Girl Power Lessons from a Female Sharpshooter

First, I want to emphasize that the principles of Girl Power apply to everyone, not just girls.

Second, I’m going to introduce you to my childhood hero, Annie Oakley.

annie-oakley-2-w-shoot-high-quote

In my mind, Annie epitomizes Girl Power.  In the above quote, she points out that only with practice and patience will you hit the high mark you’ve aimed at. I want you to believe you too can “hit the bull’s-eye of success” in whatever area of health, wellness, and everyday life matters to you.

j-_k-_rowling_2010
J.K Rowling

We usually know nothing about famous people while they’re struggling in the trenches of real life. J.K. Rowling, author of the wildly successful Harry Potter series, struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts as a single parent on welfare. But she channeled her challenges into the characters in her books.She made setbacks work for her instead of against her. The reason we know anything about J.K. Rowling is because her Harry Potter books made her a multimillionaire. But she was and is a normal, everyday person who worked hard to succeed.

Annie Oakley, female sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in the late 1800s, was the sixth of nine children born to her Susan and Jacob Mosey. Jacob died when Annie was six. In order to ease the financial burden on the family, she and an older sister were sent to live with friends . She accepted a job with a local family as a housekeeper and nanny and was promised 5o cents a week in return. The husband and wife, who she called “the wolves,” treated her like a slave and gave her no money. She eventually ran away from them and went back to her family. She never told anyone the name of the couple who abused her.

Annie picked up a gun for the first time at age eight. She liked how it felt in her hands and enjoyed the challenge of shooting small targets. With her newfound talent, Annie provided food and a small income for her family and, when she was 15, paid off the mortgage on her mother’s farm.

We know about “Little Miss Sure Shot” because she was a woman who could shoot as good as or better than most men, and the crowds loved her. Annie won $50 in her first shooting contest against future husband, Frank Butler. She went on to earn more money than anyone in the Wild West show, save “Buffalo Bill” himself.

These two women’s lives illustrate that Girl Power can get you through tough times to come out better than you ever thought possible. Most of us will never be a millionaire author or a popular entertainer and sharpshooter. But you can decide today to be a winner. Because you choose to. Because you and I are going to “keep on aiming and keep on shooting” until practice makes us perfect and we “hit the bull’s eye of success.”

For me, the bull’s-eye of success is loving and accepting myself as I am now. I know that God loves me. My family and friends love me. But I need to love and accept myself so that I’m not plagued by the demoralizing and finger-wagging self-doubt that interrupts my peace and weighs me down.

What’s your bull’s-eye of success?

Here’s a bit of inspiration to get us thinking and moving in a positive direction:

God’s hand is continually stretched out to lift and help us. He says,

“Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9 (KJV)

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