Successful Women Don’t Know Their Place
One of the things that made me most proud of my grandmother was that she did not have believe that there were any limitations on what she was able to do with her life. Growing up in the early 20th Century, it would have been easy to accept that her life was somehow limited by her skin color. But she understood what all successful women should, your potential is only limited by your desire and willingness to work towards your dream. Billie was never afraid to dream or to work towards making dreams reality. It was that spirit that led her to leave home and pursue a career in dance and later to become an entrepreneur. Billy had an internal drive that pushed her to achieve, others need a little help from others.
I can remember when I was think about going to law school. I had gone to a career counselor because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The first time I went to see the counselor she asked me what I wanted to do when I was a child. I told her that when I was a little girl I wanted to be a lawyer or a journalist. In college I focused on journalism, but discarded the idea when I realized the starting pay for a young journalist was very low. But somehow, I never got back around to the law. After graduation I took a job at a bank and began to work like many people do. After a couple of years, I realized that I was not going to be happy at the bank for the rest of my life but I could not visualize any other path. I found myself settling for the opportunities my superiors saw as good for me rather than pursuing the options that were interesting to me.
During my conversations with the career counselor, law school kept coming up. I had so many reasons why I could not do it, I would not do well on the LSAT, I could not afford to quit my job and the excuses went on and on. Finally, one day I went by the law school and I stood staring at a rack of LSAT registration booklets. As I stood there, paralyzed, a woman walked by and said, “Are you thinking of going to law school?, you should go.” I was stunned and I told her I did not think I could afford it, that I had waited too long since undergrad and that I would not be able to quit my job. She looked at me and told me that she was 36 years old she had a 12 year old daughter and she was a full time law student. She assured me that I was making excuses because if she could do it I could do it. I picked up the book, but in the back of my mind I still did not believe that I could do it.
Well the woman was right, I could do it and by the next August I was a law student. I did it by setting incremental goals. Each time I would achieve a goal I would set another one until there was nothing else to do but go to school. The key thing is that each time I achieve a goal, I get a little more confident. Billie never doubted that she could make her dreams come true, she just took incremental steps toward making the dream a reality. It just goes to show that once you begin to change your thought process there are no insurmountable obstacles, only challenges that need to be methodically attacked.