shattering glass ceilings
Imagine that you wake up in an enclosed room with no doors, no windows, no openings; you’re trapped. Around you, you primarily just see your doubts and fears. Everyday, you wake up in this room. Sometimes, you search for a way out; however most days, you just do everything you can to make that room work for you.
We each wake up in our own unique trap rooms everyday. The question is: where’s the secret escape hatch?
I had made it into University of Michigan’s great undergraduate business school, yet still didn’t know what I even wanted to do with business. I knew Wall Street didn’t appeal to me, and my mom had always led non-profits and created positive change for our communities. Because the typical business routes didn’t feel like me, I figured I needed to be like my mom and use business for social/environmental good.
The problem is, I felt pressure to be as politically-charged of an activist as my mom, yet that simply has never been me. Because my own world stresses me out enough as it is, my way of coping with current events and news out in the actual world is by avoiding them altogether most of the time. Resultantly, I felt embarrassed by my lack of passion for the more political side of business, and felt like I would never be smart or informed enough to accomplish my seemingly noble goals.
So there I was, trapped. Trapped in a room where my companions were opportunities that really did not speak to me on a deep level. Trapped in a room filled with my own self-doubt and confusion.
One day, though, I woke up and realized that I was looking at my room with the wrong lens. I could use business to impact communities and people through artistically-expressive means, as opposed to my mom’s political ones. My own misconceptions created the room, so my mind and soul could just as easily flee from it. I simply needed to fully love the unique aspects of my true self in order to explode the room’s walls out in all directions and live freely.
Many of us unknowingly wake up in self-imposed trap rooms every single day. We may dream big dreams, but pressures that we feel from our capitalistic society and families’ expectations cripple and confine us to suffocating boxes.
Look more closely at those walls holding you in. What makes them walls? Are they even walls? Try out a few different lenses until you see the picture more clearly, and realize that you are perceiving a purely imaginary room; it does not exist.
Imagine my shock when I realized that using creativity to inspire aligned perfectly with my goal of using business to create positive change. My world never contained any walls; the fear lens on my glasses had created an illusion of limitations. Digging deeper to find the truth about myself, however, opened my eyes to the reality of my dreams.
Whether it's your professional plans or an area of your personal life, challenge yourself to identify any rooms that you’re currently trapping yourself inside of. The first step to achieving your wildest dreams is recognizing the limits that you have mentally placed onto them. More often than not, you believe that you can achieve some aspects of your dreams, but need to compromise on others.
See abundance. Abundance of opportunity. Abundance of time. Abundance of joy. Rather than confining yourself to a set fate, concealed with fear, see your life with an abundance of everything that you love. Explode your self-love out so forcefully that you permanently shatter your glass ceilings, free to spread your worthy wings up and away.