Sarah Jakes Roberts is a wild woman. Not wild in the traditional sense, exactly, but a woman that is confident that she can master everything she takes on. She’s so confident, in fact, that the businesswoman, pastor, motivational speaker, and bestselling author has named the final chapter in her latest book, Woman Evolve: Break Up with Your Fears and Revolutionize Your Life, “Wild Woman.”
“It was important to me that “Wild Woman” is how we end the book,” says Roberts. “Because it’s my call for us women to think about our lives and careers as a series of dreams realized, that doesn’t end with the first dream.” A term that fights the very skewed narrative about womanhood—a Wild Woman simply doesn’t choose. She can have the children, climb the ladder, and launch her business. “And wild because at the end of the day, sis, you can be incredible in the boardroom and need a therapist for your toxic relationship,” says Roberts. That is to say—we can have all things together on one side and still be a work in progress on the other.
Inspired by an in-depth look at the infamous Biblical Eve and her journey in the wilderness, Robert takes readers into a fresh perspective—revealing Eve in a light not often depicted in religious spaces. A character so often vilified in history, many fail to remember that Eve’s moment in that garden is only a portion of her story. It’s not the fullness of her story. “I needed to tell Eve’s story because Eve’s story is my story,” reads an excerpt in her book. “And we’ve all got some Eve in us,” says Roberts. You know, those “oops” moments where we knew better but didn’t exactly do better.
Roberts’ pride in seeing women live out their fullest potential has led her to her life’s work. The very reason she calls her book and the larger movement, Woman Evolve. ”If you’re ready to dig into this with me, and I hope that you are, you’ll need to access the parts of you that you don’t often take the time to explore,” says Roberts to her readers. So, for Glamour‘s latest edition of Doing the Work, Roberts is redefining how we look at self care by introducing soul care into the mix.
A useful piece of advice she’d give her younger self:
Speak up. I received a lot of projections from other people about who they thought I would be or what they thought I could do. So much so that when I felt like I couldn’t live up to that projection, I quit altogether, instead of recognizing that what they were having is a conversation, not a declaration—that I had the opportunity to say, “I can see why you think that about me, but I feel like I would be better in this space.”
Women who helped gauge her potential:
As a teen mom, I had three idols: Whoopi Goldberg, who had a child as a teenager, Oprah Winfrey, and then [media tycoon] Cathy Hughes. In them, I saw that you could be successful as a Black woman after having a child. But as a woman of faith, I didn’t see anything that allowed my faith to be mirrored in that success. I questioned if both could live in the same space. And I spent a long time feeling like they can’t.
The piece of professional advice that’s always stuck with her:
Brené Brown always asks the question, “What’s a piece of advice you’ve been given that’s so bad you need to warn others?” And a piece of advice that I received that I actually didn’t listen to, and I’m glad I didn’t, is to give the people what they want. So go wild. Be crazy. Don’t try and fit in a box, anyone’s box. The faith box, the culture box, the corporate box. Don’t worry about the box, be you. Sweet and spicy or sweet and sour. Do and be all of the things and then fall in love with the fact that you’re free enough to live in this space that is uncultivated because it’s fit just for you.