Hidden Figures

We all have limits, but we all don’t have excuses.

I took my daughter to see Hidden Figures (You NEED to see this movie). Many of my friends have taken their daughters to see this movie, because it was so much more than a movie. This was a cinematic presentation of possibility, perseverance and determination. It is still so relevant to the current political, socio-economic and racial climate in America in 2017.

Hope and faith were busting through every scene, in every line, in every song in this movie. I told myself that every time, I feel like moaning and groaning about my life not being fair, or something is too hard, or someone hurting my feelings, I will review this movie.

With tears flowing down my face, I watched these 3 phenomenal women, bust open stereotypes and break through barriers like super women. I looked over at my daughter, in the dark theater, watching this huge screen attentively… I realized, that I needed to walk my talk.

If I was going to tell my daughter that she CAN be anyone she wants to be and do anything she wants, I had to lead the way.

Breaking Down Barriers

I saw aspects of myself in all three of those women:

  • I saw myself first as a woman with a desire to be the change and make a difference.

  • I saw myself as a black person, trying to fit into the mainstream American dream, where I am required to work twice as hard to prove I am not whatever stereotype I am labeled or assumed to be.

  • I saw myself as the single mother, feeling the guilt and weight of juggling a balanced life at home and work.

  • I saw myself as the first of the family to push boundaries and push past the tradition of what it means to be a black woman.

My tears flowed, because as I watched, I was reminded that these black women were knocking down barriers in the 1950s when segregation was law, women were not allowed, coloreds were not allowed, but they were “colored women” bending the rules and eventually dismantling those oppressive laws. Thank you, Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson for breaking glass ceilings.


Blocking My Success

What was blocking me from breaking my glass ceilings? Why have I struggled with feeling stuck?

The answer:

You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is about moving on. If you’re sitting around, waiting on somebody to save you, to fix you, to even help you, you are wasting your time. Only you have the power to move your life forward.
— Oprah Winfrey

Oprah, is my auntie, (in my head) and some of her quotes are like a cool glass of water on a scorching hot day, exactly what you need, when you need it.

Although, I know this quote is true, there are disruptive patterns of thinking that have blocked my some of my success, over my lifetime. But, because I know, that all disruptive thinking can be changed with a mindset shift, I got to work on my mindset management.


Shift Your Mindset

Over time, I got so tired of my disruptive thinking, I started working on my mind shift, every day, all the time, until it worked. I prayed for wisdom, for clarity, for courage.

There is always going to be a “but” and some reason or excuse why you can’t do something. Will you choose to focus on what you can’t or what you can?

Watching this movie, reminded me I need to shut the but up and get my shift together, not just for me, but for my daughter, my niece, all the girls coming up behind me. I needed to step up, so I could reach back for them, just like Octavia Spencer’s character in the movie.

We all have some obstacle, barrier, people or environment, that can pose a challenge to our progress in life. However, as Oprah states, we are responsible for what we choose to do with those obstacles.

We get to decide, how we will respond, what thought we will have, what plan we will put into action.

I encourage you to watch this movie, start working on your mind shift now. When are you going to shut the but up and get your shift together?

Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/@rodolfoclix

Your Journal Prompt (Pen, Paper, 5 minutes)

Write a list of ten obstacles. They could be a person, place, thing, environment. After you write, the obstacles, what are possible solutions? Don’t worry about it being realistic or if you can do it now, just write a list of possible solutions.

If you get stuck thinking about the solution. Write the thought or emotion keeping you stuck, on the list of obstacles.

EXTRA CREDIT: Watch the movie Hidden Figures and see if you can identify any of the 3 womens’ emotions in yourself. How did they overcome it? How can you overcome yours?


I'd love to hear about your experience writing this journal prompt! Let's connect by email askcoachsen@gmail.com.