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A Female Pastor Shares the Power of Evolving for Career Success

When pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts was 23, a history of unhealthy relationships, insecurity, and teen pregnancy stigma weighed heavily on her.

It was then that the bestselling author realized she had agency in her life and, if she wanted to, she could evolve rather than settle. So she did, and chose to dedicate her life’s work to showing other women how to do the same by founding the ministry Woman Evolve

“I stopped seeing my life as something I was trying to build, but rather a tool that could help other women rebuild,” said Jakes Roberts, author of the book “Woman Evolve: Break up with Your Fears and Revolutionize Your Life,” which is set to be released April 6. “The painful moments of my life that cost me the most to survive have helped so many women feel less alone. When I had this realization, I was left with no choice but to dedicate my life to making sure every woman feels seen while also being challenged to grow.”

Jakes Roberts founded the ministry in 2017 with her husband, Touré, with whom she shares six children. She and Touré are co-pastors for Women Evolve at The Potter’s House at One LA in Los Angeles, and The Potter’s House of Denver in Colorado. Their mission is to help women “to awaken healing, wholeness, and love for themselves and others,” according to Jakes Roberts’ website.

Jakes Roberts has been featured and quoted by several media outlets including “Today,” as well as in publications including The Associated Press and Essence. Among her accolades are being named National Overcomer by Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities, which was in partnership with Robin Roberts, co-host of “Good Morning America.”

Evolving to heal

Despite her professional success, Jakes Roberts never guessed she’d be doing the kind of work she’s doing today. 

“If you would have told me five years ago that I would be in full-time ministry, I would have asked if you were talking to the right person,” she wrote on her website.

Specifically, Jakes Roberts never expected to evolve in a way that allowed her to reach these heights. 

“The most unexpected way I have evolved is my potential,” Jakes Roberts said. “As long as you think your potential is limited — it is. When you come to a place where you no longer subscribe to the limitations created by fear and insecurity, you’re able to awaken the creativity and strategy central to creating a limitless life.”

Finding your purpose 

For women who know how to use their talents and gifts, and yet don’t know how to turn them into a business or simply monetize them, Jakes Roberts’ advice is to take yourself out of the equation and instead consider what you can do for others.

“The best way to avoid the frustration of not being able to monetize your gift or talent is to find the thing that you will do for free. Brands, organizations, and partners place value on the impact of what you offer,” she explained. “The more you’re able to focus on maximizing impact, the more opportunities you will have for monetization.” 

Leaning on mentors

She explained that this is the approach she took when deciding to begin her ministry. However, she didn’t go it alone when finding her path to success. 

“I was never seeking to generate income; I wanted to effect change and, in doing so, I’ve found mentors, specifically female business leaders, who’ve helped me become more confident in communicating the value of my impact to potential partners,” Jakes Roberts said.

Harnessing confidence 

Jakes Roberts explained that this confidence was crucial to her success. For women struggling in this area, she offered a quick tip to try: 
“I read an article from Ellen Petry Leanse that challenged women to remove the word ‘just’ from their vocabulary,” she said. “It seemed so simple, but when I removed it from my emails, I recognized how it forced me to become more assertive by presenting my vision, thoughts, and ideas without shrinking or seeking approval or permission.”

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