Own Your Journey

I had the pleasure of meeting Marcia Greenberger at a lunch program hosted by the Women’s Bar Association of DC. She is the founder and co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, which she started 40 years ago. Ms. Greenberger shared her story about speaking up for herself, taking courage, and focusing on taking action towards a career that mattered. At a very pivotal time in history – during the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement – she learned that young people had the ability to make change and that everyone counted.

"I wanted to try something new," she said. "An individual person can matter and I went for it."

That attitude contributed to her journey from law school in 1967 at a time when sexual discrimination was allowed to being a recognized expert securing landmark litigation in cases including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

Why am I sharing this with you? She has led an incredible career, is inspiring in her quest to make great things happen, and she never gives up. She still focuses on the opportunities she has to contribute to greater change. Has she had challenges along the way? Of course! And she keeps going.

"Things don't happen all at once," she said. "They happen one meeting at a time."

Her courage and dedication has made a significant impact in the lives of all women. She did a few things along the way that really mattered and contributed to her success.

Here are five things you can do to own your journey.

  1. Listen to your intuition. We all get that instinctive feeling that helps us avoid risky situations, that tells us what to say in a strategic situation, that knows when to go for it. It is usually right, but our conscious reasoning can keep us from listening to our intuition and our rational thoughts take over. Great things happen when you listen to your intuition. Learn how to trust your instincts.
  2. Ask for advice. Don’t be afraid to find people who can help you, who have already done it, who may even know more than you, and ask them for advice. They want to help you. Find out what worked for them. Get their recommendations. Learn from the people who matter.
  3. Develop relationships with people you admire and find ways to collaborate with them. Smart, successful people want to surround themselves with like-minded people. Identify who those people are for you. Find ways to develop trust and be part of what they are doing. It’s just like the expression, “guilty by association.” Those are the opportunities you will create.
  4. Do one thing every day that matters. Success comes from setting daily habits that cause you to take action and contribute to your goals. What is one thing you could do today that would make the most difference for you?
  5. Select an accountability partner. An accountability partner gives you an opportunity to collaborate with someone who wants you to succeed. It is more fun when someone recognizes your value and shares in that journey with you. Other techniques that could help you keep your motivation and stay focused on your goals are:
    (1) Create a mantra. Write it down where you can see it and say it out loud every day.
    (2) Set your passwords to reflect the action you want to do.
    (3) Buy a flip band – http://deptofmotivation.com/.
    (4) Hire a coach. I hold my clients accountable and challenge them to do what it takes to follow their dreams.

Originally published on http://skinlessproject.com/own-your-journey/.