Sunday Morning Positive Perks from your Sassy Small Town Missus
On International Women’s Day, thinking of a former boss who empowered women
Another year, another (IWD) International Women’s Day. Last year this woman decided to recognize her Dad for helping her become the woman she is today.
This year I am going to celebrate by thanking another man. Why? Because men are awesome too and often get little cred for what they do to support women, so I choose to revel in my day by honoring all genders. And sometimes I just like to be contrary.
His name was Chris and he was my boss. He was a big city, big wig and his office was in corporate. He saw something in this small town girl and allowed her to sparkle. It was the mid 1990s and the glass ceiling was being cracked. At first he was a bit intimidating because he was a big guy with strong facial features and other men were a bit scared of him… but I held my own.
It was a ride up the corporate banking ladder that was spurred by his belief in me. I was nearly in my mid-20s and heading for managerial titles and officership. Many times I did feel like a minnow in a sea of sharks and jellyfish. However he always helped to bring me back to believing in myself.
It wasn’t too difficult because my parents taught me that I was not going to use my gender as an excuse to not succeed. My brain was programmed to believe that we are the only ones that create victimhood within our own minds. The kind of victim mentality that allows us to believe that others are holding us back or we can not do something because we are a certain age, gender, race, religion, political affiliation or whatever. These are limits we put onto ourselves, not by others.
If you have grit and passion and belief in yourself you can overcome. Often I expressed to Chris that I felt a bit insecure being of a young age and the youngest officer in my large building filled with many officers and “Suits”. Being a small town girl with freckles on my face, 5’ 2” and using words like “Zeepers”. With his encouraging words let me know that I was only doing myself a disservice allowing my mind to believe such things.
While traveling for business he shared stories of his wife and how he admired her strength. When they were in a sticky situation he allowed her to handle it. He was a strong person, but he trusted in the equality and strength of the women in his life. He was a bit older than me, well traveled, educated and I valued his opinion and truly appreciated him being a cheerleader in my growth of becoming a businesswoman.
I still have some insecurities at times, but I remember his words of faith in me and it helps to propel me forward. No matter who you credit for helping you to pave your path in life, give them a shout out into the universe today, because without these “Believers” who knows what we might have become. I have not heard from Chris in over 30 years but his kindness and support will never be forgotten. Who believed you could?
I would like to dedicate this post to my Aunt Ann Burgoon Wood. She was an exceptional woman.
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