Something I have believed and practiced all my life is this: I don’t seek or even want handouts, freebies, or help because I am a girl. Instead, I have always aimed to achieve based upon my own merit. Doing so has made me strong, not weak.

If you want better, be better — be among the best at what you want to be or do. Don’t use “XYZ” as an excuse why you can’t, and don’t let anyone else tell you that either.

All you need to do is just work harder than others are willing to. In college, I saw this quickly. Most people were barely trying. By putting in more effort (and not even 100% effort, to be honest, plus working 20 hours a week) I was honor roll, Dean’s list, and near the top of my class the whole time.

As a result of my working harder, my instructors sought me out to pour more effort into me than other students who weren’t trying, because they saw it would be worth their time. (Teachers LOVE students who are really trying, trust me!)

Later, managers, mentors, and others have done the same. These people were among the best at what they did too, and I have found they were usually thrilled to be able to pass their “lifetime brain dump” on to someone who they felt would do something with it. What an honor to be chosen! And chosen because they saw my potential, not because I demanded they help.

On the job, I took the same strategy. And it worked. I was promoted and managed people who had gone to Ivy League schools (Yes, me, who attended a small state no-name commuter college!), and who had more advanced degrees than I did. I never pointed this out, but it perplexed me why they weren’t trying harder? Why they weren’t working to be MY manager?

In reality, only about 20% of people are really trying, so you are only competing for what you want or dream of against those 20%, not 100%. And it’s pretty easy to be in the 20% simply because too many others aren’t willing to work to get there, persevere hardships and overcome challenges, and never give up or give in until they do.

I also accept my personal limitations. I have channeled my energy into things I am good at, where I can achieve most. For example, I am weak in math. So it would be silly for me to set my sights on being an engineer. I am not among the best at math. So what? One can’t be everything. I would only be a failure bc of it if I for some reason insisted to pursue a goal that required me to be better than those among the best at math. Right?

Plus, I am much happier doing things I am naturally good at. I would not like being an engineer. (No offense to engineers, I hope you LOVE it and are among the best in what you do, too!)

When one learns all this, and practices it, they find pretty quickly that it actually isn’t all that hard. And it is totally up to you.

Nobody “gives” you equality, you earn and create your own equality.

And when you earn it yourself, nobody can take it away either.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.