Lessons Learned From Susan Boyle

Thousands of people have watched Susan Boyle’s incredible performance during her recent appearance on the television show Britain’s Got Talent. If you haven’t seen it , the You Tube video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luRmM1J1sfg ….and if you haven’t, what rock have you been living under?

Susan is my hero and there are many lessons to be learned from her experience…I want to share a few with you:

1. Never give up on your dreams.

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue and the dreams you dare to dream really do come true. ~ Lyman Frank Baum

No matter how long you’ve had your dream, keep it close to your heart and never let go. Never think that your dreams can’t come true. Susan Boyle was born with her beautiful voice and she dreamed of being like Elaine Paige. At age 47, she marched on stage and all the world watched her dream become a reality.

2. Have courage

Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway. ~ Dr. Robert Anthony

Courage gives you confidence for every step you take. Courage recognizes challenges. Courage understands risk. Courage acknowledges fear. Courage is aware of the possibility of failure. Then courage gives you the confidence to move forward, to do what you believe is right and true. Courage urges you to reach your full potential. At age 47, Susan Boyle stood before the audience and had the courage to reach her full potential. Was she nervous? You bet!

3. Take risks.

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go. ~ T.S. Eliot

Susan Boyle took a huge risk when she stepped on stage and looked Simon Cowle in the eye. Would he like her? Would she be embarrassed? Would she fail? Susan knew, though, that if you live your entire life playing it safe, you will never know what you can achieve. Sure, never taking a risk is playing it safe, but playing it safe is the greatest risk of all.

3. Never underestimate another person.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s what’s inside that matters. ~ Michael Green

Susan Boyle is not tall, she is not thin, she doesn’t have great hair, and she would not win a beauty contest….but Susan Boyle is beautiful on the inside. Never be fooled by what you see. A person may look great, they may drive a snazzy car and they may wear the latest fashions. Those do not make them beautiful. Always look deeper for a person’s inner beauty. If you did not look inside Susan Boyle, you you would miss her beautiful voice, her charm and her unassuming personality that make her a truly beautiful person.

4. Don’t be afraid to leave your village (ie your comfort zone)

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. ~William Shedd

Only by venturing outside her tiny village did Susan Boyle make her dreams come true. Her voice would have been heard at weddings and at funerals and at church on Sunday morning but the world would have been deprived of knowing her and Susan would not have accomplished her life goal. Yes, she would have been safe. Yes, she would not have risked failure. By stepping outside her comfort zone, though, Susan Boyle taught us all that we should never stay in our safe harbor but sail toward our dreams, no matter how frightening that may be.

5. Believe and you can achieve.

If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it. ~Jesse Jackson

If you are to achieve anything in life, you must first adjust your attitude and believe with all your heart that you can do anything you decide to do. When you do this, half the battle is won. Believing in yourself is even more important than your abilities. Susan Boyle believed in herself even when the entire audience was smirking with disbelief. Other people do not have to believe in you…but you must always believe in yourself.

6. Stay true to yourself.

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. ~ Raymond Hull

There has been much discussion about whether Susan Boyle should have a makeover. Should she have her eyebrows waxed? Her hair styled? Her wardrobe updated? Susan herself has admitted she might need to exercise a bit now that she’s seen herself on national television. If she wants to change to suit herself, that’s great. Goals for personal improvement are good. However, Susan shouldn’t change herself to please anyone but herself or she will lose the person that everyone fell in love with. Had she walked on stage looking like Miss USA, no one would have been surprised by the beatiful voice…they would have expected it. Finding the unexpected in Susan Boyle has been the attraction.

7. Do not fear competition.

You learn so much from competition. You gain confidence every time you step up and perform. ~Natalie Gulbis

Just when Susan Boyle was getting accustomed to the limelight, competition surfaced…a twelve year old boy with an incredible voice and darling dimples whose name is Shaheen Jafargholi. Susan will have to march on stage and meet the competition head on. She should do this by remaining true to herself. Susan is not Elaine Paige and she is not Shaheen Jarfargholi. She is a simple, unassuming woman who will grow from this experience and who will know in her heart that the world loves her for who she is.

I hope that Susan’s brush with fame will cause you to pause and consider your life, your goals, and your dreams. Know that if you believe, you can achieve. In closing, I will leave you with one last quote:

Only as high as I can reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be. ~Karen Ravn

© 2009 Vicki Voisin, Inc.

Do you want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or Web site? You can, so long as you include this entire blurb with it: Vicki Voisin, “The Paralegal Mentor”, delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals to create success and satisfaction by achieving goals and determining the direction they will take their careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethics issues, and other areas of continuing education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes a bi-weekly ezine titled Strategies for Paralegals Seeking Excellence. More information is available at www.paralegalmentor.com