Last month, my daughter and I saw the movie Hidden Figures. I‘m not sure it’s still in the movie theater, however, I highly recommend you rent or stream it for a mother-daughter or girls-night-in. The Women’s March took place right on the heels of the movie’s release so if you attended the march and saw the movie I’m certain you were on cloud nine. Personally, it made me double proud to be a woman and a Black woman at that.
Life is filled with many teachable moments and Hidden Figures has many. Here are several I gleaned from the movie.
Cultivate your gifts and talents
When you recognize that you are gifted in a particular area do what you can to enhance your skills and stay sharp. Don’t wait for permission to be successful, instead invest the time, money, and energy into always being at the top of your game.
Learn to Turn a No into a Yes
No one in this world should believe in you more than you believe in yourself. If you are entering into a situation fully prepared and your gut or instinct say that you are ready for that promotion, new project, or opportunity then don’t let other people talk you out of it. Believe in yourself enough to get creative about how you can turn their no into a yes. This might involve seeking a mentor or creating a strategic plan that incrementally moves you closer to your goal.
When opportunity knocks answer, don’t assume it will leave a “Sorry we missed you card” and come back later. Staying ready means different things for different goals, but at the end of the day, there is some basic preparation that’s required. Stay intellectually ready by knowing your craft, stay emotionally ready to say yes, and stay socially ready by networking and increasing your circle of influence.
Don’t Play Games
When people try to steal your joy or dignity don’t allow them to bring you down to their level. Haters gonna hate, that’s what they do. Use their negative energy to give you the strength and the willpower to succeed. It’s not about proving them wrong because you don’t have anything to prove. It’s about staying true to yourself.
Know your Worth
Recognize that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are perfect just the way you were created. Anything of necessity that you lack you can always work to improve. When you recognize your value you erase any self-doubt and your mere presence has a masterful effect on any space or position you occupy.
When the movie ended, I led the audience in a round of applause. I would have stood and cheered loudly, but my daughter was already embarrassed. I also shed a few tears because I was so proud of the legacy these women left behind and proud to call them my sisters. So, I decided that night that the following week I would work smarter. I vowed to stay true to my goals and not back down from adversity. In my own way, I will carry on the legacy of the women in Hidden Figures and all the women like them whose stories are yet to be told.
You may sometimes feel like a Hidden Figure in your world, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. You have the ability to make your work and your voice count and stand out from the crowd. Don’t become a part of the status quo. Let your light shine.