Tue | Nov 24, 2020

Make your life work for you – Janice Sutherland (Pt 1)

Published:Saturday | June 29, 2019 | 12:09 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:

It is inevitable that life throws curveballs, but how you react to what comes at you is more important than the experience.

Do you succumb under the pressure or do you rise above it stronger than before?

Author, women’s leadership expert and executive coach, Janice Sutherland, said it took her years to see her true value and realised that she was more than her circumstances.

“I struggled to identify self and purpose. I was married at 19 and quickly realised that of the three Ps – the person, the promise, and the penis – I got married to the wrong one. I soon became a societal cliché, a single parent with two children and a divorcee with very little career aspirations,” she said.

Sutherland said she wasn’t very career-focused and immediately had to go in survival mode by finding a job to handle taking care of herself and her two boys.

She continued, “I told myself my future could only get better because it couldn’t get worse. I could maintain a positive attitude in everything I did. I could be ruthless or remain focused on the objective I had.”

She said she endured an abusive marriage and had to make intentional efforts every day to pull herself out of the dark hole the experience threatened to hold her in.

“I was told I wouldn’t amount to anything I didn’t have any common sense I was stupid I didn’t have any goals and nobody wanted me – all from someone I thought loved me. If I chose to have a mindset that would continue into that narrative, I wouldn’t have gone back to school to complete my first degree at the age of 32, and getting two further degrees by age 39, while I was working full-time and raising two successful black men.”

Sutherland, who later migrated to one of the Caribbean countries to become the first female CEO in the telecommunications industry, and then started her own company, said you must be open to receiving your heart’s desire.

“Be open to all possibilities and know it can be done. Know you have the power and the responsibility deep down inside you, to know anything is possible,” she advised.

She said the people who seem to be at the right place at the right time and living the dream life aren’t lucky, but they have taken advantage of the opportunities that have been presented to them.

“There is nothing in this life that says you can’t live the life you want to live. Once you know who you are and you make a conscious effort to push forward, you create your own opportunities, or find one that fits what you are looking for, and the more you become open to possibilities, the more creative you become and the bigger the whole world becomes around you to enable you to succeed,” she says.

She said those who mope around with a hopeless attitude will get that very life.

“When you have a negative mind, things get very closed and you only focus on a lack of opportunities,” she said.

Next week, we will find out Sutherland used what she calls ‘super powers’ to move her life forward.

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