Actually, being unstoppable is not about knowledge or having an attitude—it’s all about who you are being in the face of your circumstances. Being unstoppable is the difference between letting your circumstances dictate how your life goes and you creating your own circumstances! So, what does being unstoppable look like?
In grade school, unstoppable looks like this:
Ten-year old Julie had a best friend, Peg, in her 4th grade class. They were both excellent students, and tended to finish their assignments way ahead of time and then be bored. This led to their whispering to each other in class. Their teacher told them not to talk to each other in class because it was disruptive to the other students.
So, unstoppable Julie and Peg took on learning the American Sign Language alphabet! This was quite a task for 10 year olds, but they studied and practiced, so they could “talk” to each other in class without disturbing the other students.
When parent-teacher conference time rolled around, their teacher confessed that she was at a loss as to how to handle the situation. On the one hand, she felt the girls had disobeyed her request to not talk to each other in class, but on the other hand, they weren’t disturbing the other students. She was so impressed with, and proud of the girls, for learning a difficult and unusual language, that she hesitated to discipline them for it!
As a parent, unstoppable looks like this:
Getting What You Need
Tammy’s baby boy, Jimmy, was a joy. He was a happy 6 month old who’d never had a sick day in his life. At his 6 month “well-baby” check-up, the pediatrician looked into Jimmy’s ears, whistled, and said to Tammy, ”Why didn’t you bring him in sooner?” “What for?” puzzled Tammy asked. “He just turned 6 months old.” “Because”, said the pediatrician, “he has two raging ear infections!”
Tammy learned that day that her baby was unusual in that he could have two seriously infected ears and yet have no fever, be eating and sleeping normally, and be in good spirits. As her son grew, Tammy learned to listen to Jimmy’s toddler’s voice for a clue as to whether his ears were clear or infected. If his baby voice sounded “stuffy” or husky, he most likely had another ear infection.
As every parent knows, getting an appointment with a pediatrician requires making it through the front desk phone screening process. The “gate-keepers” are trained to decide who needs to see the doctor and when. When Jimmy’s voice would change, Tammy would call for an appointment, only to be met with a list of qualifying questions. Because Tammy’s baby ran no fever, showed no change in disposition, sleeping or eating habits, Tammy was routinely told on the phone that Jimmy didn’t need to see the doctor. Once, Jimmy ended up in the emergency room a few days later, screaming in pain because his eardrum had burst.
One day, Tammy took on being Unstoppable in the matter of her son’s health. When she called for an appointment, she politely, but firmly, told the receptionist that her son never runs fever with ear infections and that the first infection was discovered at a “well-baby” visit. The receptionist would not budge because Jimmy did not fit the “profile” of a baby with an ear infection. “Ok, then”, said Tammy. “I am bringing Jimmy to your office at 4:00 today and I am going to sit in your waiting room until I get to see his doctor, and I don’t care how long it takes.”
Tammy got to see Jimmy’s doctor that day, who treated Jimmy’s ear infection. She also requested that the doctor put a note on her baby’s chart that he is to be seen on request for ear infections and is not to be refused because of the inapplicability of the screening process questions. From then on, Jimmy got care when he needed it.
As a leader, unstoppable looks like this:
Pushing Through Your Circumstances and ignoring Criticism
Successful leaders are unstoppable in the face of difficult circumstances or criticism. Leaders don’t let others bash their dreams.
Here are some examples:
- Cosmetic tycoon, the late Mary Kay Ash, was told weeks before she started her business to liquidate immediately or she would become penniless.
- A teacher told recording artist Diana Ross was told her voice wasn’t “anything special”.
- A New York publisher told author James Michener he should give up writing and stay with editing and that his first book “wasn’t really that good.” Michener won a Pulitzer Prize for that first book, Tales of the South Pacific.
-from Unstoppable by Cynthia Kersey
Take a look at your life. Look around! There are opportunities to be unstoppable everywhere. Take them on and see what happens! Let us know what being unstoppable looks like in your life!