I’ve never been big on making New Year’s resolutions, but I believe the beginning of each new year is an opportunity to think about the things in our lives that work for us and those that aren’t in our best interest. It takes courage to make big changes, but if we continue to hang on to bad relationships and the questionable ways we handle some of the things in our lives, it’s the very definition of insanity:
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
One of my favorite movies is Working Girl. It’s one of those films I can watch again and again. It’s a snapshot of the ‘80s when women wore power suits, had serious hair, and fought for their place at the corporate table. Working Girl is as relevant today as it was then. Women are still fighting for our place at the table, but there is one big difference: Women are helping one another create their own tables.
My favorite line from Working Girl is when Melanie Griffiths’ character says to her girlfriend, played by the brilliant actress, Joan Cusack, “Who makes it happen? We make it happen!” Both statements are ones every woman should print out and put on her desk or her refrigerator. The ability to make things happen is the result of knowing what you want and having the courage to go after it.
For many of us, the hard part is figuring out what we want.
I could give you the usual advice like “Start with something you’re good at,” but I’m going to suggest you ALLOW YOURSELF TO DREAM BIG! That’s another one for the fridge.
Early in my career, I wanted to try my hand at being a sports photographer. While I could have gained experience shooting pictures at the local Little League games, I approached the sports editor of the biggest newspaper in San Antonio and asked if he’d give me press credentials for a Dallas Cowboys home game. Not only did he say, “Yes,” but after he saw my photographs of the game, he gave me a press pass for the entire season.
Did that take courage on my part? You bet, but if I hadn’t asked, I would have been my own glass ceiling. One thing I know for sure is most people just talk about what they’re going to do “someday,” but few follow through.
By having the courage to dream big, and ask for what you want, you’ve eliminated most of your competition.
Something else I know for sure is that “no” is just a word, and no doesn’t hurt. If the sports editor had told me, “No,” it wouldn’t have been a reflection of me or my abilities, plus no today doesn’t mean no tomorrow. In other words, don’t let no keep you from moving forward.
And finally, be relentless. Nothing is easy, but if you don’t like where you are in life, do something about it. Don’t wake up one day and regret the “what ifs” and “if only I had.”
As you think about the things you want to change this year and the new chapter you want to write, believe in yourself. Respect how you talk to yourself, and believe the best parts are yet to come. Then seize them with both hands and make them happen.
Who makes them happen? We make them happen!