At an altitude of 23,000 feet, climbers must take five to ten breathes for every step in pursuit of the summit. “You have to be relentless about putting one foot in front of the other,” says Alison Levine, an adventurer who has ascended the highest peak on every mountain and skied to both the North and South Poles. Alison wasafeatured speaker at Mika Brzezinski’s Know Your Value Chicago event last month where she shared her insights on leadership and perseverance. Although everyone may not want to climb Mount Everest twice like Alison, we all face metaphorical mountains in our lives. The key to surpassing these obstacles is to dissect the problem into easily surmountable tasks that provide us with a sense of confidence and optimism.
This is the approach Alison utilized as the team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition. “With 300 feet remaining to our next camp, the only way I could lead my team to the top of Mount Everest was by focusing on milestones I could control. I shined my headlight on a rock in the distance and told myself, ‘If I can make it past that rock, I can keep going.’ Using this strategy, I focused on a new landmark until we reached our destination.” Whether you are completing your college applications or applying for an internship, you can develop an effective plan to achieve your goals that is customized for your strengths.
The most actionable piece of advice from the event came from Mika herself: “Stop apologizing!” As the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and bestselling author, Mika has become an evangelist for women in the workplace. Through her research and interviews with female executives, she found that women are overly apologetic in their daily lives. Women politely apologize when they are in a meeting with a senior professional (“I am sorry you have to take time out of your busy schedule to see me.”), call someone on the phone (“Sorry, I can call back at another time.”), or asking for a raise (“Sorry, I know people don’t usually ask for raises here.’’). Sorry stops today! In order for women to know their value and gain equality with their male counterparts, they must stop masking their intentions with an habitual apology.
To win a copy of Mika’s book, Know Your Value enter the lottery below by Thursday, October 15th at 11:59 PM EST.