No Prince Charming

If you are a woman of a certain age, you were brought up on the idea that you must downplay your talents and wait to be discovered. No tall poppies. (Just heard that expression for the first time.) You took that belief into school, hoping

"Tall Poppies." Gelli plate collage. © Quinn McDonald

“Tall Poppies.” Gelli plate collage. © Quinn McDonald

your teacher would discover you. Mostly your teacher didn’t. She was busy paying attention to noisy, loud, and rambunctious kids.

Later on, you hoped the CEO would notice you and promote you. Nope, that didn’t happen either.

Maybe you hoped that the perfect man would come and wake you from your waiting coma with a kiss and a “happily ever after.” You would be taken care of, elevated onto a pedestal and thrive.

Yeah, that doesn’t happen either.  No one is going to discover you, they are waiting to be discovered by someone else. No one is going to sweep you off your feet, promote you, or make you feel special.

Not because you aren’t special. You may well be. But because everyone is busy with their own work.

52319518If you want to be noticed, promoted, honored, and loved, you are going to have to do the work yourself. The first step is being lovable, honorable, promotable. And also Remarkable and noticeable.

The second step is to admit to yourself that you are lovable, honorable, promotable, remarkable and noticeable. If you don’t believe it, no one else will.

The third thing is to decide what you want and go after it. No one brings you anything on a silver platter. Overnight success takes 10 years to happen.  Word of mouth will kick in about four years after mouths start to mention you.

When you are focused and working on something that excites you, you become exciting. Helping others helps widen your connections. Defining your own success helps you focus on your goal and drop the effort-drainers that don’t get you there. Speaking up helps you find heroes and role models.

Not everyone can be a rock star. But everyone can define personal success and work toward it. Working toward it brings it closer. Which is much better than waiting for someone else to notice what you need and then bring you the wrong thing.

—Quinn McDonald likes the idea of tall poppies.




22 thoughts on “No Prince Charming

  1. Funny you should mention being “remarkable”. I have told many people that I would like to be thought of and remembered as being a “remarkable person”. As I am now in my sixties, I hope I have been able to convince some of them! lol
    And Quinn, I just love the poppies collage you posted. If it were mine it would certainly be hanging on a wall where I could look at it every day. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Being “remarkable” is a phrase I learned from reading Seth Godin’s work. And the poppy piece? It’s in Joan Bess’s new book on Gelli Plate Printing. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  2. As a woman born in the early 60s, I actually was taught “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” So I got a slightly different, more modern message, still tinged though with “but as a girl, you have to be a lady.” That was quite a mixed message, and challenging, trying to figure out when I was supposed to speak up or not. “She’s a bitch, He’s assertive” were the unfair result of this philosophy. Turns out I’m pretty assertive, and patience isn’t my virtue. But I learned to be a lady about it. Sure, I’ve rubbed some people the wrong way, but you can’t hope to be liked by everyone. What matters is that I’m liked and loved by the people I like and love; and I’m happy because I’ve taken risks and chances. I don’t ever want to think “I wish I had done this but I didn’t have the nerve…” If we discover ourselves and are happy with that, other people will notice…

  3. Hi Quinn, 

    Thank you for your latest post. Oh yes, I remember that feeling so well! Waiting for someone to notice, see my potential and offer me what I needed to develop my unknown talents!  

    Of course,  I know now that we are supposed to grow and nurture ourselves which can be a challenging but ultimately more rewarding journey. Only we can know what is right for us. 

    But thank you for writing about that feeling – it’s good to know others have felt the same and it wasn’t just my awful ego, just that I am a woman of a certain age ……. 🙂


    Sent from Samsung tablet

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