“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!’” – Audrey Hepburn
Hell yeah, Audrey. Preach!
Except many things actually seem quite impossible. Especially when you’re at this weird in between stage in life.You’re basically an adult but you’re broke. You live at home with your parents. And apparently your dreams are wildly far-fetched because you have to have crows feet around your eyes and saggy boobs before you can actually accomplish anything with your life. Long story short, while Audrey Hepburn can pump us up to believe that anything is possible, it’s just as easy (if not easier) to lose all hope in yourself.
We love seeing girls follow their dreams and succeed at doing so, but seriously. We can’t all be J.K freakin’ Rowling and have the Harry Potter franchise just fall out of our heads. If you’re an aspiring badass lawyer, how the hell are you supposed start making an impact now? No one wants legal advice from someone who was in high school mere months ago (or who is still in school!).
Tossing the angst to the side for a moment, have you ever wondered how some girls, some even younger than you, have found their passion, pursued their dreams and accomplished insanely remarkable things? Here the rest of us are, out in this dark, passionless abyss and there are 12-year-olds pitching business plans on Shark Tank? What have they got right, or what do we have wrong?
Asking these questions to our GATF team, we set out on a mission.
We were determined to find what these ridiculously successful dream warriors had in common. Can achieving our goals despite many barriers be a learned behavior? Or is it something some people are just born with?
Let’s take a look at several girls who are pioneers in following their heart song, regardless of the challenges that stood before them, and see what similarities can be sniffed out. What traits do these girls illuminate and how do they apply them to each situation?
Everest seemed like a good challenge to start with. Assuming we could find information on people who dreamed of climbing Everest and trained intensely, surely it would point us in the direction of inspiring girls who followed impossible dreams.
Surprisingly, we didn’t have to look for long. Ming Kipa appeared in our searches as a girl who had conquered Everest and knocked down any barrier in her path. Ming is from Nepal and held the record for being the youngest person to climb Everest up until 2010.
Reaching the summit at a mere 15-years-old is already impressive enough, but age and experience wasn’t all that stood in her way. There is a Nepalese law that does not allow climbers under the age of 16 to climb Everest. While some adventurers might have sighed and said, ‘What’s another year?’, Ming said, ‘Screw it!’ and climbed Everest from the Chinese side. Talk about a loophole!
Ming showed her determination by finding a logical solution to her problem. She had a goal, a vision…and a road block. Instead of immediately giving up or breaking the Nepalese law, she had a brainstorm sesh, compared risks, weighed options, and found a way to chase her dream.
Ebony ‘Noffy’ Marinoff
The year 2017 will be remembered for many things: Trump, the death of ‘Old Taylor’, and the birth of the women’s Australian Football League. In this inaugural year of AFLW, many stars were able to shine bright, one of which is Ebony Marinoff from Adelaide, who was awarded the title of the AFLW Rising Star.
At 20-years-young, Ebony was finally able to take her passion to a professional level. She first started playing footy at age five when she joined a competitive boy’s league. The number of males on the field didn’t intimidate her at all. In fact, she continued to play in the boy’s league until age 12, when she switched to a women’s league.
Noffy exemplifies confidence by remaining patient while waiting nearly her whole life for a professional route for her passion. It didn’t even exist until she was 20-years-old! But while she waited, she continued working towards her goal and played footy. Nothing could hold her back, not playing on a boys league and certainly not the long wait!
While some 14-year-olds might fake an illness to get out of going to school, Aziza dares to be different. With a passion for education and a natural knack for helping others, Aziza became a rights activist and began working towards a brighter future for her impoverished community by fighting for children’s right to education.
At the age of 14, the now 16-year-old Aziza from Afghanistan knocked down seemingly impossible barriers preventing children from attending school. She raised money to purchase school supplies, played a role in convincing community leaders to allow children to get an education, and even succeeded in her mission for access to tap water in her community!
Aziza is another poster child for confidence. She wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, and knew that even at her age, it was totally possible. She may not have had a lot of practice in public speaking, but she made her case to the community council knowing that it was a ‘make or break’ situation. Her confidence in the cause shined so bright, making it obvious that education was something she truly believed would benefit the community.
Saira is a legislator in West Virginia, USA. Hurray for powerful women leaders, but guess what else?! She was elected to office when she was only 18-years-old. In fact, she won the state primaries (first round of voting) when she was 17-years-old, meaning that she wasn’t even old enough to vote for herself!
Saira obtained a strong position in the career path she dreamed of even without further education. Though she didn’t hold a uni degree at the time of election, she focused on what was important to her and started uni while holding office.
Though she may have had limited experience, Saira had heaps of restless ambition. She had a strong desire to become a political figure to fight for what she believes. That burning passion set the precedent for her entire career. Just barely out of high school, Saira’s ambition led her to enter the running, find out how to manage a campaign, choose a platform, and WIN the election!
So, learned behavior or natural gift?
After hearing about such a remarkable group of young women, who’s feeling inspired to be their best, bad ass-iest self?! Because what we found from these women, and the myriad of others we discovered, is that there is no specific ‘cookie cutter’ look, socioeconomic status or popularity measure for a dream-driven goddess. It’s purely ambition, confidence, and dedication. Success and busting through barriers can actually be a learned behavior! You just need to adjust your attitude and mindset and you’re there!
Each of the champions that we explored applied their relentless ambition, admirable confidence, and fierce dedication in a unique way — a way that was specific to their strengths, their challenge, and their dream.
So, maybe Audrey was right. Maybe nothing is impossible when it comes to our dreams. As long as we’re willing to take the necessary risks and put in the hard work, not even the sky is our limit! Just like Ming, Noffy, Aziza, and Saira, you have what it takes to challenge the impossible and win.
Have you, or has someone you know, tackled a seemingly impossible challenge to achieve a dream? Or is there a dream you’re trying to chase? Share your stories, your successes, your trials and errors — we want to hear ‘em!