I just finished reading Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming.” A very powerful story of an amazing woman, much more than simply the “first lady”.  What an impressive list of achievements she has; a change maker, changing the healthy eating standards in the Us schools & revamping of many products with less sugar, improved educational facilities & services for disadvantaged girls and many more. Did you know she was a lawyer, one of a few black women Harvard educated, a real pioneer in the black US community? She worked as hard as Barak on the campaign trail motivating the average person who she felt was like her. It’s a great read!

There was one statement she made that totally resonated with me. Her comment was, “ I am no smarter than anyone else, the  difference is I had someone advocating for me”. This was said in relation to her schooling and in this case the advocates were her mother & teacher

In her early schooling, she had a terrible teacher who disliked teaching and she started to dislike going to school. The class ran amuck, they were the “problem kids stuck in the basement”. Due to her mothers influence, she was moved out of this class and into one for those with potential. This time she had a teacher that loved teaching. With the confidence, encouragement and support of those advocates, she went on to study at Princeton becoming one of a minority of black girls to attend & do well. Then ultimately, she was accepted into Harvard Law school & went on to achieve distinction as a lawyer.

One could ask the question, would she be the woman she is today had she remained “stuck in the basement”.

Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our families, so you hope you enjoy what you are doing, that it is rewarding & purposeful. However, many feel “stuck in the basement”. Why? It could be the environment, the lack of career progression or the feeling that no one is advocating for you.

If this is you, then you need to ask who is advocating for you? It’s time to get a new perspective and mentoring can offer you this. It’s unlikely that you want your mother stepping in, so it is up to you to accept the status quo or take some action. Remember a good mentor comes with a wealth of experience & connections all focused on advocating for you and helping you achieve your goals.

My final thought it to think about painting a picture in your mind of you. Then ask yourself, “What are you Becoming?”