Three Things That DON'T Define You

Sara Cummins Photography

1. Your grades.

It was my 21st birthday, I was in Disney Land about to watch the fireworks and I get an email notification from my professor: Grade - F because I mistakenly put three M’s in Tommy Hilfiger and if you misspell a proper noun in journalism school you fail the whole assignment.

I felt like I was going to vomit, and it ruined the whole trip for me. I was so frustrated because this paper was literally “proofread” by two of my peers AND my teacher and no one caught it.

When I pointed this out to my teacher she immediately snapped at me and said my assignment my problem. Which, she was right. I shouldn’t have expected my peers or my teacher to care as much as I did, and have my back in that situation.

That being said, with that F I still got an A in the class and I still graduated early while holding on to my scholarship.

I should not have let that one grade ruin my whole birthday or that trip. Your grades do not define your character and who you’re going to be in life.

Yes, of course, work hard, try your best and don’t throw away time and money. Don’t take this as a reason to slack off, but just know that if you mess up or you’re going through a hard time — take a look at the bigger picture.

When you’re thriving in your career and killing it like a Boss Lady later in life, no one’s going to ask you what your GPA was or what grade you got in Chemistry 101. All they’re going to care about it what you’re doing and all the big things you’re accomplishing.

2. Your title.

I am a senior consultant and marketing coordinator at my job, which sounds all sorts of glamorous and cool, when in reality, I just smile and nod a lot, answer the same questions over and over, unpack boxes for hours, and clean.

My title has nothing to do with my passion, skill level, and intelligence -- at least not right now. My title doesn't disclose that I wrote an entire freaking book, that I work 15 hour days getting a paycheck and growing a business, and that I had a wide range of skills in copywriting, graphic design, and brand development and management.

How you are labeled:

A marketing coordinator

A sales consultant

A student

A waitress

A nurse

Whatever you may be labeled as right now, does not define your personality, your passion, and your potential.

You are your job, your job is not you.

3. Your past.

Let me give you some insight into who I was growing up.

I was a shy, goody-two-shoes, gymnast, Christian girl. I did what I was told, I went where I was told to go, and I never stepped out of bounds. People knew me as being quiet and shy. My friends made fun of me for being awkward and kind of weird. I just didn't know who I was and where I fit in, and I never tried to be in a spotlight where anyone could figure that out.

Now, I'd like to say that I'm pretty confident in who I am and what I want. I not only stepped out of bounds, but I wrote an entire book helping others avoid my failures. I now have friends that know me as a completely different person as my friends back home.

I left home, spent some time alone and realized that I don't HAVE to be the person I've always been. I could be whoever I wanted to be. I could chase any career, say how I felt, and do activities that interest me.

It's OK to change and try new things. Just because it's what you've always done doesn't make it right.

You are so much more interesting and more valuable than a grade, a title, or your past. You are growing, changing, and accomplishing new and amazing things every single day.

Let THOSE things define you and who you're going to be.

You are a BOSS lady!