Over the course of my career in corporate America, I was afforded many opportunities to contribute and excel. I was sponsored, mentored, worked hard, delivered results, and knew what God had for me was for me. The stars aligned and the trajectory of my accomplishments was extremely positive. Some even think my career a model they want to follow. For that reason, IT IS IMPORTANT TO FILL IN A FEW BLANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGE NOT JUST PROMOTIONS AND AWARDS, BUT STRUGGLES, FAILURES AND TIMES THAT WERE REALLY TOUGH. Times when I had to dig deep and literally will myself to keep going and hold on to a record of “success”. I had to put on big girl panties and deal with some stuff!
“Put Your Big Girl Panties On and Deal With It” is the title of a very popular book by Roz Van Meter published in 2007. The book’s title appeared everywhere – on bumper stickers, banners, coffee mugs, tee shirts, dolls and more. It was around that time I purchased a metal, whacky looking doll-like character holding a banner with the popular phrase. I added her to the collage of motivational symbols and slogans that were visible to me, but not prominently displayed, as I sat at my desk. ONLY GOD AND I KNEW HOW OFTEN I NEEDED COURAGE AND ENCOURAGEMENT.
Also among the collage of symbols and slogans was a photograph of CARL BRASHEAR, the first African American U. S. Navy Master Diver and first amputee diver re-certified as a U. S. Navy Diver. You might remember him from the “Men of Honor” movie with Cuba Gooding, Jr. The photograph was of Brashear after the loss of his leg, climbing a ladder with weights equivalent to two scuba tanks strapped to his back. Although there were days I could actually feel that weight on my back, my challenges were immediately put in perspective each time I looked at the picture. Then there was the small button that I hooked to the wall, stamped with the words “No Whining Allowed”.
In the quiet of my office as I DEALT WITH NUMEROUS EVENTS, SOME GOOD, SOME WONDERFUL, AND SOME PURE HELL, I always knew my reactions to those events would have profound impact on future events. As you navigate your career, the same holds true for you. Equally important, as you model your career after careers of other people, pay close attention to how they handle adversity as well as acclaim. Know that all their days are not good days.
Not-so-pleasant events will most assuredly come. No one who navigates a career for any length of time can escape this truth.
Long-term success requires an ability to suck it up, gird your loins, man-up, let it roll of your back, and deal with it.
Develop coping mechanisms that work for you. You’ll need them!