SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
Financial expert and business auditor Latiera Streeter is unveiling the truth behind a portion of her success in the newest volume of “Dear Fear: 10 Powerful Lessons on Living Your Best Life on the Other Side of Fear.’’
The Daytona Beach native and Mainland High School alum is one of 10 new authors contributing to the third volume of the groundbreaking series and movement led by author and entrepreneur Tiana Patrice.
“Dear Fear” encourages each author to dive deep into their story and share it in order to reach back and pull someone else forward.
‘Power in forward motion’
In her writing debut, Streeter proclaims: “Fear, I will not let you try to rationalize and barter with me to lower [my expectations] and then ultimately give up. For there is power in forward motion… I’ve learned to embrace the beauty of imperfection.’’
With more than a decade of professional experience in the financial sector, Streeter has seen her fair share of challenges – from clients too comfortable with outdated accounting tools to a lack of internal controls that leave a business’ financial records in disarray.
A ‘perfection’ problem
However, the challenges presented by clients have never compared to the expectations of her family and her natural tendency to strive for perfection.
“For as long as I can remember, my mother worked to provide a great life for me. My grandfather showered me with love. My grandmother showed me the importance of having pride in myself. Collectively, my family instilled in me what was both an honor and a burden,’’ explained Streeter, who now lives in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
“In me, they saw the person who would do better, go farther and achieve greater than anything they could imagine. At 5, that’s not a problem. At 15, the weight of those expectations bred fear and, to beat fear, I consistently aimed for perfection.”
On dealing with loss
Now 35, Streeter has experienced both sides of fear: falling prey to it and using it as motivation to propel her life forward.
In “Dear Fear,’’ she unpacks the pitfalls of trying the meet others’ expectations and perfectionism. She also shares the impact and self-doubt that comes with failing on a public stage.
Before becoming the queen of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, an historically Black university, she campaigned for and lost other titles in her Daytona Beach community and the college campus.
Each loss was in front of an audience of people she knew and respected, causing her to question her worth and the validity of the expectations her family placed on her.
“I was devastated each time I lost,” said Streeter. “But, I put on a smile and pretended like I was fine. The image everyone else had of me demanded I wear a mask that held a perpetual smile. The truth was that I was breaking under the weight of these expectations. I had to break out of that mold but I had no idea where to begin.”
Released last month
Patrice noted, “The response we are receiving from ‘Dear Fear’ is amazingly overwhelming. My vision was to give women a voice and visibility and to liberate us all from the things fear has convinced us we could not do.
“This book is where women from all walks of life can come and be one, with one mission: To live their best life on the other side of fear.”
“Dear Fear” was released across the country in April and is available online at www.LatieraStreeter.com.