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“Well-behaved women seldom make history” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Doesn’t feel like the type of empowering mantra we expect women to live by, does it? In fact, it seems to dignify poor behavior. However, I think people interpret this incorrectly, so bear with me as I take a moment to share my version of it.
And as I do so, you’ll get a glimpse into who I am and what my goals are as I begin this blog and hopefully I can teach you a thing or two – man or woman – about making history.
I vividly remember my 4th grade teacher telling me I needed to work on softening my arm movements for the Christmas program. Apparently, I wasn’t graceful enough and I found myself suddenly relocated to the back row with all the awkward boys. While my feelings were hurt, it was truly a defining moment. If I couldn’t be graceful, I may as well be rough and tough; at least I’d be good at it. I came to accept I wasn’t one of the soft, sweet-smelling girls; I was the girl who came in after the lunch bell, sweaty but triumphant after winning the kickball game.
Often times it’s the definition of who we are in the box that keeps us from reaching our potential.
We hear messages at an early age such as, “He’s not that good of a reader,” or “school has always been a challenge.” Now we’re comfortably nestled in a box someone else defined, but isn’t it our box to define? Shouldn’t we be the one to not only decide who are in the box but outside of it as well? Because that’s where history is made, folks…outside the box. Predictable or “well-behaved” simply means you’ve done a thorough job within the confines of your expected role.
I encourage you take hold of your life and define your own history.
Take on challenges you’d otherwise been too afraid to face, and whether you succeed or fail, revel in the fact that you broke out of your box knowing something risky was waiting for you there. After over 20 years of career coaching and 10 years of teaching, I know just a couple of things. Once you realize the only one in control of you is you, suddenly you feel free to take your box to the top of the hill and slide down as fast as you can, screw the fact that the whole thing may crumple.