Pain to Power

Success Isn’t Just For Shiny People

Whilst we can acknowledge the efforts made to recognize successful women in leadership, they are often portrayed as shiny, happy, and flawless individuals. However, this can make us feel like we don’t belong to the shiny success club because, realistically, this isn’t who we are.

Most of us have faced adversity, failure, hardship, and loss in our lives. These events can leave wounds and burdens in a way we feel permanently tainted by the ugliness of these experiences. Feelings such as unworthiness, shame, resentment, and low self-esteem can bring a toll on how we identify ourselves.

We view success as a far-off destination at the top of the mountain, which we are not equipped to reach. Instead, we can feel our hardships and failures have weakened us in some way.  Not only are we not part of the shiny success club, but we also feel ill-equipped for the glamour of success.

Pain = Power = Success

This Pain To Power section of She Can is dedicated to stories and advice on how adversity can serve as the greatest power source and success.  You may consider your failures and pains to have weakened you in some way, but that is most likely because you have never recognized the strength you found to face them. Single mothers on limited incomes rarely recognize their greatness but only the heavy load which weighs upon them. Success is not about glamour but the journey you have taken. Success is about standing through the storms, walking around the roadblocks, and leading others through to the other side.  My observation in my life is I have met many women with remarkable endurance and survival skills, but only a few recognize the value of these skills and how these can be transferred for their own success.


Michael Jordan highlights that with the right approach and perspective, failure can help you move forward. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

“I’ve failed over and over and over again.  That is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan


After being widely criticized, Oprah Winfrey speaks of her pain, embarrassment, self-doubt, and lack of confidence after her failed OWN business endeavor.

She Said, “Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction… Give yourself time to mourn what you think you may have lost, but then here’s the key: Learn from every mistake because every experience, encounter, and particularly your mistakes are there to teach you and force you into being more who you are. And then figure out what is the next right move.”

Success is about taking risks, adapting to change, and pushing through the unfamiliar. Your pain taught you how to get familiar with feeling unsafe but remain standing. I have found nothing in my dreams will ever test me or my emotions more than my darkest days.

“Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” Oprah Winfrey

Now you can turn your wounds into wisdom and use these skills for any endeavor you choose. You are defined not by your failure, mistakes, or adversity. They have prepared you with the inner strength and tools you need for your success.

Pain To Power