VOE Episode 6: Box Buster!




Hi and welcome back to “A Woman’s Heart” podcast show, on the TRUE Conversations Network, I’m your host Edna Howard, Founder of Voices of Encouragement, an organization designed to empower women.

You can learn more about True conversations network at:

www.true-conversations.com and more about Voices of Encouragement at www.voicesofencouragement.com/

I’m so excited you decided to join me for another empowering message.  Think of me as your Chief Encouragement Officer, that will help you transform (if you haven’t done so already) into a “Box Buster”! This episode is jammed packed with practical guidance that will lead you to LET GO of whatever binds you and free yourself to live unapologetically. Are you truly living your most authentic life? Do you allow others to define you and set limits to what you can do? Have you boxed yourself into a lovely comfort zone, where you take little to no risks? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, then get ready… because by the time this podcast is over with, you will be motivated to become a BOX BUSTER!

I’m a woman of faith so I’ll start from the Faith perspective; for God’s Word is my source for encouragement and wisdom. I look to scripture for guidance in how to increase my faith, to make it bigger than my fears and strengthen my confidence.

Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:13 (NIV) that “We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength”.

The conversation today is about learning how to stay true to yourself, break free of the limitations of what others think you should be or do, to get out of your own way and be a BOX BUSTER! Greatness is our birthright – so we need to own our gifts and talents, show up and show out, push the limits, go further, do more and strive higher!

I know I’m not the only one whose experience other people deciding what I can or can’t do. I must admit, when other people try and place me in a box I put my focus on what I can do, dig my heels in against all odds I stand strong and begin the process of working to accomplishing the goal.

Frank Sinatra once said, “The best revenge is massive success”. I interpret this to mean be the best you can be and define success for yourself.  Go against all odds and against what any naysays think or say. Bust the Box wide open. Aren’t you worth being the BEACON of possibility and hope to others?

The truth is its human nature to categorize and label other people and things – so I get that.  Nevertheless, many years ago I made the decision that ONLY I get to decide how great I am and how far I will go in this life, not other people, I am a “Box Buster” expert.   God did not place limits on our gifts and talents.  So, I encourage you to live it if you are not currently doing so – living your destiny instead of being on autopilot.  Stand up straight, hold your head high, and DO YOUR THING - become a “BOX BUSTER”.

As you navigate this life, people, unfortunately, are going to put you in a box.  They either unconsciously or consciously do this based on how you look, where you work, and where you live, and the list goes on. Overlook this behavior and fulfill your life’s purpose – Pray and Keep moving… Be a BOX BUSTER! 


What do I mean by ‘In a Box”?


It means to have limits placed on your potential, said differently, to place limits on what you are capable of and how far you can go. Here’s an example I believe most of you listening can relate to:

In your work place, you can be placed in a box when your boss can’t see pass his/her own limits unconsciously placed on you, they believe you’re good at that one thing (training, spreadsheets, data etc.) and can’t consider you for special project because a decision was made for you that you don’t have what it takes to be successful and thrive working on a different initiative (their limited vision of who you are).  So, they make the mistake that many leaders do, they overlook you and give the opportunity to someone else, later to discover they made the wrong decision. Leadership saw only one dimension of your 3D awesomeness.  Unfortunately, this classic scenario and others play out every day in the workforce and in our personal lives. You knew all along you could bring a flare of dynamics to the project but weren’t given a fair shot to shine because of someone else’s limit view of who you are.    


Let me remind you that when you operate in faith by praying and believing that you will receive, then every day becomes a day of expectation and living beyond any limits others place on you. So, take the limits off and soar. “Bust the Box”!


Now, let’s look at Box Busting from a biblical standpoint - scripture tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV) “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”   God will always give you the grace to do what he calls you to do.


Sometimes we may feel that we do not receive enough encouragement and praise from other people and because of people’s ignorance and insensitivity, we sometimes don’t feel like we have what it takes to be great. Banish the thought! I encourage you today to develop a tremendous faith in God and He will increase your confidence because He has your best interest at heart and we walk in His power and strength.


Keep in mind anytime we step out to do something for God or try to get beyond where we are, there will be opposition, challenges, obstacles, and discouragement.  We must remember that if He calls you to do it He will give you the grace, wisdom, and provisions to walk in it.     


Many of us suffer from our own self-imposed limits because we get hung up on people’s opinion of us.  Consider praying - asking God to deliver you from other people’s opinions and then walk into your destiny. (Bust the Box)


I love what Joyce Meyer says, “I’d rather believe for a lot and get half of it than believe for a little and get all of it.”   

Let’s look at what it will take for you to believe in yourself, take the limits off and transform into a “Box Buster”. I have a few questions to ask you first.  If you can, put me on pause and grab a piece of paper and a pen, because you may want to write these down for further reflection.

1.    What are your strengths or skills that you use most frequently?

2.    What is the most significant character trait that enables you to be your best?

3.    When are you at your Best?  (Think back to a highpoint or an experience in your life when you were at your very best)

4.    What condition empowered you to be your best?

These thought-provoking questions are designed to get you thinking about what it will take to transform you into a “BOX BUSTER”.

It’s important for you to embody a positive vision of yourself because this will be the fuel that drives you on the days that folks try to place their limitations on you,

Let me share five ways that will put you in the right mind set to transform into a “Box Buster”.

·      Curate what you share – be selective and help people digest what you are about

·      Define exactly what you want to be known for.  (a clearly defined focus will help people process who you are)

·      Demolish any status quo mind set and claim victory in the areas that count for you

·      Practice "creative non-conformal, creative thinking

·      Stop focusing on what is wrong and start building on what is right


On a personal note, an exercise that I go through to keep my mind in check goes back to the very first PODCAST that was released in February 2018 “The PAC Method”.  I shared about Perspective, Attitude, and Choice.  This method keeps me grounded and provides me with self-insight (accurate view of myself) for celebrating my successes so that I can draw from them.  In addition, another exercise for you to consider would be to repeat and rehearse your successes over and over in your head so you can easily remember who you are and what you bring.   “BOX BUSTER”

Many years ago, I attended a woman’s conference, “Know Who You Are and What You bring” hosted by Francine Harrison, “The Career Engineer”.  I left that conference inspired and with some key takeaways that I would like to share with you on today’s show.  I modified it to fit the VOE philosophy, but I think you will enjoy the knowledge that I’m about to drop on you today. I will review the following 5 topics complete with “Power Statements” – encouraging golden nuggets that keep you motivated:

·      Accept Who You Are

·      Tap into your Gifts and Talents

·      Discover Your Strengths

·      Acknowledge your Power Source

·      Recognize your Accomplishments

Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started”

So, let’s get started.

But before I do let me share my personal affirmation with you – saying it out loud to myself every morning gets me excited and keeps moving forward with my personal goal of growing Voices of Encouragement to empower all women. 


I’m a powerful purpose driven woman on a mission

In 2017 I assumed this position

Thanking God for my direction and clarity, cause he’s my creator He chose this career for me

So just sit back, step back, and watch me flow, cause VOE, we are on the grow

We keep showing, suiting, stepping up to the plate

Believe extreme success if our only fate

And as break pass this invisible wall of fear

Let me keep real and be very clear

If you think you know you have no idea

Know idea is what you have

Cause I’m supercharged I’m highly powered

I’m bad to the bone the name is Edna E. Howard

accept who you ARE The ability to be comfortable in your own skin, and to find your own niche, is a must.  There is no on one on this planet just likes you; we are custom designed by God.


Learn to embrace and accept your originality, your body composition, the hue of your complexion, your voice, your essence, and your professional style. Once you have accepted “who you are,” you can begin to share “what you bring to the workplace, relationships, and the world. 


Power Statement: Failure Happens When You Try to become something you’re not – Become a BOX BUSTER!




In TD Jakes book “Instinct the Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive” - he says

“You must be true to your purpose, doggedly tenacious about your passion, and never lose sight of your center (Christ)”

To tap into your gifts and talents you need to explore your interest, desires, natural gifts, and acquired talents.  Consider the following questions and explore your responses:


·      In what areas of your life have your received compliments with minimal effort?

·      What would you do for free?

·      How do you feel when you are doing “that” activity?


When you thrive in your gifts you become known for doing that thing that sets you apart from the crowd, people will seek you out.


Power Statement: In the World of Success or Failure, Your Fit Makes the Difference – Become a BOX BUSTER!




You can’t preach what you don’t know and you walk where you don’t go.  So, uncover your power, which lies in your strengths. Consider the following examples to start your strength building process. Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group, keen with numbers, academically solid, business savvy, or an excellent leader?  Don’t discount your soft skills (compassion, drive, patience); combine them with your technical skills and be your best you.  

Power Statement: When you uncover all your strengths you can draw from it and transform into a “Box Buster”



In our academic pursuits, relationships, and work lives most of our actions are determined by form of motivation. In other words, “If I do this…what’s in for me?” Find the origin of your motivation; consider these questions to help you understanding yourself better: 


Are you internally or externally focused?

What motivates your successes?

What drives you?

What fuels your passion?

What keeps you connected to the things you love to do?


Know where your passion originates; it is a career/life selling point.  Understand that your fuel source must be replenished; or you will run on empty. A couple of ways I replenish my fuel sources is to tap into the seven motivation channels, which are books, tapes, music, places, positive people, movies, and conferences.


Power Statement: Find Your Life’s Work Not a Work life!  Become a BOX BUSTER




It is important to recongnize your accomplishments because this is the well spring from which you will draw your strength and reassurance that you can accomplish anything you put your mind too. When you face a challenge, remember you faced previous challenges, overcame them, and achieved victory. I don’t know who I am talking to, but someone in the listening audience needs to hear this. Be Encouraged.


Take some time out of your busy schedule to do some self- inventory, and self-reflection. Take a good hard look at of how far you have come and how blessed you have been.  Remember that you have always been solution driven with high energy.  So no matter what you may be going through, hang in there and believe in yourself.  An activity I do to help me remember my great accomplishments – I call it my “Ministry of Remembrance”. I sit down and close my eyes and I thank God for putting me in places beyond my education and training. I thank Him for all the doors he has open and all the skills and capabilities He has allowed me to acquire over the years.


Power Statement: It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. Become a “Box Buster”


My prayer is that you allow this message to saturate your spirit and stir your soul.  After hearing this PODCAST, you might pick up that pen and start writing that book or get that business plan in place, change jobs; it doesn’t matter what it is just be all you can be at it and know that you and God GOT THIS.  I empower you to do a reset, recharge and, reengage and go at life harder than ever did before (because we don’t get a do over, this is not a dress rehearsal) this is your life take charge and show the world what you got. BE A “BOX BUSTER” and take the limits off.


Thanks so much for listening in.

If you have enjoyed our time together please share this podcast, or tell a friend about it.  Mark your calendars for the upcoming Voices of Encouragements Women’s Empowerment Workshop scheduled for Saturday, June 9th. For more information email me at Voemetoday@gmail.com.

Have a triple P Week: Powerful, Positive, and Productive

Until we meet again remember Ephesians 4:11 “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called”