Before the creation of The Gurls’ Club (TGC), my world was vastly different, immersed in the realm of corporate uniform production and supply. What once was my main hustle has now transitioned to a ‘side hustle,’ making room for a venture that, although not planned, has become incredibly dear to my heart. The inception of TGC was spurred by my daughter’s birth and a desire to contribute to shaping a more equitable world for her and every girl like her.

Embarking on this journey, I hadn’t anticipated the magnitude of the dream I was chasing or the myriad challenges it would present. Since 2020, I’ve ventured into unfamiliar territories: community development, content strategy, learning programs, mentorship structures, and product creation. These were realms beyond my previous expertise in clothing production, stretching back to my university days in 2011.

In my journey, I’ve encountered the subtle tendrils of self-sabotage, especially in the face of the unknown—the very arenas where growth and success lie waiting. A phrase that struck me deeply was, “Women reject themselves before the world rejects them.” This reflected my own experiences of being the ‘logical’ thinker and ‘the safe dreamer.’ Whenever faced with audacious or unfamiliar ventures, my instinct was to draft a list of reasons why it wouldn’t work, leaning heavily into the cons without giving due consideration to the potential pros.

Initially, this approach seemed like prudent leadership, swiftly making decisions to focus on what seemed most feasible. However, I soon recognized that this comfort zone, where the pros seemingly outweighed the cons, was also a space of slow growth and missed opportunities. The desire for rapid progress forced me to reflect on the ambitious projects I had passed up because we didn’t meet every criterion for assured success.

I came to realize that each time I pulled out my ‘why we cannot’ list, it was in response to challenges that were ambitious or daunting, rooted in my insecurity about venturing into new areas. The fear of failure was a constant companion, manifesting as logical excuses for why we weren’t ready to embrace these opportunities.

Self-sabotage, whether conscious or unconscious, acts as a barrier to our goals, often stemming from coping mechanisms to manage stress or past trauma. Yet, it invariably compounds our problems and limits our potential for success. In my case, avoiding challenging projects was a defense against possible failure, undermining the growth of an organization that held deep personal significance.

Awareness of this pattern was a turning point. Driven by the impact TGC was making in our community, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I began to balance my ‘why we can’t’ list with a ‘why we can’ list. Even when the latter was shorter, it opened doors to possibilities I had previously shut.

This journey has taught me the power of trusting in our capabilities as women. It’s about taking that first step, which leads to the next, gradually building trust in ourselves and moving away from the tendencies that hold us back. Perfection is a rare luxury; it’s the courage to say ‘yes’ amidst uncertainty that truly propels us forward.

So, to every woman navigating her path, remember: the perfect situation seldom presents itself fully formed. It’s up to us to seize opportunities and trust in our ability to rise to the occasion. Give yourself a chance—you might just surprise yourself with how much you can achieve. Trust me, I speak from experience. Let’s embrace our journeys, unburdened by self-doubt, and open to the endless possibilities that await us.


With much love,

Ciiru Komu


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