Tell Yourself “YES!”

Many of us had the childhood or teenage experience of being told our dreams were unrealistic or a recipe for a life of poverty. We were subtly or not-so-subtly directed to get an education or a job in a practical field that would guarantee us a job or income for life. It’s not until we’re adults – - sometimes many years into a career that we don’t even remember wasn’t our choice – - that we realize we’re doing something that has nothing to do with what we’re passionate about.

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of hearing a panel of successful Austin business women talk about how they got where they are today while attending a breakfast celebrating AustinWoman magazine’s 7th year. At one point in the conversation, two of the women shared how they’d originally been advised by their parents away from careers or education that supported what they dreamed to do as children.

Thankfully, the dreams of jewelry designer Kendra Scott and film maker Elizabeth Avellán were so powerful they ultimately were led back to doing what they wanted to do as young girls. For example, Avellán’s mother scoffed at her idea of being a TV or film producer saying it was too hard. Scott shared that she grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin – - far away from the fashion world that she wanted to be a part of. Well-meaning family members said she should do something more practical, but her aunt would show slides of her trips to Paris as a fashion buyer, and she was hooked. Years later, she found her own unique way into the world of fashion – - jewelry design. Given those dreams from childhood and the images her aunt planted in her brain, is it any wonder that Scott’s designs quickly caught the eye of the fashion world?

Perhaps you were told “No, it’s not possible,” or “You can’t do that! You’ll never make any money at it.” Or, “That’s too hard. Why not go into something that’s guaranteed to get you a job.” Don’t be surprised if well-meaning guidance from years ago still keeps you from going after a hidden dream. However, like sand in an oyster, this dream still has the potential to turn into a pearl of a vocation. It’s never too late to turn around old messages. What “no” do you need to turn into a big “YES” to yourself?

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