March 8th was International Women’s Day. I had the honor of celebrating it at the HERWorld18 Conference, sponsored by Pink Petro. The room was filled with amazing women, both on stage and in the audience. What talent we have! Let’s unleash all that potential in business!
The keynote speaker that day, Dr. Jen Welter, was like none other I’ve experienced. Her messages were not uncommon, but the experience she brought to bear was unique. In this month’s feature article, I hope you enjoy some of the key points I took from her message.
Lessons Learned on International Women’s Day
I recently had the opportunity to see Dr. Jen Welter speak at the HERWorld18 Conference hosted by Pink Petro. An American football player and the first woman coach in the NFL, Jen Welter, fittingly so, spoke on the topic of grit.
Her presentation included several lessons I believe we can all apply to our careers.
“Play Big,” is the title of Dr. Welter’s new book and a motto she has always lived by. At 5’ 2”, Dr. Welter has always played bigger than herself, and continues to do so today.
Set stretch goals for yourself. We don’t learn from doing what is easy. Let’s dream big, play big. and move out of our comfort zones.
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
Ignore the naysayers.
Dr. Welter wanted to play football from the time she was a little girl. “Girls don’t play football,” people told her; and she almost believed it. However, her dream never died.
Noticed by a coach during a flag football game, she was called to try out for the women’s football team, Mass Mutiny. As a member of that team, she earned her first professional football paycheck: $12.00. Three super bowl rings, two gold medals, and a coaching career later, she never let the naysayers stop her from pursuing her dream.
There will always be naysayers, especially if your dream encroaches on their preferred view of you, or if it drags them out of their comfort zone. Only you can determine your future. Do not let others’ opinions keep you from accomplishing your dreams.
When you get knocked down, get up again.
Jen Welter says, “I tackle. That’s what I do.” She got knocked down plenty in her career, but she just kept getting up again. Failure is an unavoidable part of the process. You will get knocked down. Learn from it, evaluate how to move forward, and grow towards your goals out of your failures.
When Dr. Welter was taken aback by something someone said, instead of getting heated in the moment and saying something she would regret, she took a moment to collect herself. She chose to believe “their brain wasn’t connected to their mouth.” In response, she lightheartedly asked, “Do you realize you just let those words come out of your mouth?” This response caused the person to think twice about their words before responding, and helped to deescalate a situation that could have gone poorly.
Don’t overreact to the nasty things that people say. Overreacting drives people away. If you can’t let it roll off your back, look for a lighthearted way of responding. Doing this will preserve the relationship, keep you in the game, and give you time to decide how to appropriately respond.
Dr. Jen Welter packed a punch – with her personality and her message. Clarity of purpose and confidence to get there surely helped her achieve her dreams. If you’ve got a career dream as yet unfulfilled, let’s talk about how you, too, can pursue that dream. Contact me at Susan@womenleadingtogether.com.
Susan Hodge created Women Leading Together in order to provide one-on-one executive coaching, seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling professional lives. Visit our newly redesigned website at www.WomenLeadingTogether.com
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