When I was growing up, mornings were hectic. I hurriedly slurped up my oatmeal, which was always a little too hot for my mouth, as my mother pinched my legs with her acrylic nails in an attempt to help me put on my tights. We would both get suited up in our weekday uniform. I was cloaked in a pleated wool jumper that was worn over a white short sleeved scalloped neck shirt, black tights, black penny loafers and a seasonally appropriate jacket. My mother wore some variation of the regulation businesswoman suit, the type with the shoulder pads that was all the rage in the mid-90’s, purchased from Filene’s Basement or Loemans, no doubt. The suit was accompanied by black tights, a single breasted black trench coat and worn in New Balances. Her heels were either in her purse or at her work desk. We would exit the house together to be carted off separately to our destinations.
Repeat after me: I will no longer let someone else dictate my success or my failure. When you say that, it doesn’t only apply to your climbing up the ladder or building your credibility, but also how much your time, talent, and handwork are all worth. Too often, I’ve seen friends with amazing skills downplay their abilities and in turn they don’t ask for appropriate pay. Let’s learn from each other’s mistakes. Don’t sell yourself short, instead let the pay rise to your level.
I’ve been thinking a lot about opportunities and limitations. What is given to us and what we must take. And also the things that separate the haves from the have nots. While some opportunities are pure luck, there’s also a percentage that’s based on drive and self conviction. Have you ever wondered why some of the most talented people aren’t on everyone’s A-list? Why you’re not where you’d like to be and why someone you know is? Because of social media, it appears as if everyone is living the life. You’re supposed to put your best foot forward. I get that, but where’s the reality? Tell me if I’m wrong. Doesn’t it often look like you’re only seeing the fairy tale version leading you to believe that maybe so-and-so is always on top…never has a bad day… has everything going for them? Last month I posted an inspiration photo that read “I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet.” Let me just expand that. I will not compare myself to strangers, acquaintances, and colleagues. Trust me when I say this is a struggle and the struggle is real.