Lessons I Learned On My Journey for Success

Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” I didn’t want Thomas Edison’s words to define me.

I wrote “Worth the Climb” so that others who have been blocked from reaching the next step to their success might incorporate some of my strategies into their own career plan. My book details the obstacles that blocked me and which strategy worked best.

Some strategies that are discussed are:
• Do an honest self assessment
• Don’t settle – challenge the obstacle
• How to market yourself
• Look beyond the obvious – Where are you? What’s holding you back?

Beginning Strategy: Can I be happy if I don’t feel successful? Have I done everything I can to ensure success? What are my short-term goals? What are my long-term goals? Have I developed a plan to ensure commitment to my goals? These were the questions I asked myself when I began my journey to become successful in Corporate America.

Looking back on my journey today, I wished I had formed a strategy for success in advance. I knew what the end result should be but I didn’t plan for all the obstacles I would face. As each obstacle occurred, my first reactions were anger. It didn’t take me very long to determine that anger wasn’t a good strategy. With the support of family and friends, I was able to push away the bitterness and anger and focus on achieving my goals.

Although I had grown up learning the sting of racism and expected to face obstacles as a woman and as a black woman, even more obstacles, what I wasn’t prepared for was the religious discrimination I faced on my career path to success. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I didn’t want to betray my beliefs nor did I want to anger my college professor and risk failing the religious courses that were required to graduate. I had always been an honor student so this posed quite a dilemma. I decided to meet the professor halfway. We compromised and agreed to disagree when it came to core beliefs.

Today I am happy with the end result of my struggle. I was able to take advantage of the many opportunities presented to me. These opportunities allowed me to close one door and open many more doors. My new life is full of wonderful new challenges and I am armed with new skill sets to meet those challenges.

Lessons Learned:
• I am responsible for my success.
• I am responsible for the outcome of my decisions.
• It’s hard to push forward of you are always looking back.
• It’s better to persevere and look for excellence rather than cling to anger.
• The decisions I make affect others so I must be careful with my choices.
• Keep striving to be the best I can be. If it’s my best, it’s good enough.

“You cannot know the sweetness of success unless you have tasted the bitterness of failure” rang true for me at the end of my journey.

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