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“I think you can be outstanding. I just don’t always get the impression that you’re trying to be.”


This was in the email that I received from my marketing professor today. I had to read it again to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. What could he possibly mean by this? There are times in my life where I have to stop and do self-reflection, and this is one of those times. In this case, I have to think about the source, who made this statement? Next, what were they referring to in the statement? Finally, what is my interpretation of what was said?

Let’s look at the first question. This statement came from my marketing professor, so already this is a person who I care about his opinion. He also happens to be the President of the Chamber of Commerce in a town that I am hoping to start my new business venture in, so this adds more clout to his name. Next, what was he referring to? This comment was in reference to a case study that I wrote. He told me that I write like a student trying to complete an assignment and not like an executive. Now, this bruised my ego, especially since I call myself a writer. Although, I am a creative writer and not a business writer it still falls in my wheelhouse, and the fact that I’m getting an MBA means I will be a business writer, so this didn’t make me feel great. My interpretation of what was said, “I’m a loser.”

Maybe loser is a bit dramatic, however, I definitely got called out for the mediocre work I’ve been handing in. Here’s the thing, I’m busy, I’m tired, and I may have taken more on than I can handle seamlessly at the moment. I am not trying to make excuses; I’m just being honest. With all the things I have going on, I have been treating school like a Cinderella stepchild. My goal lately was only to be sure that I passed the class. Well, with an A or B, I do have to maintain a certain GPA, but my mind frame lately – do enough to pass. In this particular class, I also happened to be under a tremendous amount of stress dealing with things in my personal life. There has been our pursuit of finding a home, a miscarriage, and family drama. None of these things helped, but I powered through.

Now that I’m done listing the excuses as to why I got this response let’s self-reflect. This is awful. I never want someone to think that I am not putting my best foot forward. When I signed up for this program, I knew it was going to be tough but being tough isn’t an excuse, it means I need to push myself harder. I currently have a 3.7 G.P.A. and although I’ve blown my chances at a 4.0 I am going to push myself to get straight A’s for the rest of my classes. I need to prove to myself that no matter what I do, I am trying to be outstanding. This is what separates the good from the great, and I want to be great. I want people who work with me to know that no matter what I’m going through, no matter the issues that may arise, I will always give my all. That is the impression I want to leave – I am Outstanding.

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