Photo Credit: Tim Carey,
Photo Credit: Tim Carey,

Don’t hold back from shining.

You’re successful because you’re powerful, driven, insightful, and brave. Use your positive energy to accomplish everything you desire. You can do anything!

This began as an encouragement to women to leave their old interpretations behind. It quickly evolved into encouragement for everyone — men and women alike — to leave their baggage at the door and get out onto the racetrack.

We all have “things” we think have gotten in our way. Perhaps true, perhaps not. We have a choice in what we think and the ability to re-interpret the past in order to move forward. Can you look at your beliefs in a different way to free yourself and get out on the track at your top speed?

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you’ll find strength.

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

In first grade we drew self portraits and wrote what we were going to be when we grew up. Me? President. I can still remember drawing my curly hair, hazel eyes and the checked jumper I wore.

In fourth grade Mrs. Preston came up with a contest for extra credit. Something about Greek myths and heroes that influenced common popular sayings. I think she used it to motivate three of us, me and Tommy and Jeff, to keep working while the rest of the class finished the basic assignment. It motivated me, not them. I asked for my prize often, until she gave it to me with an eye roll. My interpretation was that I was a show off who should learn to let others succeed and not hog the spotlight.

Fast forward to eighth grade. I’m tall today and in 8th grade I was equally tall at 5’ 9”. Yup, tallest one in the whole darned grade. The popular girls were 5’3” and could do the handsprings and splits required to be cool cheerleaders. And they weren’t challenging in classes. Me, I was put in the top math and science groups with mostly boys. Not cool. I quickly learned to be quiet about working hard, and having big dreams, and finishing projects ahead of time, and to focus on trying to look shorter and to giggle with the girls. The same story could be told by the football star not taken seriously in the classroom, the refugee with an accent or the boy in the wheelchair. We interpret the “why” of others’ behavior and generalize that to other situations. That assumption gets in our way over and over.

Now onto college, excelling at pre-med at a large, well-known University. Fearing that competing with the men in my class and successfully going to med school would jeopardize my chances for the family I was supposed to build upon graduation. My parents were distracted by some health issues and not available to shake me. The result? I transferred to Nursing at the same University. Filled my proper role. Then proceeded to push and shove at the boundaries involved, even as a Pediatric ICU nurse. Many of us follow the “shoulds” of our surroundings. Through hard work and luck, ideally we create a path to our authentic purpose.

Happily, after a few years I found my way to a corporate culture where I was once again rewarded for audacious hard work. Such a relief! Recognition was abundant in promotions, bonuses, and leadership opportunities. I had mentors who encouraged me and challenged me. I wish I’d had a Leadership Coach to help me to put that “don’t be a show off” voice to rest once and for all.

Today, many years and many opportunities later, I’m happily thriving, confident, and relentless in the pursuit of my dreams. I get to work with amazing Leaders as they make courageous changes for amazing breakthroughs. We examine what has worked, envision the future that CAN be, and then formulate plans and commit to action for remarkable results.

You have the power of choice. Let go of the bonds holding you to the ground. They’re in YOUR head. They’re not real if you don’t let them be real. Allow your energy to soar. Miracles happen!


An Executive Leadership Coach is a powerful ally in helping us to view our world through a different lens in order to make bold changes for remarkable breakthrough results.  For more ideas contact BreakAway Leadership Coaching founder, Karyn Grant at [email protected] or visit