In Julie Berry's The Amaranth Enchantment, orphan Lucinda is dressed for the ball in Cinderella-like fashion by her fairy godmother Beryl. When Lucinda finally sees herself in the mirror, it is as if she is seeing someone other than herself. "[Someone] like a princess."
But when Lucinda stands up from the dressing table, she trips on the heel of her slipper, and confidence faltering, cries out, "I can't do it, Beryl, that's not me. I'll make a fool of myself. I can't carry it off. Please don't make me. I'm bound to fail."
"Don't be frightened by your beauty, Lucinda," Beryl responds. "You haven't, until now, known you had it, and so you're uncorrupted by it. You can never take any credit for it, or make it your aim." She smiled. "But it would be an act of deceit to deny your beauty or tell yourself that what you see is not you."
When I first read this passage 1 1/2 years ago, I remember thinking, this is ridiculous. How can Lucinda not be aware of her beauty? If a girl is pretty, she knows it. At least I would know something so obvious. Wouldn't you?
In my wrap-up for the She Negotiates course, I wrote that I'm nearly always negotiating from a place of weakness. The good news is -- I'm not alone. According to one of our instructors Vickie Pynchon this belief is typical. "Every time I train in house lawyers or executives I ask what their biggest negotiation challenge is. And every time, every time, no matter how powerful the company (e.g. Fortune 500), I get the same answer: we're always negotiating from a position of weakness."
It is implausible that Fortune 500 companies are always negotiating from a point of weakness, laughable nearly. And neither are we. Just as Lucinda hasn't discovered her beauty, we are frequently unaware of all that is at our disposal to make things happen, to negotiate our dreams.
The next She Negotiates course starts on July 19; should you have the thought pinging at you, as it was at me, to take the class, I hope you will -- you'll not regret this glimpse into the mirror of your possibilities.