Remember the 5th of November

“If you don’t do wild things when you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old!”

For those of you that know anything about the history of England you will know that today, the 5th of November, is when we celebrate Bonfire Night.  Guys Fawkes was the reason Bonfire Night started, and his story is pretty gruesome.  He tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, was held as a prisoner in the Tower of London until he was executed.  So, being a country strong on tradition, ever since then we have celebrated his failed gunpowder plot by putting a stuffed Guy Fawkes on top of a bonfire and burning it to the ground.  Kind of crazy when you think about the history, but as I was growing up I didn’t realize all that history (as I am sure many of the youth now don’t either) I just enjoyed a time to hang out with friends and family, with treacle toffee, parched peas, parkin (to name just a few of the foods we ate) along with some fireworks.

Since obviously we don’t celebrate the 4th of July in England, this was when we got to let off our fireworks and have a good time.  I must admit, I do much prefer fireworks in the summer than in November when the nights can be very cold and quite often rainy.

You might be wondering why I am telling you about this good old English tradition – well obviously the first reason is that today is the 5th November, but secondly it’s because as I sit over the other side of the Atlantic from my home country I realize that there are a lot of things, whether the reason behind them are great or not, that I miss about England.  I have traveled back there now twice in the past 2 years, and the more I go the more I realize that I had an amazing upbringing and I am very happy for the life my parents gave me over there.

There is a lot to be said about tradition and nostalgia.  There are a great many traditions that I brought over with me and I share with my family.  Remembering where we came from is a huge part in recognizing and being grateful for where we are today.  I have no plans to move back to England, however, I miss my friends, and I definitely miss a lot of the history that is everywhere over there.  It has made me feel like I want to take my kids (now that they are older) to see some of the sights, to walk down memory lane with me, and to see where I grew up.  My youngest two boys have never been over there, and I think they would love some of the places – who doesn’t love a castle or two?!

There have been times in my life when I have gone through hard things, one of which was moving over here to the US as a single mum…but now as I look back I can be grateful for that trying experience because it shaped me into who I am today.  So as I sit and think about my life and the things that have made me stronger, I feel nothing but gratitude and appreciation.  There are rewards from trials but only if we let ourselves surrender to the good that came from it.  I know in some things it is harder to find something good that came from it – and it may be something as simple as meeting someone that helped you through or admitting to yourself that you need help (a challenge for me)…

Wherever you’re from, whatever you have been through, looking back at your life with fondness and love is the only way that you can move through today into the rest of your life.  After all, nothing can drag you down if you’re not holding on to it!!

Have a fabulous Monday…

You can shop my outfit and similar pieces by clicking the links below…

 

Celebrate YOU

 

“Celebrate how far you have come & who you have become.  Today, celebrate YOU!”

 

One of the things I have realized as I have been on my career and life journey is that it is 100% OK for me to celebrate ME!  It’s important for me to recognize the good things that I do, to allow myself grace and most importantly to set clear boundaries where I allow time to take care of myself and my needs.

As a working mother, wife, friend, daughter & sister to name just a few hats I wear, I used to feel guilty if I took time for me – and I bet I’m not the only one!  Taking time for you, allowing yourself to be you and spending time appreciating the amazing qualities you have is honestly the only way you’re going to get through this life unscathed.

 

Shop my outfit by clicking any of these links – I use feeling good about how I look to strengthen my relationship with myself.

 

So how do you truly celebrate you?  Here are some of my ideas, you may have others and I would love to hear about them:

  1. When you do a good job allow yourself to receive praise.  I used to be one of those women that was uncomfortable with people complimenting me – in fact whenever someone would say something nice about me I would find myself feeling a weird sensation so I would change the subject or turn the compliment to the person that had just taken the time to say something nice to me.  Do you ever do that?  When someone says “I love your dress” or “you look cute” do you find yourself saying “YOU look cute” or “your dress or outfit is way cuter?”  I have found that it is only hard to take a compliment when you don’t feel that good about yourself.
  2. Giving yourself grace to make mistakes can be the difference between a positive self appreciation and a negative one.  We are all human, we are not always going to get things right, so why do we expect ourselves to?  I would never put the level of expectation I have for myself onto another person – it wouldn’t be fair because it’s a level that is not humanly possible to achieve, so why do I do it?  I am working on recognizing that I am not the most patient person, and I expect myself to be the best (or at least so I can see that I am working my way toward that), but when I feel like I have a setback, I tend to get frustrated with myself and don’t always think the best things.  Just the fact that I am writing this and putting it out there lets you know that I realize that it’s OK and that I am cutting myself some slack!
  3. Feed yourself emotionally.  We all have different things that make us feel good, and whatever that is, we should do more of it.  I love to spend time with my family (especially when not everyone is fighting), read, hike, shop, ride my bike, take a really hot bath at night, exercise regularly, hang out with friends, and every once in a while a good pedicure or massage is just what I need.  Your list is going to be completely different than mine, so work from your list.  If you love to cook or bake then that is where you’re going to want to spend more time.  The point is, we are fed by doing things we love, so why do we not do more of them?
  4. Connection is something that we are humans were meant to do.  Whether you are married or not, my guess is that you have at least one relationship in your life that makes you feel good.  We weren’t made to be alone.  I do realize that for some people even when they are surrounded by people that love them there can still be that feeling of being alone.  Even if it’s not something you feel all the time, there have probably been times that this is true.  I have found that when I focus on the love that I have for myself and nurture my relationship with ME, the loneliness will very often subside.

Celebrate who you are, celebrate the amazing person that this world needs.  No matter who you are there is a reason you’re here and there is something you can do to make this world a better place.  Just believe in YOU!

The weekend is almost here – find something to do for yourself!

 

 

Pursue your Dreams

“Dreams and goals are important in our lives – we should not give up on our dreams your dreams is not as important as what you become by achieving your dreams!”

 

When you were little and someone asked you who or what you wanted to be what did you tell them?  I had a dream to be a Doctor and more specifically an OB Gyn, which changed to an Optometrist when I realized I could only handle births that had happy endings.  I studied pre-med for my Associates Degree and then my Bachelors was in Physiology with Microbiology.  Sounds like I was on track, right?  Well, what I found out along the way was that I actually didn’t like to be tied down to something, have a rigid structure or simply that I really didn’t like to be told what to do.  As you can imagine, that would never be the case with anything in the medical field, so I decided to look into sales instead.

My dad had been a very successful salesman for all of my life, and I had realized that he had enormous amounts of flexibility, make amazing money and had lots and lots of vacation.  Obviously all three of those things were selling points for me, so that’s how I ended up where I am today.

I don’t feel like I gave up on any of my dreams, or at least I didn’t until a couple of years ago, and that is the time when I started working more with Brandon and started by blog.  I knew I wanted to give back, I knew I wanted to help people, and I knew I loved fashion.  For a long time I had no idea how those things could possibly tie together, but I am starting to figure that out now.

Dreams and goals are so important in our lives.  In order to achieve the big goals we have to be willing to set smaller ones and work towards achieving them.  At some point in our lives we have all achieved SOMETHING and the feeling that we get when we achieve something, well that’s what keeps us on track for bigger and better things.  It doesn’t mean that fear doesn’t creep in or that we sometimes have to change our direction or tactics, but what it does mean is that a dream or goal is just that – something that we get to turn into reality by constant effort, drive, determination and resilience.

 

A fun Fall look – you can shop my look and similar by clicking any of the links below
Shop the Bag by clicking this link

 

 

Have you ever been told by someone that you wouldn’t be able to do something?  I know I have.  When I was in High School in England I had a teacher that didn’t like me and had no confidence in me.  In fact she actually told me that I should set my sights lower than being a Doctor.  I have to admit it was probably because I wasn’t the best student, but shhh! don’t tell my kids that.  Regardless, that kind of negativity is bound to have an impact on even the most confident person.  I am pretty tough, but I can tell you, for a while I actually started to believe that I wasn’t smart, that I wasn’t going to be able to do what I wanted to do and even worse, that I wasn’t good enough.  Not believing in yourself is probably one of the worst things you can do to yourself.  It is what depression is made of, it can create anxiety and even thoughts of suicide.

Having a dream is something that can create sunshine on even the darkest day, but only if you realize that in order to get what you’re dreaming of, you actually have to put in some effort.  I know there has been a lot of information out there about “manifesting” your dreams, and don’t get me wrong, we absolutely attract to ourselves the things we focus on, but it still requires work, dedication and commitment – and when you combine those things with focusing on the dream, that’s when it becomes more attainable.  I’m not saying that good things won’t ever happen to you without work, because I have had great things happen to me…but it is also not the norm.  I used to have a boss that always told me “the harder you work, the luckier you are” and I believe that 100% because that is what I saw in my business.

No matter what you believe, remember that having a dream and pursuing that dream is not something you should ever give up!

Happy Wednesday – dream on!!

 

 

 

The Power of Music

 

“And for that one moment while the music plays.  You know who you are and everything you wish to be!”

 

Do you have a ritual or something you do that gets you ready for a hard task you need to complete, or to just make you feel better?  Music can have such a positive influence in our lives if we find the right music to get us pumped up.

There are so many options out there for good music, and there are so many bad ones as well.  I am more drawn to a beat than I am the words, but definitely the words (especially if they aren’t good words) do have an impact on us.  I love to listen to a wide variety of music, and I tend to focus on certain types to achieve different results.  When I am wanting to feel like I want to dance or just feel good, I listen to rap, hip hop, R&B, a little pop and disco.  I like NWA (I know, not typical), I love Mary J Blige, P!nk can really get me pumped up, love a little Rihanna, Drake, Travis Scott, and so many others.  If I want to feel inspired I listen to songs like “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman, “Unstoppable” by Sia, and a few others that help me to remember why I am here and how great I should feel about myself.

Music has been used to centuries for inspiration, and many other reasons, so there must be something to this theory.  I have had times in my working career where I could become distracted by negativity, and I would use music through headphones to block out the “noise” and help me to focus on the things that were important.  As I have been working with Brandon and going to his Live events, we use music to create a certain mood.  We use it to help people get out of their comfort zones, and I have seen it work amazing wonders. In fact, the more I see it, the more I want to use it in my life.

He goes through a ritual every morning and listens to music to wake him up, to get him ready to take on the day and the make sure his mind is in the place it needs to be so that he can be there for the people that NEED him.  I love that music can do that, I love that just by listening to the beat, the words and by letting that music take you places, you can honestly change your state and put yourself in a better mood, create the energy you need to accomplish anything if you really want to put your mind to it.

 

Click here to shop a similar leather jacket

Even when I am at home and I have to clean the house, the task doesn’t seem so bad when I have music on and it can take me away from what I am doing.  Driving long distances in the car becomes a lot more tolerable when you can listen to some great music.

As I started to think about Brandon’s LIVE events, his morning ritual and the feelings that I have when I listen to some music that speaks to me, I started to think more and more about it.  What I realized is that music and it’s artists really do have a power, and it’s there for us to use if we choose to!  We can harness the power of music and use it to our advantage.  You may already be doing it without even being aware, but my guess is that if you set yourself up with a great routine or ritual of listening to inspirational and motivational music before you do something that is important to you, the results will actually end up being better.

I have a few playlists loaded in my iPhone, different ones for different reasons, so that when I am working out, driving to work or a meeting, or even just having a hard emotional time, I can call on that playlist to help me change my state.

As I sit writing this post I have some background music, not something that distracts me from what I am writing, but rather music that makes me FEEL so that I can be real and write something that hopefully resonates with you.  You’ll have to let me know…;)

Now Monday is here, and let’s be honest Monday’s don’t have the best reputation, why not start incorporating more “good” music into your life.  Should you choose to accept this challenge – I would love to hear how it worked for you.

Have a great week!

 

Don’t be afraid to Sparkle!

 

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present!”

 

Even though next week is Halloween all the stores already have their Christmas stuff on display…

It makes me excited and sad at the same time.  Excited because I love the spirit of Christmas, I love how my kids get excited and I love to pick out personal, thoughtful gifts for all my friends and family.  Sad because it means the year is already over and we are already looking to the future (which can be a problem if you’re not enjoying the present – and I definitely have to focus so I don’t fall into that trap!)

Growing up we never had a live Christmas tree – they were a lot harder to get in England.  In fact, for many years of my youth we actually had a silver tinsel tree that was about 6′ tall…I wonder if that’s where my love to sparkle came from?  We would decorate the tree with all the brightest, boldest colors and even add some tinsel or garland in metallics as well.  I have seen trees like this since I have moved over here to the U.S. and I still love them – in fact at some point I would love to have one in my home (not sure if I can get Brandon to commit to that 😉 )

We see the most amazing window displays, lights, colors and garlands everywhere we go.  There is not a place where the holiday’s doesn’t seem to touch, and I love it!  The holidays are a fabulous time to add a little sparkle into your life.  Even if you are not the biggest fan, there are always ways to add just a little pop into an outfit by using something metallic or a little bling.

In today’s outfit the boots are definitely not subtle, but I absolutely love them (you might not, so then you should pick something that works for you).  The blouse has a more subtle gold thread running through it, but still sparkles.  When you add the coat (of contrasting sheepskin fabric) with the gold buttons, the patent leather satchel, the shiny pants, the gold booties and of course the metallic blouse, I think you will agree that there is no way I am not afraid to sparkle 😉

 

 

Whether you have a big personality, prefer to stay a little out of the limelight or you’re completely uncomfortable with ANYTHING that draws attention to you, there are ways to add a little sparkle.  In fact, here are some suggestions just in case you need a little inspiration:

  1. Use your jewelry to add the sparkle.  A pair of big gold hoops, a long statement necklace with jewels and bling, some stacked bracelets in contrasting metallics.  There’s no shame in not wanting to be bold and “out there”…but I don’t know what it is, adding a little sparkle just makes me feel better.
  2. Add a metallic scarf or an embellished scarf or beanie.  I have a beanie that has diamonte’s all over it and it is my absolute favorite beanie.  So even when I am feeling a little more dressed down or casual and I know it’s going to cold outside, I add that hat and suddenly not only do I not need to do my hair, but voila – sass!!
  3. Belts with a statement buckle or a metallic belt are a great way to make any outfit pop.  I have a silver belt that is mid width, and it’s perfect to pair with black jeans to make the outfit stand out a little.
  4. Wear a pair of shoes or boots that are not 100% metallic, but maybe have some studs or buttons on them that are metallic.  That way they stand out without being more in your face.  I have a few pairs of black shoes that have either silver or gold studs, some more edgy than others, but all of them add a little something extra to the outfit I am wearing.
  5. Wear a blouse similar to the one in my post that has a thread of metallic running through it.  It’s a great way to add a touch of sass without having to overcommit to the whole “sparkle” vibe!
  6. Sequins- pretty much anything with sequins is going to be the perfect amount of sparkle.  I have pants, a skirt but even a simple embellishment on a blouse is somewhere to start.
  7. Add a pop of metallic eyeshadow – a very subtle but fun way to start.  I even bought some last year that have glitter in them, perfect for a special occasion rather than every day wear.
  8. A purse or clutch in metallic or embellished is also a fun way to add a little pop to your outfit.

In stores for the holidays you will see red metallics, green, gold, silver, rose gold, and many more…so why not take this time of year (pretty much when everyone steps out of their comfort zone a little more) to try something that you might not normally try.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You’ll either love it or you won’t and either way, you’ve grown by being open to being different.

Growth only takes one step…the first step and you’re already on that road!

Here are some of my top holiday “sparkle” picks for you to take a look at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweater Weather

 

“Don’t miss out on something that could be great just because it could also be difficult!”

Wherever you live, there is probably going to be more of a chance to wear sweaters or layers in the Fall, so how do you find the ones that are the most flattering and fun for you to wear?  Since in Utah we haven’t had the time to really get into this trend yet (it’s definitely coming just not here yet), so here are some throwbacks to some of my favorites…

I have always loved Fall more than Winter, mainly because Winter is just a little too cold for me, and in Fall I get the chance to layer and get really creative with my outfits while at the same time not freezing to death 😉

I am a very visual person, so colors and patterns really appeal to me, but I am also tactile, which means that I really care about how something feels.  There’s nothing worse than finding a cool sweater and it itching you all day because it’s not soft.  My youngest is definitely like this – we have bought him clothes over the years and if he doesn’t like how it feels, he will NEVER wear it, and I don’t blame him.  Honestly the only time I ever sacrifice comfort for style is with my shoes – LOL!

So, to answer my first question, here are some great ideas for wearing layers and sweaters for the Fall and Winter months:

Wear a large oversized sweater with some skinny pants.  Wearing oversized pieces means they can tend to make you look larger than you are, but when you wear slimming or skinny pants or a skirt you can offset that appearance.

 

 

Wear a fitted turtle neck with a cute casual skirt and pumps or boots.  As the weather gets colder adding a pair of funky tights is a great way to add that extra pop to the outfit as well.

 

 

Wear a fitted sweater with an accent belt, and then add another layer of a long cardigan for a unique take on sweater weather attire.  The ruffle skirt and boots are the perfect compliment too!

 

 

Wear a chunky cardigan with some booties.  Because I paired this cardigan with the fitted skirt, just like the oversized sweater, it prevents the perception of being larger than you are!~

 

 

Embracing each season can be as easy as finding a style that makes you feel at home in that season.  The key is not to let the weather (the thing you can’t control) decide how you feel about what you wear and how you feel.  It can be all too tempting to wear comfy, warm, cozy things in the Fall and Winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still look amazing.  Sweats can be cute – especially the leopard print or camo ones I have seen recently.  Enjoy experimenting with styles that could work for you, and don’t be afraid to try something a little funkier than usual.  Add a scarf here or there, wear a hat, layer like crazy and have fun!

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

Let your Inner Light Shine

 

“Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength!”

I remember being a teenager and feeling frustrated that I couldn’t do things that adults could and that I had rules that I felt were unnecessary!  It’s so weird, that I was wishing my life away and wanting to grow up so quickly.  Now that I am well into my forties my only regret is that I hadn’t spent my time wishing my years away.  Now I value my time, every minute, and I love who I am today.

I no longer focus too much on things that are going to happen, but rather I like to enjoy exactly what is going on in the here and now.  I realize how valuable time is and that every wrinkle and smile line is there because of the many experiences and the journey I have been on.

Aging is not for the faint of heart though – it is definitely something that is hard as a woman.  I still feel like I am 20 years old, and I want to be able to do all the things I used to be able to do.  That’s why staying healthy, staying in shape, taking care of my skin, my body and my mind are vital to me so that on the day that my kids decide to make me a Grandma, I can be the active, cool Grandma 🙂

 

 

I look in the mirror sometimes and don’t recognize the person I see.  Sometimes I notice more of my flaws and the signs of aging and other times, I truly see what is underneath and recognize my value.  As I already said, this getting older thing is something that needs quite a bit of faith and self love.

There are definitely some things about aging that we can’t control, but there are still some things we can do to ensure that we look the best as we’re doing it!  I am all in favor of doing things that make you feel good – whether that is great skin care, eating healthy, exercising, relaxation or anything else that tickles your fancy!

Above everything else, no matter what, I know that feeling good about myself makes my inner light shine and that is the best anti-aging thing anyone can do!

Have a blessed Sunday!

I’ve got that Luxurious Feeling

 

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you’ll never know how amazing you can be!”

 

Have you ever noticed that there are certain fabrics that make you feel that you are wearing luxury, emanating class and they just make you feel a little more confident.  It may sound weird but I have definitely noticed when I wear certain things I seem to walk with a little more pep in my step!

In today’s post I am wearing one of my favorite fall/winter cardigans with a fur overlay that can be removed.  It is one that I bought last year when I was back in England from French Connection, but don’t fear there are plenty of other fur options out there to buy (I’ve linked some of my top picks below).

I did a little research because I wanted to find out if I was overthinking this whole fabric thing, and here’s what I found:

Throughout history there have been certain fabrics that have long been worn by royalty and by only those with money.  Times have definitely changed now with the introduction of faux fur, silk being used not only by designers now, and wool which was traditionally a very expensive fabric is now mass produced so that it can be made available to everyone.

 

 

These luxurious fabrics were worn because it made the rich and royals feel confident, unique and very often superior.  Not that I think we should ever want to dress to be superior to another human being, I do think that anything that can give you a little confidence and feel unique is a good thing.

I absolutely love wearing faux fur because in all of it’s many forms, mainly because of the sass it can add to any outfit, but there are definitely other fabrics that can add that air of uniqueness to your wardrobe, such as:

Velvet – perfect to wear for fall and winter.  It works well by itself or with a contrasting fabric such as denim or leather.

Satin – definitely one of the more sexy types of fabrics.  Looking to add a little glamour to your look, satin is your friend.

Chiffon – a very delicate and feminine fabric.  It’s elegance can create the most amazing ballgowns that you will see on the red carpet.  If you’re looking to really pull no punches, this is a fabric you won’t want to overlook.

Tulle – who wouldn’t love to add a tutu to their wardrobe.  Seriously though, there are so many fun things you can create with tulle- I have a  long length skirt that is so fun and I wore for an award banquet.  It definitely stood out from the crowd (which is always what you want when you’re amongst hundreds of people 😉 )

What is the one fabric that you have worn that makes you feel amazing?  Comment below…

Whatever your personal taste and personality don’t feel that because something is popular that you have to wear it.  If you don’t feel comfortable wearing something it really doesn’t matter whether that fabric is known to make you feel sassy, confident or luxurious – ultimately it’s all about how it makes YOU feel.

As we head into the weekend, I hope you have a wonderful one.

Thanks for checking in with with  me 🙂

 

Make No Excuses – Just Goals

 

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment!”

 

Do you have goals?  Even if you think you don’t, I am sure there are some things that you want to achieve.  It could be as simple as decorating your home, raising your kids to be respectful, or even just about eating healthy.  What one thing do all these goals have in common?  They require WORK to get there!

Have you ever found yourself imaging your future, the home you’ll live in, the career you’ll have, standing at your kids’ weddings next to the bride or groom with pride all over your face?  To imagine is completely normal, but the only way you will actually get there is by doing at least some work.

In order to stand next to your kids on their wedding day requires you having a good relationship with them (WORK), to have the career you want (EFFORT), to move homes (WORK, TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT).  The thing that I have noticed in my 20 year career in sales is that unfortunately a lot of people want the reward without the effort.  The problem with that is that our imaginations can create AMAZING realities, but when we are in our actual reality it looks bleak in comparison.

It is only my second day in my new career, and I can tell you that it has its challenges, the grass is not always going to be greener, but the one thing that I have going for me is that no matter what I am not afraid to put in the effort.  Working hard is not the most important thing, working smart needs to be part of it as well.  I have found myself having to think a lot more about structuring my day to include tasks I want to accomplish, the things I need to do, along with things that I know will distract me if I don’t schedule time for them.

We have so many distractions in our life that if we don’t schedule time for those distractions we will become swept away, and when the option of doing a harder task versus something that is more fun, we will always welcome the fun one if we haven’t planned ahead.  For example, as I sit writing this blog I have probably had 20 emails, 3 texts, not to mention the phone call from one of my boys.  Obviously some distractions can’t be avoided (I try to never miss a call from my kids, even though most of the time it’s about drama or something I wish I didn’t have to deal with), but the big question is…do we welcome those distractions.  I will definitely admit that when I am doing mundane tasks I tend to become more easily distracted and tend to stay that way for longer.

So, now we know what we have to deal with on a daily basis..how do we  handle it effectively?  I have found that I allocate myself a certain amount of time on a task, and once that time is up I switch to another task.  If I haven’t completed the first task I can always go back to it.  This helps me with my focus,  my boredom and most importantly I allow myself a little break (even if it’s just a bathroom break) so I don’t become burned out!

 

 

I don’t always do work outdoors like I am in this post, but there are definitely times when a little fresh air can be exactly what the doctor ordered – maybe you can give it a try (although it’s been pretty cold here in Utah, so I won’t be able to do it soon!)

Today is Wednesday – what have you accomplished this week already and what do you still want to achieve?  Comment below…

A New Start

“You only ever get in life things that you have the courage to ask for!”

 

I’ve talked a little about my new beginnings over the past week or so…well, the day is finally here!

Have you ever started something new and found it a little challenging to switch your mind to the new things you will be focusing on?  This morning when I woke up I still had to get the kids ready and off for school, but the direction of my office, the things I need to accomplish, what I could wear, who I was going to meet with…all different.  After 15 years working in the same office, doing essentially the same job,  it had definitely become second nature..so what now?

Sometimes it’s easier to stay doing what we are familiar with rather than to take a risk, especially when you hear others around you questioning whether you can do it, or we may even start to question ourselves.  When I was in High School in England I remember going to parent teacher conferences/career night – I believe I was around 14 years old.  I met with my Biology teacher and my parents and at that time I had wanted to do something in the medical field.  I loved the sciences and they seemed to come easy to me.  As we sat there that teacher asked me what I was wanting to study in College and when I told her that I wanted to study Medicine or something like that she actually said to me “If I were you, I would set my sights lower”!

Wow!  Can you imagine the self esteem of a 14 year old at that point.  Well, here’s what happened, I decided to dig my heels in, I went to college, and worked my butt off to get my degree in Physiology with Microbiology.   As I was studying I found that I liked to meet new people, embraced challenges and love to develop long term relationships built on trust.  Consequently, when I was done with my degree I decided to apply for a job in Pharmaceutical sales.  In England in the early 90’s there weren’t many women doing that job and even though I had multiple interviews I found that it was a very sexist environment.   My self esteem took a beating again.  I was told by one interviewer that if I wanted a job where I was going to meet with Doctors I would need to wear short skirts.  The ironic thing about that is that the person telling me was actually a woman!  I am not someone that likes to be backed into a corner, and at that age I was a lot more naive, so I told her NO!  I would not do that.  Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

After a couple of years trying unsuccessfully to get a job in pharmaceutical sales, I decided to move over to the US – where I thought I would have an easier time as a woman in a career.  I got a job in Radio advertising sales so that I could gain some sales experience before I started applying for more sales jobs in the medical industry.  After a few years in radio, I moved into TV and then onto cable, where I have been working for the past 15 years.

 

 

Whilst working in cable advertising sales I found that I was experiencing very similar things to those I experienced when I was back in England.  I had to work twice as hard to get to the top, and I was the top.  I had to overcome men that were intimidated by strong women and people that were put in positions of management certainly not because of their experiences or qualifications to do the job, but rather because they were part of the “good old boys club” or had a friend that put them there.  What I realized is that I have NO control over what people say to me, how they treat me or whether things are “fair”.  What I do have control over is whether I let that define who I am.

I developed many amazing relationships while I was in the media industry and I am extremely grateful for those relationships.  I also refined my tenacity, my determination, my resilience and my confidence.  I learned that I could rise to the top no matter how someone treated me.  I learned that I am really good at what I do and now I have the opportunity to prove that to myself even more as I embark on a career that I get to control more.

I will be working with my husband that is a mindset and motivational coach, as well as working on my blog.  I feel like both work really well together, and I am excited for what our future holds.

I would not change anything that has happened to guide me on the path that I am on in my life.  I have learned a lot of what I am capable of and I have grown so much.  I have learned to love myself and not just because I look a certain way or I am successful in my career.  If I had placed too much emphasis on my career performance these past few years where I was challenged way more than anyone in a career should be, would have certainly diminished my self esteem.  Instead, it fired me up, it made me want to make more of my life!

Taking risks and starting new things are sometimes easier said than done.  It takes a lot of courage to walk away from something, but it can also be the most rewarding thing you have ever done.  I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering “what if” or thinking that I had settled.  What about you?  What risks are you willing to take to grow?