Be Inspired

Think You Can’t? You Can!

May 25, 2022

I’m not sure when I got the idea that I wouldn’t be good at it … “it” being Quantitative Analysis, also known as statistics. This was a class I had to take last semester for my Ph.D. program. A class that, when I thought about having to take it, gave me a pit in my stomach. 

You see, I do business math every day—but there aren’t many X’s and Y’s or slopes. I joked about it before taking the class, but inside I was fretting. Would I be able to do it? Even the textbook title—Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics—seemed to know how I felt.

Then I began thinking, where in the world did I pick up the idea that I wouldn’t do well in a subject like statistics? More importantly, why did I accept this belief? Did something happen in my early school years? Did someone imply that artists couldn’t also be good with numbers? As a young girl, was I slighted in math class? Perhaps the magazines I grew up reading featured women toting more lipstick than calculators in their backpacks?

So, I asked myself these questions and then thought, “I want to see if I can do this!” Maybe, just maybe, I’ll actually like it. With enough time and attention, surely I could figure it out … much like I figured out business, even with no experience. And much like I figured out dance, even if I didn’t always pick up the steps as fast as other kids.

I reminded myself that those limiting beliefs were just that—limiting. And I could choose to take the limits off. It was up to me.

And wouldn’t you know? I did it! I finished the first school year of my Ph.D. program with a 4.0 GPA, including my grade from Quantitative Analysis. There were a few moments where I thought I might lose my mind, but God never left me. All the while, I had encouragement! 

Parents, teachers, coaches, media: Let’s start telling our girls and artists and athletes that they can learn hard subjects—any subjects—if they are curious, interested, and put in the hard work. Let’s not allow them to put off college or testing or trade school or grad school wondering if they can do it. Let’s not allow them to wait twenty years before they decide they can go for it. They can do it.

There are no limits to what you can believe. There are no limits to what you can try. This is a lesson we can learn at any age; at any point in our lifelong education.

So, to the young girl, young woman, new mom, empty nester, or retiree reading this … guess what? Whatever “it” is, you can do it too. We’ve got this!





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