Confidence, Empowering Women, Family, Working Women

The Blessings of Belief

I am the oldest of three girls born to hardworking and loving parents.
I grew up with a father who appreciated the lessons gained by being on a sports team and the competitive spirit of athletics. I grew up with a mother who was passionate about academics, a woman who knew that the value of education could open doors of possibility.
I was raised by parents who were honest, hardworking, and appreciated the value of money and a good job. I never felt like there was anything I couldn’t do while I was growing up, but I also was not raised with rose colored glasses where I felt that I could excel and be the best at everything I tried.
My parents were realists and very practical people. But they believed in their daughters and they told us that often…..”you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it and work hard.” No promise of being the best. No easy way to achieve your goals. Hard work. Focus. Commitment. No guarantee or even expectation that you will be “the best.” Practical. Useful. Words that indicated they believed in us and supported us in whatever we chose to pursue. Some of us played basketball and softball. Some of us played field hockey and ran track. Some of us spent years studying ballet and even tried cheerleading (and were horrible at it but worked hard and had fun).
I think about that often and sit in awe of the support and belief that carried me through much of my life and career. Going through my education journey (community college and university), not A’s and sometimes not B’s. But I had a mother who believed that if I worked hard I could get a degree from a good school and no one would ever be able to take that degree from me – and no one would care if I got through with B’s. Such a smart woman with practical and pointed advice. No one ever asked about my grades in college…ever.
As a sociology major who now works in technology/engineering, I can recall my first opportunity to take on a technical role. My father said to me “Leslie – you are a smart and intelligent person. You are curious and love to learn. You will learn this position just like everything else – ask questions, be curious, and listen to those who do the job.” Simple, practical advice that has carried me through 20 years of a career in technology and engineering operations.
The blessings of belief have provided me with a confidence (if I am self-aware enough to pay attention) that knows I am smart enough, I am good enough, and I am deserving.
Along with those blessings of belief came the affirmation of happiness – were we happy doing whatever it was we chose to do? That was most important, especially to my father. It is an approach to life that has helped me weather some of life’s storms. This is now my approach in supporting my adult children – are your choices making you happy? There is no greater way to live your life.
As it has been quoted “If you love what you do – you will never work a day in your life.
I thank my parents often for the model and example they led as parents – strong work ethic, hard work, and practical advice – that begins with belief.

2 thoughts on “The Blessings of Belief”

  1. It is great to hear about your history. We certainly have a few parallels. It is amazing how someone believing in you can change your whole outlook!

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