What a moment we experienced recently, as Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
Many tears were shed as we embarked on a new day. Young girls and women of all ages faced a moment of inspired energy as she took the podium. For the first time in history a woman accepted the nomination. It certainly was more than your usual Democratic National Convention. As Hillary stood there addressing the world with her plans as the first female President, she had indeed broken a long time record of men standing in that very spot. But had she really broken a glass ceiling?
I suggest that Hillary may have broken the record, but the glass ceiling was already shattered awaiting her arrival. Consider Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes and Michele Obama who have all represented women soaring through barriers. They’ve blown the glass into a million pieces and blazed a path for other women to follow.
In fact, Shonda Rhimes said “Making it through the glass ceiling to the other side was simply a matter of running on a path created by every other woman’s footprints. I just hit at exactly the right time in exactly the right spot,”.
When TIME asked her last year about that statement, she said, “I did not feel like I had come up against obstacles. One, because my parents raised me to believe that there weren’t any. If you believe that there are obstacles, that’s why there are obstacles. And two, because I came along at exactly the right time in history”.
Shonda’s words opened up a dialogue. Is there really a glass ceiling?
I think Shonda raises a question for all women to consider. A question that could set all on the road of succeeding in every path they chart. If there is a glass ceiling, where is it, really?
Shonda mentioned her parents teaching her to believe there were no obstacles. This changed her course in life. I’d even venture to say, if you haven’t reached the success you long for or you’ve been relegated to the glass ceiling that is often mentioned, perhaps the ceiling is only relevant to your belief. It only exists in your mind and there’s no real ceiling or limitation on what you can achieve or become.
So, how do you break something that doesn’t really exist?
Shift your belief that there is a glass ceiling or limitation in your ability to have what you want.
Find your voice. Be bold and never settle for less than you deserve.
Trust your instincts. If you know you want something, go for it.
Perfect the ask. Become more effective in asking for what you want.
The next time you tell yourself there is a glass ceiling, remember there’s a path awaiting! Take the leap of being bold and courageous. Perhaps you’ll be the next to break a record!