My mom worked as an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay for several years. As a child, I adored the bumblebee pin each consultant received. (Apparently, I was a member of the Beyhive long before it was cool.) But more than the pin itself, I loved the words written on the place card that came with it.
“Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know it, so it goes on flying anyway.”
The place card then went on to say something to the effect of, “sometimes what you don’t know enables you to fly.”
Mary Kay created a company in the 1960s, during the dawn of the women’s liberation movement. She wanted to help women gain access to personal and financial success. Mary Kay believed that the bumblebee could serve as a reminder to her consultants that taking off was possible even for those who didn’t think it was.
On my new journey of “finding freedom” (i.e. seeing how I can perhaps combine my skills, interests, and desire for impact), I’ve been thinking a lot about the little bumblebee who could. When we find ourselves doing things we haven’t done before — whether becoming a parent, starting a new job, switching careers, or moving cities — it is natural for us to doubt our path, fortitude, or capacity. When we’re taking a leap of faith, many of us aren’t always confident that we can “take off.”
However, when we feel insecure, it’s important to remember that our elevation isn’t correlated to our confidence. Doubt is a part of the human experience.
But if you keep moving through the doubt, in time you will find what enables you to fly.
Time has helped scientists understand that the bumblebee wasn’t defying the laws of nature. Rather, they were able to generate lift to fly through a combination of brute strength, flexible wings that move in both directions, rapid wing rotation, and fast wing-beat frequency.
For you, it may be your gregarious personality.
Your ability to read the room.
Your mastery of the guitar.
Your fondness for travel.
Your skill at simplifying complex ideas.
Your connection with nature.
It can be a myriad of things, but I promise you there are some things.
However, you don’t need to know exactly what’s fueling your engine today. Your job is to simply acknowledge and explore your curiosities and desires. And through consistently doing that, you will inevitably produce the brand of honey that only you can make.