Adding Spice and Sass to the Pot We Stir
Some people are destined to stir the pot. We must shake the cage which confines us. We find a stepladder and pound on the glass ceiling until we get noticed. And it’s rarely just about mixing it up; it is about adding some spice, infusing bold flavor, and taking our seat at the table.
We need the cage shakers and pot stirrers. We need the sassy pounders refusing to go quietly into the night. We need people who color outside of the lines, who see greatness where others fear to tread, whose ideas fluster the norms of work and play.
I may not always know the right way for everyone, but I know the right way for me and this is my defiance. I refuse to be comfortable with how things are. I refuse ignorance.
I refuse complacency.
Spinning My Own Gold
When I was 10, I learned to spin gold.
A drama class was offered each summer and I was intrigued. I loved theater arts, having been in multiple productions already. I grew up with a mom who was a director and costume designer; I loved the creative process of “putting on a show”. That summer production was Rumplestiltskin, and to my pre-sixth grade self, the audition was brutal. Never dreaming I would get the part, I auditioned for the lead – the grim-faced antagonist Rumplestiltskin. I even told the teacher/ director that I would accept no other role.
Go big or go home.
When the cast list was posted, there sat my name perched at the top of the list as the lead. My glee faded quickly as every boy relentlessly and savagely teased me for playing a “boy” in the show. At first, my feelings were hurt, but then that shifted because I shifted. Instead of allowing these negative responses to affect my joy, I created a place within me where I learned to turn names and teasing into my impetus for magnificence.
I don’t remember if anyone apologized or told me “good show,” I only remember the work and how I felt when the show ended. I had shown myself what I could achieve. And it was more than the mere magical spinning of gold.
I’ll Show You
I’ll show you became a battle cry. And it raised my personal standard, as well. For if I show you, it better be good, right?
A single mom working three jobs, I went back to school to get my business degree – it took me eleven years to complete a four-year degree. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
One class required an impromptu speech where each student introduced herself and shared why they were pursuing their specific degree. I stood proudly and stated that I was, someday, going to be a CEO. I was 15-20 years older than most of the students in that class and they knew I was single mom. You could have heard a pin drop and then a ripple of laughter started in the back of the room.
And there was my impetus.
Little did my fellow students know that they were not the first to laugh at or discredit my aspirations nor would they be the last. The best opportunities rarely come to those who stand still or who are merely lucky.
Choose to move forward, to continue on.
So clang the pots and spin some gold.
And believe in the power of tenacity – the ability to bounce back from laughter and criticism – for this power is an essential building block of success in business and life. The greatest construct of tenacity is that you can make it a choice. Choose to rise up, dust yourself off, and become magnificent.