I recently met an amazing woman who battled breast cancer for two whole years. “I can see clearly now that breast cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me,” she told me. “It is like I was running on auto pilot, blindly following the crowd. But now I am fully awake, engaging and enjoying my life to the fullest.”
On the opposite side, I have seen women succumb to their diagnosis, challenges or disabilities. I have seen people identifying with the ‘labels’ they were given either by their MD, their classmates, parents or society… I have seen them allowing despair to run their lives, crush their dreams and destroy their health and spirit.
I wonder how many ‘labels’ are we carrying along and dragging with us every day… I wonder how often do we allow others to define who we are and shape our reality. Years ago, I have been told to quit writing, I have been told that I am not talented enough to be an artist, I have been told that I am too shy to speak in public, that I am too naïve to control a lab with 200 trouble-maker students… Too many stories and too many labels… Yet, I pursued and persisted! I’ve always said, “Success is keep trying just one more time!” I did not let others define my reality and pave my path… I assumed responsibility for my life, my health and my career. I took decisions and withstood the consequences… Yes, I did fall many times… I did feel tired, discouraged and disheartened at many instances… I did taste many failures along my successes… I did fight with this voice in my head repeating over and over again ‘you are not good enough’, ‘who do you think you are’, ‘you’ll never make it!’… And, I did hear – and still hearing- the croaking crowd telling me to just give it up and ‘be real!’
I took my chances… the journey was definitely – and still is- far from easy, but it is worth every step…
Please… do not listen to the croaking crowd, do not let your inner gremlins discourage you, do not accept any labels that put you down, deprecate or belittle you… Starting today, you are in charge… Write your own story… Choose the best version and stick with it… You definitely deserve it!