not willing to do that, then I will forever be trapped in the land of “What if.”

I say “fu#k that.” I’m picking up the sword. I’m choosing to face my own fears. I may not be slaying physical dragons, but I’m going to prepare to annihilate the mental ones. The life I’m working for is worth fighting for and I’m ready to wage war against anything that gets in my way.

SPOILER ALERT: In the climax of the movie, Wonder Woman thought the only way she could kill Aries (the god of war) was with a special sword called “the god killer,” but guess what? She is the god killer. She is her greatest weapon. She just had to believe it.

You don’t need money. You don’t need accolades. You don’t need a write up in a fancy publication. You don’t need 20k followers on social media. I’ll tell you exactly what you need: YOU.

You are your greatest weapon and you can continue to sling that sword at yourself, or you can point it forward and battle on. One step at a time. One thought at a time. One day at a time. Your life is worth fighting for. Your dreams are worth fighting for. YOU are worth fighting for.

I’m taking this lesson to heart, as well. Doubt is insidious and no one that I have ever met is immune to it. It shows up along with its other mental dragon friends whenever it wants to – whispering lies and breathing ideas that threaten to keep us down, but you have a choice. You can choose whether or not you listen. I’m going to steal Antiope’s words here:

“You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know.”

Antiope in “Wonder Woman”

These mental dragons may look a little different for all of us, but they are dragons all the same. Learn their behaviors. Learn where they hang out. Learn their patterns of attack and make a battle plan. No one will fight your battles for you. No one will fight my battles for me. But we are stronger than we think – we have powers greater than we know. And the more we train, the more adept we will be on the battlefields we find ourselves in.

So train, show up, fight, battle on. Don’t let a little doubt pin you down. Repeat after me: You are stronger than you know.

YOU are the sword. Wield accordingly.




  • ian

    I loved your performance at Foundry, the high note you sing in meet you on the moon was eargasmic 🙂

    • jsteele

      Ian, THANK YOU! And thank you for being there. That song will be out soon! Can’t wait to share it with the world. Send me more of your stuff. 🙂

  • Jean

    It’s so ironic that when we feel this way, unprepared for what we face, so many others are looking at us in awe of our potential and strength. I know this because this is how I look at you, Jaclyn. Our harshest critics are oftentimes ourselves, and we have to tamp that down when it creeps into our lives. Insecurities are part of being aware of one’s abilities, but not to paralyze us in our tracks, it is intended to let us know a great opportunity is before us, and we can reach the next level by embracing it. We have the necessary tools, and it is only our own self-doubt that holds us back. And if our efforts go unrewarded after “putting it all out there”, have we failed? We have not. We have just put another arrow in our quiver for the next time.

    Love you,

    • jsteele

      Jean, I cannot tell you how much your words mean to me. Thank you. Our harshest critics are ourselves. That is so true. I like the idea of our insecurities as being a part of having awareness about our abilities… almost like they go hand in hand versus insecurity being a negative thing. Maybe they are there to guide us… to play the devil’s advocate so we know what we are stepping into. I like that perspective a lot more. You are so wise and I’m so grateful you are in my life. Thank you for your words. <3

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