How Cassandra Orakpo Got Her “I Can” Mentality


“That "I can" mindset is so cliché but so powerful. You're only as capable as you tell yourself you are.”

So, true. It’s so easy to cast away the saying that “you can do anything you want to do.” It’s so easy for people to disregard this truth because if they really believed that they could become anything they wanted to become they would have to acknowledge that their future is indeed in their hands. They would have to accept that their life is their responsibility. And, so many people are afraid to have that much power.

But not Cassandra. She’s ready. Wherever life takes her this year, she’s vowed to herself that she can, and she will. Dive into our interview with Cassandra to learn more about her plans and goals.

What was the last most difficult decision you had to make and what did that decision teach you about life?

To be honest with you, I can't remember the last time I had to make a really tough decision. I'm pretty headstrong, so I can usually decide on whatever it is that needs a decision, without pondering too much. My boyfriend asking what I want to eat is typically a pretty tough decision for me, though, I can never choose!

What moments in your childhood would you say profoundly impacted who you are today?

I would say getting my feet wet in everything. My mom did her best in making sure that I was well-rounded, so I dabbled in everything, including sewing, tennis, dance, choir, instruments, and so many other things. Some of these skills I wish I actually stuck with, (don't tell my mom that, though) but I feel that the biggest thing it taught me, was to be open to trying new things. You never know how far it will lead you or how great you would be at something unless you try.

What insecurity do you look back on and wish you never even entertained? How did you overcome that insecurity? 

I used to be insecure about the beauty mark on my forehead when I was younger. It's nearly right in the middle of my forehead, so I used to get jokes about it making me look like an Indian in elementary school. At some point, I attempted to remove it, but when it healed, it was right back to normal like it never left! I've always gotten compliments on it from people in my community, and by the time I was in high-school, I embraced it. Even now, I forget I have it, or sometimes I get a little upset when my makeup covers it. I think it's cute.

As you prepare to graduate college soon, what are you most looking forward to in the next phase of your life?

I am just looking forward to that next level in life. I feel like I've been in school for so long, and I'm just ready to see where life will take me next. Maybe moving to another state, landing a new job that will change everything, getting married, scratching things off my bucket list...whatever it is, I'm ready.

What lessons are you taking with you from 2016 into 2017?

The main and biggest lesson I'm holding on to this year is to just go for it! I held myself back a lot last year, and I refuse to let that be my story again this time around. Whatever I want, I'm going after. Whatever I want to do, I'm doing it. That "I can" mindset is so cliché but so powerful. You're only as capable as you tell yourself you are.

Whatever I want to do, I’m doing it. That “I can” mindset is so cliché but so powerful. You’re only as capable as you tell yourself you are.

If you could accomplish one thing this year, what would it be?
This is kind of tough because I usually lump my goals together. I will say, though, that I want to be consistent with believing "I can." That's my biggest goal that I want to stick to.

Want more of Cassandra? Follow her on Instagram, @CassOrakpo.