Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume II, Issue 1 2013 Open Letter to Women Professionals Dear Women Professionals, I write this letter to you because it has been my honor to support and mentor women for over 35 years. Even though professional women have achieved success in school administration or educational leadership, we still need a “brave heart” in order to endure and survive to reach the level you want to attain in this profession. The advice I offer comes from years of experience from my own hard lessons learned, and what I have observed. I share from my own brave heart with loving concern for your success! First, we often doubt ourselves! We know some of the things we want to do, but we are not sure we will be able to complete the journey. We wonder if we are good enough or smart enough. We beat ourselves up every day by thinking judgmental things like “I should not have said that. Or, I should not have done that. Or, I should have done something else, not that.” This uncertainty may be sparked by fear, no time, lack of enough money, lack of understanding, or needing approval. But, a woman can overcome all these things. Women need to develop a brave heart. A brave heart keeps you calm, strong, energetic, and listening with an open mind. Stay focused on reality of “what is” not “what if” to keep things in check. Reality is a friend, not an enemy. You will never know what you can do until you try. Don’t let your decision to move forward be based on “what if”! Leaders are risk-takers. Nothing in life is certain. Your fear is like wanting to win the lottery, but not buying a ticket!! Buy the ticket, for goodness sake! You will never win if you don’t. Bravery is just action even in the face of fears. Second, we try to be all things to everyone! Have you felt that you have to put yourself on the back burner? Do you have feelings about making everyone happy and you have to put yourself last? We say that we are so busy and we have to take care of our children, family, husband, special other, parents or grandparents, church responsibilities, community obligations, and job!! We want to be loved and needed and we like for people to tell us that we are wonderful and we are loved. Therefore, we perform. We are searching outside ourselves, not inside ourselves for acceptance and others love. We want to win other people’s approval, so we put ourselves last. What to do? Look at the labels you have taken on for yourself. Look for your gifts and see if they match what you are doing in your life. If you can find your gifts, find the truths, and then you can find your passions and mother yourself. Let your gifts surface and begin to use them. Let go of expectations, and your relationships will improve. You will have more energy. You do not have to be the best girl and do everything right. Stop trying to be the best performer! Listen to your brave heart. Listen and you will be a good gift to others.