Don't Tell Me I Can't

There's a streak that runs through some people - and it does seem a bit prevalent in my family - that if you tell someone they can't do something or won't be capable of it, they become hellbent to do so. I can think of nothing more annoying - or personally motivating - than when someone tells me smugly, "I just don't think you're cut out for that."

I always want to reply, "Watch me."

I remember when I was about 20 years old, a good friend of mine commented to me that she didn't think I was cut out for a business degree or the business world. That it was too harsh for me. I don't recall my response at this time, but I don't think I bothered to argue with words.

Instead, I went on to get a master's degree in business, and a job that I love. I love doing the hard things people are scared to do. I like being responsible, even when things end up going a little wrong. Not only am I good at the things I do, I enjoy it. If we must do paid work to make a living, I cannot complain about mine.

Through my life, people have constantly underestimated me, and at times that has given me a bit of an attitude. But if nothing else, I wake up each day fired up to prove those people wrong.

I look young. I have a fairly free spirited demeanor. I laugh all the time. People look at these things and make a judgement and that often starts with "You can't..." and that is just the ignition I need to start my natural fire and motivation.

When I was in college I had a statistics teacher who literally said out-loud in front of the class, "I cannot believe a silly girl like you is this good at this." She accused me of cheating. I let her take my calculator and stand over my shoulder during the final exam, and when I turned in my paper I said, "you're welcome for raising your class average."

Perhaps I should be offended. Perhaps it should even make me a little insecure knowing that everyone underestimates my competence. But I feel a little bit of devious glee when underestimation turns into disappointed surprise when I prove people wrong.

Be careful before you tell me I can't!