Dear girls of the world: Don’t let limitations of others define what you can or cannot achieve

Dear girls of the world,

If you’re anything like me, you’ve doubted yourself a time or two.  You’ve thought, “Can I really do this?”  “Am I wasting my time?”  “Am I good enough?” But the real question should be, where does this doubt stem from?  Do you really believe you’re not good enough, or has the idea been planted in your mind by those around you? 

Believe in yourself when no One else does

leah1 Leah’s walking tour in Athens, Greece.

Throughout my life, I’ve been told that I cannot do certain things.  As a woman of petite stature, there are, in fact, certain things that are harder for me than for others.  But, as I’ve come to learn through trial and error, “harder” does not mean “impossible,” and at this point I’m fairly certain “impossible” doesn’t really exist.

If I had listened to the naysayers all those years and internalized all of the things I “couldn’t” do, I wouldn’t have gotten very far in life. I surely wouldn’t have landed myself a spot on my high school all-league volleyball team at five feet tall, I wouldn’t have graduated from one of the top public universities in the world, and I certainly wouldn’t have taken off to backpack around the globe as a solo female.

The unfortunate reality is, there will always be naysayers in your life to warn you of your impending failure, especially if your dreams are their dreams, too. But just remember this: When someone tells you that you can’t achieve something you want in life, it is more a reflection of their own limitations than yours.

This negativity is a reflection of that person’s own fear of the unknown, their own fear of risk, their own fear of failure.  But that fear does not live within you—not if you don’t let it.

My journey to happiness

Kotor-4 Stunning beauty in the bay of Kotor.

When I decided five years ago to give up on my “dream career” for a life of travel, people thought I was out of my mind.  They thought it was a mistake to forego security in the name of adventure and to throw away five years of education and hard work, even though I knew in my heart that the path I had been on was not one that would make me happy. 

In the end, I had no choice but to push through their doubts and remind myself how much I had already achieved even when those around me had said “Impossible.”

A nomadic lifestyle is certainly not for everyone.  Even long-term or regular travel is still far from the norm where I come from, and it’s not hard to see why.  A life on the road is not the easy choice.  It is not the comfortable choice.  This was the fear that my friends and family felt when I made the leap—to their credit, they were probably only trying to protect me.  They simply didn’t want to see me fail. 

As I continue to work toward my true dream life—one of location independence, travel, and new experiences every day—there are people in my life that continue to doubt.  Sure, I don’t have it all figured out just yet, but the progress I’ve made over the years is more than enough motivation to keep going.

Choose your friends wisely

Leah2 Leah’s trip in Mykonos, Paros and Ios | Greece

They say that we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with.  So, my question to you is this: do the people you surround yourself with lift you up, or put you down? 

Do they doubt your abilities?  Do they tell you your dreams are impossible?  Or do they encourage you to reach for the stars?  To dream bigger?  Do they have big dreams of their own?

Although it’s perfectly possible to achieve great things in the face of doubt, imagine how much more you could achieve if everyone around you was rooting for you instead; telling you to never give up, and dusting you off each time you fell off the horse.  Imagine all the impossible things you could achieve.

As I ramble on through life, I find myself gravitating toward other dreamers.  These are the people who I know will support me, no matter how crazy my ideas.  I urge you to do the same.

When in doubt…

Ulcinj-12 Reflecting in Montenegro.

The next time you find yourself doubting what you can achieve, ask yourself why.  If it’s something you truly want, then you will do everything in your power to get it, no matter what others believe.

“Unless someone can look into the core of your heart, and see the degree of your passion, or look into the depths of your soul and see the extent of your will, then they have no business telling you what you can or cannot achieve.  Because while they may know the odds, they do not know you.  Nor do they know the power of your angels.”  — SANDRA KRING

Now, go forth, my dreamers, and be everything you want to be.

who is currently exploring Serbia

Leah Davis is a long-term, solo traveler from the state of Washington seeking the best adventure, gastronomy, and culture around the world. She left behind the comfort of her “normal” life in search of a life that is truly fulfilling day in and day out. Today, her journeys are compiled on her travel blog called The Mochilera Diaries (


  • August 24, 2015

    A really good post! I love that you’re doing this series, Dear Girls of the World. It’s very inspiring and helpful for others! 🙂

    • September 5, 2015

      Stacey, please feel free to e-mail me if you want to participate! Thank you!

    • sherriejones
      April 10, 2016

      That was beautiful I want to have words with you further. Please

  • April 11, 2016

    I love this post! The funny thing is that it appears a day before I have a job interview and am in a huge dilemma over what I actually want to do in the future.


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P.S. I'm On My Way is a blog by Trisha Velarmino. She didn't
quit her job to travel the world. She made a job out of traveling and you can do it, too.

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