Olympia LePoint is an award-winning rocket scientist who helped launch the Endeavour, Columbia, Discovery, and Atlantis space shuttles.
“Right next door there’s a crack house, where I could see people getting high outside my bedroom window. And our mother has us sleep in the bedroom a certain direction, so if bullets came through the house, came through the walls, it would hit our feet first, and not our head.”
Despite the odds, she rose above her environment and went on to graduate high school at 16. She graduated in the top five of her class at California State University Northridge. She was then hired by The Boeing Company at 21, and worked as a rocket scientist for NASA.
After leaving NASA, LePoint found that she had a passion for teaching and public speaking. In the above video, she explains how she overcame her fears, and how she was able to reach her goal as becoming a rocket scientist. LePoint explains that there are 3 steps to overcoming fear:
- Name and Reject Your Fear
- Reprogram Your Brain with Different Thoughts
- Rebuild by Taking Action
The key to LePoint’s success is that she never let fear get in her way. When she first entered NASA, there were things she did not know. There were obstacles and hurdles she had to overcome, and there were times where she felt overwhelmed.
“I didn’t know if I could make a significant difference.”
She did not let that stop her. She recognized her fear. She convinced herself that with time, she could do the things that intimidated her. And then she took the actions needed to make those things happen.
“I had my second epiphany. I remember going into this room, and I realized, I’m educated. And I work hard at everything I do. I may not be able to make a significant difference now, but I will.”
These three choices that LePoint made led to her success not only in science, but also in education. After NASA, LePoint pursued a career as a mathematics professor. Right when she executed this decision, the US economy tanked. Instead of succumbing to underemployment, LePoint built her own education business.
She had no business background. She had to take the time and learn how to make her program run successfully. Many people would throw up their hands and give up there. LePoint, though, overcame the obstacles and made it happen.