This is Mentoring Moments, a series of WOW-you-need-to-know-these stories from successful women of multiple generations. Mentoring Moments is now a podcast.
I am at a shoe store in New York City, wondering if I really need that pair of leopard pumps. Next to me, the 20-something sales associate is trying to convince a woman in her 60’s to buy platform shoes with seven inch heels. After politely rejecting three pairs that the sales associate insists “are more comfortable than they look” (which wouldn’t be hard to accomplish) the older woman puts her hand on the young woman’s arm and says, “Honey, I’m done with that.” I thought, “Me, too. I’m not done with all high-heels, but I am done with shoes I can’t walk in.” And then I asked myself, “What else am I done with?” And then I wondered, “What are other women (from 20-somethings to over 40’s) done with?”
That led me to the “I’m Done With That” segment on Mentoring Moments podcast where we exchange stories about the things we’re “done with.” Some of my done withs are: not following my gut, having my brain picked, working for free, living with impostor syndrome, striving for perfect, not spending time with important people in my life, not making big enough deposits into my emotional bank account, making excuses for other people’s bad behavior, not asking for help when I need it and the list goes on.
All of the above led me to this post. Starting with asking Nely Galán, media and real estate entrepreneur, author and women’s empowerment advocate to tell us what she’s done with. Her answer, in her words:
I am done with the idea that someone is coming to save me. I know there is no Prince Charming. No mate, boss, corporation or government is coming to rescue me and it no longer matters because I know I can do it myself. I am my own Prince Charming. I am done with being paralyzed by fear and fear of failure. I have turned fear and failure into my best friends. When fear shows up, I do it anyway. When I fail and fall, I mourn it, cry it out and get back on the horse.
I am done with not declaring myself, as I know that if I don’t choose myself first, no one else will. I am done with the notion that the painful parts of my life are something to sweep under the rug—because I understand that I am an expert in that pain and I can turn my pain into profit.
I am done with waiting for things to happen, knowing full well at this point in my life and career that power is taken, not given. I am done with making myself less of anything that I am: Latina, colorful, loud, bold, disruptive, brutally honest, (all things I have been told to tone down my entire life), because I know that all my power lies in being completely authentic.
Finally I am done with depending on anyone or anything financially. I decided to start an entrepreneurial path, step by step, first as a side hustle and then as my identity and career. I am not a celebrity, I can’t sing or dance, and I am not an athlete. But I am self-made and that has made all the difference. And if I can do it, you can too!
Galán’s answer led me to ask four more smart and successful women (ages 29-46) to share the top three things they are done with.
Farah Mohamed, 46, Founder & CEO, G(irls)20
I am done with apologizing for other people’s stupidity. I say this in the context of being a Muslim and having people say stupid stuff including but certainly not limited to asking me why I don’t cover my head. Uh, if you are Christian why don’t you wear a cross around your neck? See what I mean about stupidity?
I am done with not-so-random, random checks at airports. If there are three “random” checks and you get pulled over for all three, all the time, it is not so random after-all is it? I think it’s called racial profiling.
I am done with people who don’t vote. I grew up in a country where people did not have the right to vote. I have been an election observer in countries where people literally die for the right to vote. “The weather is bad, I don’t have a ride, we don’t have any good candidates, I don’t know what to do;” none of these are reason enough to pass on your right and your RESPONSIBILITY.
Ann Shoket, 44, author of The Big Life, former editor-in-chief of Seventeen
I am done with old ideas of the way things “should” be. I’m embracing change and new ways of thinking. But most of all, I am done with ‘having it all,’ whatever that means! The possibilities for building a big life—on your own terms—are endless. Gone are the days when we had to climb a ladder straight into a glass ceiling. I’m taking a cue from the millennial women who are redefining success and embracing a career of twists and turns and adventure. That’s how we’ll build sustainable meaning in our jobs…and our lives.”
Sarah Kunst, 30, Founder & CEO of Proday.co
I’m done with political inaction, finishing bad movies and the number one thing I am done with is playing small to make others feel more comfortable. So often, women and people of color are asked not only to be twice as good to get half as much of what they’re seeking, but also to play small and not ruffle any feathers or do anything that could make other people feel anything but comfortable and complacent. It’s a tiring tightrope and for 2017, I’m stepping off of it.
Cynthia Johnson, 29, Co-Founder & CEO at Ipseity Media
I’m done with being told, “it’s easier for you, you’re a girl.” As if being successful is so much easier for women because there are more men at the top. There are more men the top because it’s not easier for women.
I’m done with false martyrdom. Being told that men “step back” to “let” their female colleagues take the front seat, as if these women didn’t earn it. Men, we are not asking you to let us win, we are asking you to play fairly.
I am done with being asked about how I plan to raise my unborn children with my future husband. I don’t care if you’re just trying to be nice, it’s just as personal of a topic at 25 as it is at 45. Please, mind your own business, and leave my career and personal choices to me.
To hear what other exciting, smart, successful women are done with, take a listen to Mentoring Moments podcast.
What are you done with? Leave a comment here or on Twitter @DeniseRestauri