As it’s International Women’s Day today, I’d like to leave a message that hopefully inspires you young girls out there to follow your dreams and never let your passion and light be diminished by others’ limits and outside noise.
I was at one point, like you, a young girl who just graduated from university. I did not have a lot of experience, but I had a ton of passion, enthusiasm, energy, drive, and ambition. Even with such passion, I still had a hard time convincing people older than me to give me a chance. I had to compromise with what I could and wanted to offer. I had to compromise with how I spent my time. Spending hours each day doing something that didn’t accelerate my learning process and grow my intelligence killed my soul. In the end, I asked myself whether it’s worth it; I asked myself whether I was worth it. But I’m glad to have received all the No’s, because those No’s led me to the path that I am on now and I am 100% in charge of my own destiny and don’t need to rely on someone else to help pave the path for me anymore - I am not paving a new path for myself. And I invite others to help me build the new path too.
A lot of the times we get bogged down by the society, by outer judgement, by what other people think is right or wrong, cool or uncool. Sometimes we try to be what we are not just to prove our self-worth. We try to please others to increase our self-esteem. We over-compromise with what we should receive. We let others’ judgements determine who we are.
One thing I learned in my early 20s is that you need to stand up for yourself. You need to believe in yourself because no one is going to believe in you if you don’t. Sometimes it’s hard when there are so many people out there with ego. There are people older than you who are afraid of your energy and block your way to the top. There are people who are scared — scared that they’re going to lose their power to the young and passionate, to the self-driven and ambitious, to the fearless and determined. That’s right. There are people out there with ego — and once that is threatened, their self-defence mechanism kicks in. And because they are trying to protect themselves, they try to bog you down.
Sometimes people make judgements based on tangible things like proven skill sets and years of experience. But if you’re young, it’s impossible to have several tangible assets and numbers to prove. What you can prove is that you have always achieved what you set yourself to achieve — be it winning a basketball match, mastering a musical instrument, or getting High Distinction in your favourite subject.
What most people don’t realize is that the intangible stuff is actually the fuel. The intangible stuff that you cannot see but feel, the intangible stuff you sense when you talk to that person — the spark in the eyes, the enthusiasm in the tone of voice, the fearless attitude, and the determination that you’re going to master whatever you set your mind to. The power of the mind is the strongest and most significant asset one can have. Passion, self-drive, and curiosity — these things cannot be taught or acquired. You’re either born with it or you weren’t. If you’ve got it, no one can compete with you on that. And it’s the fuel. It’s the energy. It’s the gas or petrol that keeps you going. It’s your battery life. You’ve got that. And that is the advantage that you have over other people. Don’t lose it. Don’t ever let anyone destroy it.
Obviously, not every job requires that. Obviously, not everyone wants that in the person they’re going to be managing. Obviously, not everyone wants to be dealing with a person with such entrepreneurial spirit and drive.
Don’t be disheartened by people who try to offend your self-worth because they are not worth your time. Respect yourself. Know what you’re worth. Don’t lower your self-worth for someone.
Walk away from those that under-value you. You’re worth more than that.Your time is worth more than that. Your energy is worth more than that. You don’t need that kind of sh*t.
Now go out there and do your thing.
Your capability and possibility in life are only limited by the wall you create for yourself.
- Mo Seetubtim