When you put your mind to it, you can achieve just about anything. All you need is skill and will. Skill can be learned. The will comes from whatever makes you who you are. You have to want something strongly enough to drive you to pursue it. But of course it’s not that easy. “Will” can be lost, missing or broken and prevent the pursuing of dreams. This can lead to a lifetime of feeling unfulfilled.
With over 15 years as a leader in the professional working world, and an equal amount of time providing boat handling instruction, I’ve spent a lot of time with a lot of people. It’s heartbreaking at times to see so much potential that people do not see in themselves. So many lack the confidence to do more, try new things, or explore opportunities. So many see roadblocks instead of open doorways. If you have the will, confidence can be built through support and skill building.
You just have to want it – whatever “IT” is.
Through most of my professional career, I mentored, coached and provided guidance to countless people on various topics to first answer that question of what it is that they want. Many times it was not easily defined. That followed with guidance on how to pursue what they wanted and I either provided the tools or pointed them in the direction of resources to help get them there.
Sometimes resources are expensive, limited or just non-existant though. Growing up in a blue collar family taught me quite a bit about how to do more with not much, and I’m thankful for having awesome parents, I didn’t realize just how resourceful they were until I was much older and on my own. They were super at making the most of everything, and so learning how to do things on my own made me more confident, creative, and a great problem solver.
As a child I was the helper who passed tools to Dad whether he was under the car, in the house, or on the boat and for countless other projects. As a teenager and young adult, he explained everything he was doing, stressing that I should pay attention, because I should never have to rely on a man or anyone else for what I need in life. Mom was an equally prevalent influence, always driving me to overcome hesitation, explore and try more things.
By driving age, I knew some basic engine mechanics, could change a flat tire, and tow, launch, and drive the family boat. It was a small boat, nothing outrageous of course. Dad had a passion for jeeps that got passed on to me, so a jeep was my first car, and playing in the mud or cruising the beach to go fishing were amongst the activities I enjoyed. I had developed a sense of adventure without even trying.
Between then and now I studied business management at Stockton University, New Jersey, then moved to New Hampshire where I earned my MBA at Southern NH University while starting a management career that later developed into a human resources leadership career. Concurrently I further developed my passion for boating, sharing it with others through teaching courses and providing boat handling lessons, and also became an active snowmobiler and ATV’er. I have a photography habit that grew into a drone video habit.
Since I wasn’t busy enough between work and fun, I felt compelled to break the world record for using more time than there are hours in the day, so I earned a USCG Inland Master 50-ton credential (captain’s license) and in recent years a private pilot certificate. I like flying and actually staying in the airplane, so I haven’t jumped out of one yet. I hear that only takes about 3 minutes – that I’ll find a way not to have. I’m adventurous, not crazy.
The reason I have been able fill my time with these fun activities is first having the willpower and desire to do them, though I wasn’t always confident. I then made it my purpose to find a way to overcome any hesitation – via learning through others, taking courses, borrowing others’ toys to get experience, or through trial and error, and there were lots of errors, especially when it came to maintenance and mechanical activities. That’s the skill building part. It makes a difference in developing confidence. Then I kept at it until I felt proficient and faked the confidence until it became real.
Now I teach, train, and share my knowledge with other women, making resources available so they too can learn, build confidence, and find more fulfilment out of similar activities to those I enjoy. I don’t want to go another day seeing a woman missing out on a more enjoyable life due to self-doubt, anxiety or hesitation. Life is indeed too short. If I can change that for women, I most definitely will.