Strive for Greatness by Being You
When you’re chasing your dream career, it can be difficult to see a clear path at times. Maybe you’re in a rut at your job, maybe you didn’t get the promotion you wanted or maybe you’re questioning whether your goals are attainable. I still have my doubts on occasion. In these situations, I find advice from others is helpful. But pressure is not. It’s an easy trap to fall into; giving into pressure to maybe get ahead in our career and acting in certain ways that we truly don’t believe in.
I’ll give you an example. Being in television, looks always come into play. For me, there’s always a pressure to be the best presenter out there. In the looks part of it, in my mind, that always meant having perfect hair, never having a pimple on my face and wearing the right makeup. Over the course of my career I’ve worked with managers, consultants and makeup artists to achieve what I thought was my best look. But what I found is my best look at each time was in many ways brought on by pressure of what they thought was my best look.
“Your hair is too long, you should cut it.”
“Let’s not curl your hair anymore. It’s not very flattering.”
“Your eyeliner shouldn’t be so thick.”
“Black is not your color. Let’s get rid of that in your wardrobe.”
“What about wearing more dresses? Fewer suit jackets.”
These are some of the many suggestions made to me over the years. I’ll be honest, I’ve tried them all. Some of them have stuck with me and some haven’t. Some of the suggestions I find are improvements, but many I think “that’s just not me.” I’m still finding my style in small tweaks, but I’m doing it on my own terms. Over the years I’ve learned not to worry so much if my hair isn’t looking great one day. And zits? Yeah, I get them all of the time and I’m okay with that. It’s my reality. I’m going to laugh it off, cover it up with some makeup and move on with my day. It’s the content and the quality of journalism that matters to me more than anything else. It’s the people I meet every day in the community that I focus more of my energy on. Not looks.
What I’m trying to say in this example is, don’t let pressure of what others want you to be, dictate your path to greatness. This doesn’t just apply to looks, it applies to your career, your relationships and so much more. Go for your dream job by being your true self. That’s who people will admire and the younger generation will look up to.
What I never did young in my career was speak up enough when I disagreed with something. Whether it was looks or edits to a story I wrote or a story pitch I made. Yes, I try to go into every situation with an open mind and I know not everyone will agree with my interpretations and suggestions, but when the pressure mounts to be and act in a way that’s not you, it’s time to speak up. This is your life, your dream and you should be able to achieve it just by being you.