Hidden Figures is exactly what the overachiever’s soul needs.
It is for all the folks out there who sometimes feel like they are under appreciated or overlooked.
What I’m saying is that it’s for all of us.
It’s about three very bright, very brave black women in 1961 that accomplish new heights in the male-dominated STEM field in various positions at NASA. It’s based on the true stories of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, played by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. The screenplay was derived from a book written by a phenomenal woman named Margot Lee Shetterly. You can check out the trailer HERE.
When it was over, I immediately thought, “can we do that again?” “One mo’ ‘gain, one mo’ ‘gain..”
If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and do it NOW.
Dignity. Poise. Class. Humility.
These women just exude strength.
Love. Courage. Self-respect.
I could go on and on.
Watching the movie brought to my mind a message from the late Maya Angelou. She reminded us: You have already been paid for.
Angelou says that whenever you walk into a room where you feel that you don’t fit or aren’t qualified… whenever you feel intimidated or overwhelmed, to take everyone with you.
Your grandmothers, your great grandmothers, your third grade teacher… everyone who has ever loved you, prayed for you, believed in you. Take them with you and let them be your confidence when you are lacking.
That is no-doubt was these amazing women did.
And because I couldn’t get through the movie without thinking, feeling so many things, I want to share FIVE UNDENIABLE TRUTHS FROM HIDDEN FIGURES:
1. Make it work | Baby, we don’t know anything about barriers. What we call “barriers” today would be considered luxuries by those that came before us.
These women did not let ignorance, inequality or plain-old racism become an excuse for being mediocre to less than excellent. They resided firmly in a place of excellence. They carried themselves with respect.
They completely OWNED it every chance they got.
2. Have the damn coffee | I promised myself not to include any spoilers. But when you put one black woman in a room with white males in America in 1961, and you only provide one pot of coffee, your imagination can fill in the blanks.
But that awkward situation didn’t stop Ms. Katherine G. Johnson from having her coffee. It was a very subtle yet notable way of saying, “I’m here. Get over it.” No shrinking. No denying herself in fear of what others would do or say. Just bonafide BOSS behavior.
3. Get You a Tribe! | These women did what is lost on many in our generation; they leaned on loved ones.
They were open and humble enough to share their challenges and frustrations with their friends and family. When they had opportunities to advance, they shared the opportunity with other deserving folks as much as possible.
It wasn’t all about image or appearing to be perfect. It was more about accomplishing big goals. Goals much bigger than them.
Hidden Figures proves that if you focus on your strengths, stay in your lane and stay humble, you’ll go leaps and bounds in the direction of destiny.
That you can make advancements not only for yourself, but for countless others.
That you can leave a legacy that inspires the hearts and minds of people that can see themselves in you.
That racism is a big, unfunny joke and always has been.
But what’s more, I’m convinced the lessons in this movie transcend race, age or gender.
So how can we use this story as inspiration as we build our own legendary brands?
There’s so much to learn. And frankly, so many new challenges in our generation that we must learn to navigate ourselves.
I’ve put together 11 Questions for Epic Personal Branding, a worksheet that will walk you through the process of figuring out what exactly it is that you bring to the table, what you want to accomplish + how it’s going to happen.
Work through it. Make the vision plain. Then let’s talk about what you discovered in the process.
And if you ever feel like you may not make it, that others may be better or smarter than you, remember this:
You have already been paid for.