This article originally appeared at https://onmogul.com/stories/a-letter-to-my-20-year-old-self-by-star-jones
Dear daring, ambitious, fearless, and driven girl,
I want you to know that your success is unlimited. This world will tell you that because you are a woman you are limited. As a student you will be told to study one area of interest, declare one major. When you land your first real job you will be told to climb the ladder and stay there until you retire. And when the time comes you will be told to choose between having a super successful career and being an active nurturer for your family. When you have dreams that are too large for most people to understand you will be told they are “nice” but to make sure you have a back up plan for your impending failure. At every corner you will face a naysayer, obstacle, or an internal feeling that you are simply not good enough.
I am here to tell you that it’s all lies.
You are more than enough! If your work ethic matches your dreams there are no limits. You absolutely can work your way up in a company or organization from entry level to executive, or you can start your own company, write a book, launch a nonprofit- whatever your heart desires. There are no limitations on your dreams as long as they’re backed up by action. You can master one thing as a student and master 100 more things as a human learning through life experiences. If you have 5 talents you can use all 5 of them. If you have 10 dreams, the one that seems the craziest, scariest, and most daring, is the one that will succeed. You do not have to choose between career and family but you will have to choose to align yourself with people and career opportunities that respect the fact that you have a career and a family.
Lastly, I leave you with these 3 promises:
You will get better with time!
Do not add a projected date to every milestone you hope to reach. No, you will not accomplish all of your life’s goals by age 25…maybe not even age 35. You are a fine wine and age and wisdom will look good on you. Your talent, character, skills, and passions are a journey not a destination and will develop over time.
Your secret to success is networking.
The people you connect to will bring you knowledge and countless opportunities. Choose your alignments carefully and never underestimate the value and necessity of a solid personal and professional network.
Support other women.
The world will make you think you and other women are competing for the same prize. Social media will have you comparing shades of grass, relationships, success, and dress sizes. Under no circumstances must you accept or participate in this “dog eat dog” culture. There is enough success to go around. Supporting other women should be your life’s mandate and you will be happier and widely respected due to your willingness to lift up other women.
Compare less. Doubt less. Dream bigger and soar. You are unstoppable.