Archive for the ‘Emotional Ice Water’ Category
With the world spinning at a crazy pace, what can we actually control? Probably not politics other than to exercise our right to vote. Probably not the economy other than to pay close attention to our personal income and expenditures. Probably not the weather.
What can we control? We can control our own thoughts, words, actions and our personal attitude.
A bad attitude is like a flat tire. Change it or you are not going very far, very fast or very smoothly.
Situations happen and not all of them are exactly the way we anticipated or desired. We cannot always change what has happened but we can always control our attitude. We have the right, the ability, and the responsibility to control our personal attitude.
We can choose to growl, grumble and complain – none of which will be likely to achieve any positive result for anyone, including ourselves. We can choose to ignore it and hope that it goes away; that may work for an ostrich which sticks their head in the sand, but not highly recommended for humans. We can choose to adopt the attitude of “what good can come from this?”
When you intentionally look for the good, you are far more likely to find it.
You apply to refinance your house. You go through all of the hoops, loops and mountain of paperwork with assurances that all is well and everything is going forward. Days, weeks and perhaps a few months drag by only to be ultimately denied. What can you do? You can apply to another financial establishment, you can plead your case with this one, or you can go to work correcting whatever element caused you to be denied. If your credit score was too low, start working on raising it. If your income was low, find a way to earn more money. You can adopt the attitude of being appreciative that they flagged you on the items to make your life better. The situation is the same; it is your attitude which can find the positive now and for the future.
Adopt the same mindset for a big sale, relationship or promotion. You may have had your heart set on the achievement. You were already dreaming
about the future with as a fact. Take a moment to adjust. What good can come from this unexpected result? Could it be that something better is just around the corner? In any case what benefit is there to you or anyone else by adopting a negative “oh woe is me” attitude? None.
What good can come from this?
Though it may feel like it for a short time, no sale, relationship or promotion loss is fatal.
No matter what happens in your daily life, the one element you can always control is your attitude.
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” John C. Maxwell
Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring
Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation. Let me inspire you to reach your potential. www.Elaine4Success.com, www.Elaine4Success.com/contact.
Are you the one on the limb?
Self-sabotaging behaviors plague all of us at one time or another. Dieters do it by reaching for that box of Mother’s Day chocolates, bag of chips or the cookie jar. Fitness goals are self-sabotaged by rationalizing excuses to skip the gym. We’ve all done it.
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the false story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” Jordan Belfort
Self- sabotage is not uncommon or truly unconscious, but it is extremely unproductive.
How Frequently Do We Engage in Self-Sabotage?
Frequently self-sabotage is not a conscious decision to engage in self-defeating behavior, it is an unconscious reaction to old programming. Determining the cause is the first step to stopping this unwanted and highly unproductive behavior.
A talkative mouse, a rat, and a small shrew were trapped in a flood, desperately clinging to the side of a lily pad – and sinking fast! A helpful owl came to their rescue, first telling the rat to clamp its teeth onto its talons as the owl flew to safety and then returning for the shrew, who received similar instructions. Finally, as the tides rose ever higher, the owl came back for our talkative mouse.
“You are rescued and will live!” said the owl. “But I’ve noticed you talk a lot. Promise me you’ll keep your mouth closed around my legs and on no account open it, or you’ll fall to your fate!”
“Of course!” said the mouse, who proceeded to clamp his mouth onto his feathered rescuer’s landing gear.
They took off and flew across the floods. The owl was about to land on some high ground, but the mouse decided he wanted to alight some other place to get dry.
“Not there…” shouted the mouse, but those were the last words he ever spoke as he fell into the swirling waters below.
How frequently are we opening our mouth or our minds to negative thoughts or self-defeating behavior?
What Causes Self-Sabotage?
It won’t work out anyway. Failure is a familiar feeling – a bad feeling but an all too familiar feeling to the point that it becomes an expectation. People stay in abusive personal or professional relationships; people stay in bad marriages; people stay in jobs they don’t like. Why do people tolerate negative situations? Sometimes it is rationalized that at least they know what to expect and there may be nothing better out there. How will you know if you don’t at least try?
This is too good to last. The unconscious need to be in control kicks in and they quit their job out of fear that they will be promoted and they will fail at the higher level position. How many times have you heard “Quit while you are ahead.” Is it a need to be in control or a fear of failing if they move upward?
What happens if I fail? Fear of failure kicks in when someone wants to start their own business but are afraid of failing as a business owner, so they stay in a job rather than step out of their comfort zone and test their abilities at building a successful business. They shortchange themselves and their future based on nothing more than self-defeating thoughts – self-sabotage.
I don’t deserve to be successful. Undeservability is a huge issue. Low self-esteem caused by negative programming as a child may still be plaguing many people in adulthood. It could be pressure caused by well-meaning adults who thought they were pushing you to do more and achieve more. This pressure to be perfect (and none of us are perfect 100% of the time) and falling short creates self-defeating thoughts; it manifests in a feeling of not achieving enough so success must not be deserved.
Bad habits. Over eating, chemical abuse, anger or negative self-talk can all be ways of temporarily masking low self-esteem. We know better but do it anyway. Self-sabotage.
Cures for Self-Sabotage
Awareness. You can’t cure what you don’t know exists. Forget about justifying, rationalizing or making excuses. Make a conscious decision to observe your thoughts and actions. When you catch yourself engaging in self-sabotage, pause what you are doing and think about why you are thinking or acting in that way. You can’t change something unless you notice what you are doing and attempt to determine why. This is not about blame; it is about stopping self-sabotage.
Success is Not All or Nothing. Building a successful business is a matter of placing ads which contain the right words to attract your target audience; ideally these ads are in the publications where your target audience is most likely to see them. In addition the unknown factor is timing the ads to appear at the moment when the target audience is most receptive to your message. Hitting 100% of those factors 100% of the time is not likely. Missing the timing occasionally does not mean failure; it may only mean a temporary delay. Success in writing and placing ads is not all or nothing; it may mean filling the prospect pipeline for later.
Cut Yourself Some Slack. Perfectionism is overrated. You are probably making a greater positive impression on people than you know. You are probably doing a better job than you give yourself credit for doing. Set a goal to better your best. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, it just means that you have to strive to constantly improve. A continual one percent improvement every three days is still 100% improvement in a year. Set a goal of 1% per day and you will be 365% better in a year.
Self-Sabotage is Self-Defeating
Be aware of what you are doing and why; why are you destroying yourself and your goal achievement. You deserve to be successful. You deserve to be building a successful business instead of being stuck in a dead end job with a boss who does not appreciate you. Success is not perfection; success is continually bettering your own best. Get out of your own way and achieve your goals. You can do it! Self-sabotage is for losers; you are a winner.
Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation. www.Elaine4Success.com, www.Elaine4Success.com/contact, (reprint of an article written for Rod Davis)
How many times have you felt an inner GRRR and realized that perhaps an attitude adjustment was in order? If you are like me, probably more times than you care to admit.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.”
You cannot always adjust the situation to your preferences, but you can always adjust your attitude about the situation.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
Have you ever had your bank account, email, or credit card hacked? Me too. It is a genuine pain in the schedule. Every time you turn around there is one more adjustment to be made to set things right. You can whine, complain, feel sorry for yourself or blame others. None of these will make any change whatsoever in the situation or what needs to be done to correct it. You can say “This is not a good time for this. I don’t have time to deal with this right now.” Okay, I get it. Be honest, there is never a good time for a hacker to invade your life.
I recently had a hacker get through the online banking system enough to change my personal contact information in one account. After the initial “Oh no” (or something to that effect), I said “Thank you to the fraud department at Wells Fargo that they caught it so fast. The fraud department was on it instantly before any money could be transferred.” Yes it was a pain to change the automatic deposits, automatic payments, order new checks, and reconcile all of the transactions. The good news was that they were my transactions and not those of the hacker.
Attitude choices: Whine, Complain, Get Frustrated, Get Angry or Get Busy and Get it Done.
“I cannot change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean
Life is a continual adjustment of internal feelings to external situations.
Building a successful business is never a smooth, easy, gentle learning curve. The challenges and the way you face them either give you ulcers or a few more stars in “Entrepreneurship Heaven.” Maybe it is a throwback to elementary school, raising a family or . . . but I prefer stars.
“It’s not the heavy load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it.”
There was a well-known speaker (temporary memory lapse on her name) who lugged suitcases stacked on top of suitcases, back packs and dragging a cart with more boxes on to the stage. Each case and box was labeled: anger, guilt, blame, pity party, whine, and every other imaginable complaint. Her theme was that you can mentally and emotionally drag all of that with you all day every day or you can release it and go forward with your life.
Personally, conducting an attitude adjustment is far easier than dragging that useless, unproductive baggage.
“When we put things off until some future – probably mythical – laterland, we drag the past into the future. The burden of yesterday’s incompletions is a heavy load to carry. Don’t carry it.” It’s far easier on your shoulders, back and spirit to conduct an attitude adjustment.
Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation. Go to: www.Elaine4Success.com, www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact
Blame and guilt can rob you of your happiness if you allow it.
How many victim-mentality people have you known in your life? They say the negative events in their life are someone else’s fault. Somehow they are always the victim but never the cause.
What happens in their life is never their fault.
If they are always the victim, then it stands to reason that they have no power or control over their life. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be standing on the sidelines helplessly watching my life unfold before me. Controlling every event of life is unrealistic, but expecting to control some decisions and events is certainly possible.
If we are not helpless, we must assume some measure of responsibility. Personally the role of a victim is totally unappealing to me. In order to avoid that uncomfortable position, it means accepting a role which may be even more uncomfortable. We are responsible for everything which happens to us. This can be both an uncomfortable position and a powerful position at the same times. It means that we are totally responsible for the good and the bad in our life.
In my book, Emotional Ice Water, the cover tag line is “It’s not what they say or do. It’s what YOU think, feel and do.” For my life, that means that what happens in my life is directly related to what I think, feel and do. I am responsible for my life.
This is an empowering and a daunting feeling. Once you take full responsibility for the events in life, you know you are in control. Does it mean that nothing bad will ever happen again? Yes and no. Events will happen which were not your original desire, but does that necessarily mean that they are bad? No.
Recently while driving on the interstate I encountered my first flash flood. Pumping the brakes did not help. Moving the steering wheel did not yield any control. As I watched the car moving closer and closer to the concrete abutment, I was truly unable to stop or swerve. This was not a desirable situation or one that I had wanted to occur. Was it bad? It could have been a disaster. Fortunately, as I neared the concrete, the car slowed and came to a rest before crashing into the concrete. Shaking, I maneuvered the car back on to the interstate and proceeded to an exit.
Still shaking I called a friend who answered the phone and calmed me enough that I was able to get out of the car and step on stage to give my speech.
How was I responsible for that situation? Upon reflection, my thoughts were fearful that I would be late to step on stage. My own thoughts were fearful and the incident with the car produced similar fearful thoughts.
My thoughts created more like thoughts. Speaking with my friend produced reassurance which generated more reassurance. Like thoughts create like thoughts and events. The situation with the car was not anyone else’s fault. It was a one car situation. It was not a matter of blame or guilt, but one of responsibility.
Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business and communications professional – business coach, presentations coach/trainer and content writer. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com
How many times have you been hurt by the words or actions of another person? If you are
like most people who have been around other people for a few years, you have been hurt. Whether the other person intended to hurt you or even knew that you had been hurt is not the issue. The fact is that your feelings were hurt.
Time to Heal
It takes time to heal from any wound – physical, emotional or imaginary. How long it takes is actually within your control. You may not be able to control what was said or done, but you can control how you respond to it.
“It’s not about what they say or do. It’s what you think, feel and do.” You cannot control the words or actions of others. You can control your thoughts, feelings and actions.
How long it takes you to heal is up to you. The sooner you forgive the other person, the shorter your time to heal. You do not forgive for their sake. You forgive for your sake. You forgive them in order to heal and move forward with your life. The longer you hold the pain as a fresh hurt, the longer it will take you to heal?
React with Guilt and Self-Pity and Extend the Pain
An acquaintance just wrote me a very long email. He expressed his pain and his guilt for being at work in another country during his mother’s sudden illness. He did not make it back to his home country in time to see her alive. My heart breaks for him. He was very close to his mother and it is a tragedy that he did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to her.
Unfortunately, blaming himself for being at work, feeling guilty for being at work, and immersing himself in the guilt and pain does not change anything. He openly speaks about holding on to a prior pain for ten years now. He has a pattern of holding on to pain rather than healing and moving forward with life.
Act with Dignity and Heal Faster
A friend of mine was in line to be President of an organization. One of the self-appointed controllers of the organization decided to put someone else in the role. Some unkind and unjustified rumors were spread and he was asked to step down. He acquiesced with eloquence and style. Even though what was said about him was untrue, he chose to present himself with dignity.
Regardless of the words and actions of others, he chose to speak and act in the manner of a gentleman and a leader. Did the unkind actions of others hurt him? Yes. Could he have responded differently? Yes, he could have defended himself. He could have lashed out at those who hurt him. He could have refused to step down. I admire the attitude and action he chose.
Demonstrate Healthy Behavior
Kevin Trudeau was once asked how to help someone who was depressed or drinking or some other deep problem. He replied, “Work on yourself.” The best thing you can do for others is to demonstrate a healthy attitude and healthy actions in your own life.
It’s not about what they say or do. It’s about what YOU think, feel and do.
Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business and communications professional – business coach, presentations coach/trainer and content writer. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com
“Destiny is not a matter of chance it’s a matter of choice it’s not a thing to be waited for, it’s a thing to be achieved.“ – Winston Churchill
The national economy is teetering on the brink. The powerful question is “teetering on which brink – the brink of disaster or the brink of recovery?”
The national economy is a concern. Individually, you cannot solve the national economy. Your primary concern is even closer to home; it is your personal situation. Your personal tipping point may be finances, relationships or health. Your precarious brink may be personal or it may be your career. Either personal issues or business challenges may cause your mental and emotional stability to intensify teetering on the brink; this feeling of uncertainly lurks in the back of your mind and disrupts full concentration on other activities.
What do you do when your business or your life hits a tough patch?
Go Back to the Basics
Identify your top priority. Be very clear about your top priority.
If you are not absolutely positive of your top priority, that is the first item of uncertainty to be clarified.
Write free-flow for ten minutes without stopping. Everything is possible. Write everything you would ever like to achieve. When the buzzer rings at the end of ten minutes, sit back and take a long cool drink of water. Read your list. Select your most important ten items. Narrow it down to five. Place those five in priority order. If it helps, divide the list of five into short-term and long-term priorities. Trim the list to the top three. Of those three, which one is the most important to you? Which one is the most urgent?
Every decision you make can be filtered through the question “Does this take me closer to my goal?” If the answer is “yes,” go for it. If the answer is “no,” rethink your choice.
How do you reach your top priority?
Find intelligent, experienced people to discuss your options.
No bar-room benefactors who are crying the blues in their beer. No grumpy “the whole world is conspiring against me” whiners. Choose clear-headed friends who will listen and offer sound advice when you ask for it. Avoid angry, controlling and “know it all” advisors. Look for someone who can be objective.
I once dated a man who said he was “often wrong but never in doubt.” Whether or not he knew the answer, he spoke with conviction as if he did. The lesson in this is to speak and act with conviction as you move toward your goal.
Hint guys: sometimes women want to talk through their thoughts and feelings out loud. They may not be asking you to solve the problem; they are asking you to listen as a friend.
Discuss your ideas and options with intelligent, experienced, and clear-headed mentors. Make the decision which is best for you. The final decision is yours. As the headline of the book Emotional Ice Water reads, “It’s
not what they say or do. It’s what you think, feel and do.” It is your goal. It is your life. It is your final decision.
Get spiritually grounded.
All of the 12 step programs recommend a higher power. My higher power is God. Acknowledging that a power exists greater than yourself can be very comforting.
Go for a walk in nature, read a good book, listen to soothing music, go visit a friend who needs comforting; do something to focus outside of yourself.
Healthy food and a restful night’s sleep can do wonders.
I once heard the acronym HALT – hungry, angry, lonely, tired. When you are experiencing any of these, it is difficult to be your clear-headed best-thinking self. Do a self-check and see if there is a basic need which must be addressed in order to make clear-headed decisions. Proceed with all of the advantages at your command.
Alcohol is a depressant. When you are feeling discouraged, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can send you into a massive downward spiral. Be aware of your intake, both food and beverages. Healthy choices increase healthy decisions.
Be honest with yourself.
Remember the question, “Does this decision take me closer to my goal?” Get totally honest with yourself. Focus on your top priority and keep moving toward it. If you have been lying to yourself, now is the time to stop. Be congruous with your core beliefs. Focus on your top priority and you will achieve it.
One of the best ways to stop teetering on the brink is to be absolutely clear about your top priority and make every decision and every action take you closer to the achievement of that top priority.
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
For more information on success in your life and your business, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com. Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact, www.Elaine4Success.net
From birth through our entire life’s journey, we are on a learning curve. What happens during
that learning curve is our choice.
“Wait a minute,” I hear your brain protesting. I did not choose to lose my job, get a divorce or have a car accident. True, you may not have chosen any of those events. You can choose how you respond to those events and what you learn in the process of dealing with those events.
You may choose a career change or it may be chosen for you. The timing may be different depending on who makes the decision. The choice of how you handle the situation is still up to you.
- You can choose to be angry, sulk, eat a gallon of ice cream, sit on the sofa and watch television all day or go feel sorry for yourself. Will any of those choices have a positive result? Probably not.
- You can choose to evaluate your options.
- Make a list of the things you liked about your job.
- Make a list of the things you did not like about the job.
- If you could create the ideal job for you, what specific duties would you be performing? This exercise helps you clarify and quantify your skills, interests and desires.
i. Where would these skills be needed? Start thinking about what industry or type of company would want to hire someone with these specific skills.
ii. How accurately does your resume reflect your qualifications for your ideal job?
iii. How committed are you to finding a new job? How anxious are you to find the right job for you? Are you willing to do something temporarily while you continue to search for your ideal career position?
- You can go into a funk or get busy planning and creating your future. Depending on your attitude this could be a disaster or an excellent opportunity. The choice of how you handle the situation is up to you.
The example given is a career choice. You could use the exact process for dealing with other unexpected life events. This process works for employee situations, market changes, and even personal relationships.
- What did you like about the former situation?
- What did you not like?
- What would you like to have if all options were available to you?
- What steps can you start taking right now to create your ideal situation?
Do you have or can you create an attitude of action and achievement? You may not have control of everything which happens in your life. You can control how you respond to life’s events.
The tag line at the top of the cover of Emotional Ice Water states “It’ not what they say or do. It’s what YOU think, feel and do.” This book is packed with positive ways to deal with negative situations. You have a choice how you respond.
For more information on identifying and releasing emotional blocks, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com. Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com.
What is your battle? This internal dilemma theme has been touted in the pop song, “Torn Between Two Lovers” and the movie of its origin, Doctor Zhivago. Country songs have moaned about it and our legal system is clogged with cases of two opposing viewpoints. One of the more definitive statements about internal turmoil is the Cherokee proverb, “There is a Battle of Two Wolves Inside Us All.”
One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, inferiority and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.
Which wolf wins? The one you feed.
Name Your Wolves
Who are your destructive wolves? Can you call them by name? Anger, blame, guilt, resentment and lack of deservability are among the most familiar. How often do you feed them? Allowing your thoughts to drift too frequently to these negatives or remain there too long and you may be feeding them a seven course meal instead of a snack.
Don’t think for even a moment that I have not ever fed them. Unfortunately there have been times when I felt sad, alone, hurt or even mistreated; those are the times I fed them. If anyone ever tells you that they have never been upset, angry, disappointed, resentful or even jealous, they are lying, forgetful or delusional. Experiencing the full range of emotions is normal human behavior.
The gentle wolf is when my small grandson snuggles up beside me and just cuddles. He doesn’t even want to talk or play, he just wants to be loved and feel safe and wanted. How many times in your life have you experienced the supreme bliss of just being with someone? Neither of you even had to say a word; you were content just being together.
Perhaps there were times you were consoling someone or being consoled when you felt better because they were there with you. Remember the times you did something for another person without wanting or expecting anything in return. Remember the warm feeling; it is like the glow of a fragrant candle in a dark room.
Jim Rohn, famous business philosopher, tells a tale of the “day that turns your life around.”
It may be the day you declare “I’ve had enough. Things are going to change right now.”
Jim tells the story of a young mother who asked her husband for ten dollars and he said “What for?” She vowed that very day that she would never ever ask for money again. She looked for new skills. She found the classes. She looked for new opportunities to stretch and grow. She kept looking until she found them. Twelve years later she was vice president of a major jewelry company in New York City.
Her entire life changed because she turned loose of the fur of the wolf which fed her inferiority and embraced the wolf of hope. Which wolf do you need to stop feeding and chase away? Which wolf do you need to embrace? The choice is yours.
The book Emotional Ice Water helps you identify each destructive wolf and release it. You know you will always receive more of whatever you give your time, energy and focus. Focus on the gentle wolves.
For more information on identifying and releasing emotional blocks, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com. Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching. Purchase the book Emotional Ice Water. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com.
Looking back over 2012, what were your highlights? Being a glass half full and optimistic person, I prefer to focus on the positives. Yes, I learn from the negatives as well as the positives. Since it is a known fact that we always receive more of whatever we give our time, energy and focus, I prefer to concentrate on the positive.
What were the personal highlights of 2012? What did you learn about yourself?
2012 was an eventful year for me. My first book, Emotional Ice Water was published. The comments about how much it helped people to get out of their own way and start truly living life to the fullest warmed my heart. One man very close to me said, “It was better than I thought it would be; that could be a compliment. I’ve decided to take it as a left-handed compliment.
Even though it was an entire year ahead of schedule, I became President of the Castle Pines Rotary club in July. With the unexpected turmoil which caused my early ascension, it has been a bumpy road but we are making progress. I jumped in with both feet up to the top of the curls and relate 100% to the values and mission of Rotary.
A few unexpected financial events have made a wonderful and truly appreciated upswing in income toward the end of 2012. That is never a bad turn of events. Nice way to end the year.
Which relationships meant the most to you in 2012?
Once again, the deepening friendships with Rotarians have astounded and pleased me.
In fact, the genuine outpouring of caring from friends and my sons has truly been heartwarming. I can’t say enough loving words about my sons. Wow, am I fortunate. I’ve laughed that I’m not certain if the fine men they have become is because of me or in spite of me, but I’m grateful nonetheless.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced this year and how did you handle it?
For me as for many Americans, the challenge was endeavoring to keep the income above the outgo. There are conflicting points of view as to whether the economy is getting better or if the Band-Aid on America’s debt will pull loose revealing a deep gash.
What did you do for fun in 2012? What was one of your fondest memories?
One of the highlights of my year is always related to my grandsons. Those adorable little guys have Gamma wrapped securely around their little hands. For instance at 5 am on Christmas morning both little guys pounce on the bed and say, “Up Gamma, you’re missing Christmas.” Sleepy-eyed but smiling, we all head upstairs to the Christmas tree.
Even though the questions and answers could continue, the importance is reflecting on 2012 in a positive way and seeking the wisdom to commit to making 2013 even better than 2012. Not just commit, but follow through.
When we build positives on positives, the world becomes a happier and more fulfilling place.
We all have obstacles to overcome. Even though the glass ceiling is not as impenetrable as it was in earlier decades,
women still have to prove their intelligence, high work ethic and innovative ideas in order to be regarded as qualified for a major leadership role. The old quote by Theodore Reik still holds true, “In our civilization, men are afraid that they will not be men enough and women are afraid that they might be considered only women.”
No, this is not gender bashing, it is simply reality.
The term “glass ceiling” was coined in the 1970s. The belief was that women had to outperform a man in order to get ahead. We have made remarkable strides in the last 40 years.
What do I know about a glass ceiling? You know me now as a successful entrepreneur but in 1972 in Detroit, MI, it was a different story. Working in a Goodyear Tire dealership as a very feminine lady was a daily challenge.
One day the district manager came into my office. After I resumed sitting at my desk, he remained standing and clearly stared down at me. I finally said, “Excuse me but my face is up here.” With a grin, he replied, “I want to be certain you knew I noticed.” Yes, I was wearing a sweater but it was certainly not a low neckline. The inference was obvious that I was to be regarded more as female than as an executive.
It took years of repeated incidents to finally prove I was in the position due to capability rather than gender-based favors. Even then the Motor City was not ready for a female to be treated as an equal in such a male-dominated industry. No matter how capably the job was performed, I was still regarded as only a woman.
No matter how many times the top of my curls bumped the glass ceiling, it did not crack. If I had acted, dressed or spoke like one of the guys, all authority would have been out the window. At least they eventually acted and spoke with respect, if not with acceptance of my authority and position.
History – Female Pioneers
Those who came before paved the way. These are a few of many known and unknown.
Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was the first woman in the United States to earn a college degree. She organized the first national women’s rights convention.
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) has her picture on an American coin for her efforts in giving women the right to vote.
Clara Barton (1821-1910) founded the American Red Cross.
Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995) in 1964 was the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States by a major party
Sandra Day O’Connor (1930 – ) was the first woman to serve as a justice on the US Supreme court.
Sally K. Ride (1951 – ) was the first American woman in space.
Sarah Palin (1964 – ) was governor of Alaska and Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican Party in the 2008 presidential campaign. She is a published author, mother of five and a groundbreaker for women in politics.
There are now 20 female CEO’s at the helm of America’s largest companies. It is only four percent, but it is still a noteworthy record. IBM led the charge with Ginni Rometty. Wal-Mart followed with Rosalind Brewer, not only the first female but the first African-American as well.
There are still obstacles to overcome. It is important to celebrate the progress women have made in previous decades to bring us to this point.
Who knows when it will happen, but we will have a woman President of the United States.