I have some fantastic news for you. Your success doesn’t have anything to do with the cards you’ve been dealt!
I’m serious. Whatever your situation – 6 feet tall or 5 feet tall, $10K per year or $250K, divorced parents, parents still married, lack of formal education, ivy league education, loss of your husband to suicide, spouse is still alive, married or remarried, divorced or separated…whatever it is, your future success is not dependent on these things!
Your success is SOLELY and COMPLETELY determined by the thoughts that you have about those things.
If you believe, as I did, that not having a formal four year degree will hinder you from success than that may well be the case for you. I did believe this and I sold myself short for quite some time. I still do sometimes…it’s a work in progress. Even as I became successful working in international education (yep, seriously…without a formal education) I had a serious impostor complex and spent so much time in the fear of being “found out”. I didn’t show up as my authentic self, I avoided conversations, and I hid from people.
When I thought about my success, even without the degree, I chalked it up to the CEO of the company giving me a shot (over and over) vs. believing it had to do with my intense work ethic and ability to figure things out. I didn’t give myself credit for all that I did. I told myself my success was because of someone else. It may well have been true that when I was hired she was giving me a shot, but the work I did after that was all on me. I created the opportunities to move up because I worked hard and found solutions to problems for myself and the company. I didn’t see it that way. I thought my success was because I’d proven myself worthy in her eyes through my hard work, but that my efforts and experience would never amount to anything if I tried to work somewhere else. Wow, right?
My confidence wavered because I believed for so long that I couldn’t be successful if “everyone” knew the truth about my education. It’s possible that some people would have been appalled and dismayed that I had been working in the capacity I did (Director-level and acting CEO at one point). However, it’s also possible that some people would have been impressed and some people may have been completely indifferent to it.
None of their opinions actually matter. The only thing that matters is what I think about it and the longer I thought I was a fraud and wasn’t capable of success, the more true I found it to be (even when I was successful in rank and financially by my standards, as well as many other people’s). It’s so interesting, isn’t it? I poo-pooed my own success by focusing on my perceived limitations.
So here’s the thing. I love that the CEO of the company took a chance on me in hiring me. I love that she saw my potential. I love that she appreciated my hard work, tenacity and determination. I love that she wanted to see me succeed. These expressions of belief and appreciation from the CEO, however, were not what created my success.
My thoughts about wanting to prove myself, my desire to go above and beyond, my inclination to learn and my drive to be so good “no one would ever know” were all part of my success. You see, even the so-called negative thoughts I had, drove my success. Now I can see that I rose above my perceived limitations and created success by learning from others and teaching myself everything I needed to know to be competent and go beyond expectation at each level. I went above and beyond the requirements of the position which led to each promotion. I took my “inadequacies” and found ways to overcome them.
Now I understand that while culturally speaking my lack of a formal four year degree may be a challenge to opening some doors, challenges are present to help you grow and rise above them. I did just that! I’m not a fraud. I’m not lacking. I’m not incapable. I’m vulnerable, strong and resilient. I’m a seeker of knowledge and expertise. I can do whatever I choose and can be whatever I want to be regardless of my circumstances!
There are so many ways that doors open…sometimes people open them for you, sometimes you have to pull the open, sometimes you push them, sometimes you have to knock them down, and sometimes you have to climb through the window to get inside. There’s always a way!
How will you open the door?
With love & grace,
P.S. If you feel like you’re at the mercy of your story and can’t seem to find your way out, but you want to with every part of your being, you are in the right place. We can do this together. You’ll be able to reset your story so that you can reclaim your life with confidence, compassion and courage! It is absolutely all within your grasp.
It’s a process.
It’s not always easy.
It’s extremely revealing.
It’s ultimately empowering.
It is SO worth it! AND so are YOU!
Join me for a free 30-minute session so we can talk about what’s going on for you and how we can work together to get you where you want to be and beyond! It’s the first step on this next phase of your journey.
I can’t wait to meet you!