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Category: Be Authentic

The Perfectionist Trap

The Perfectionist Trap

One of my favorite quotes by Aristotle is, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” I found this quote years ago and made it part of my email signature so that I could see it on a regular basis. It resonates with me because I have a bad habit of wanting things to be perfect.

The Perfectionism Trap is an ugly thing and can be a downward spiral. It can cause you to procrastinate and remain stuck in one place.  But here’s the rub, you can’t be successful if you don’t try and you don’t try if you are worried about being be perfect. It also fosters negative self-talk and unnecessary self-doubt.The quest for perfection diminishes the opportunity to have joy in the acting of “doing”. Don’t let the trap of perfectionism keep you from an opportunity to do something in a different way. It’s that difference that will lead to growth and new ideas which then fosters your creativity and pushes you forward to trying something new beyond your comfort zone.

With love,

 

It’s Not Fair

It’s Not Fair

“It’s not fair!!!” That’s how the argument started when my youngest realized my oldest had more money than she did. Between good grades on her final report card and her birthday, she had a nice piece of change in her purse. My youngest deemed it unfair but couldn’t articulate why and was then rendered speechless when reminded that she too had received money for her good grades as well.

How many times have we looked at someone who is seemingly flawless in their success and make a snarky comment? I would never. Cut the crap. No matter how supportive you are of other women, you have made a least one less than flattering comment about someone who you felt received a larger piece of the “pie”. How did she get promoted? How is she getting so many clients? How she afford to travel so much? Honey, you are asking the wrong questions. The only question you should ask is Why does it bother me? We’ve been taught that in order for someone to win, someone else has to lose and that’s just not true. When you take a minute to think about it, the promotion, clients or airline miles cannot do anything to dull your shine. Zero. Nada. Nunca. Zilch.

Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in what is “not fair” that you forget to be thankful for everything that you do have. A little pang of jealousy is normal but don’t let it consume you. Let it fuel your determination to continue on your journey to being extraordinary.

With love,

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic stated “Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself.”

There seems to be a slew of professional, career and life coaches out there more than willing to “help” you find your passion, define your goals and create a career that you love. Coaches are great but if you don’t know who you are for yourself, you are wasting everyone’s time and specifically your money. Think of it this way, professional basketball players don’t need their coach to teach them how to play. The coaches are there to help them be better versions of yourself.

In my early twenties, I started my journey of personal development and began taking self-assessment and personality tests. Myers-Briggs and DiSC are my favorites and truly speak to who I am:

Myer Briggs profile: ENFJ [Extraverted (E), Intuitive (N), Feeling (F), Judging (J)] – Sincerely interested in other people and try to do their best to help them (Hello! Work Your Package), tend to have extraordinary social and networking skills, are usually quite sensitive and even somewhat idealistic, the same sensitivity draws them towards careers that reward high emotional intelligence; on the other hand, they are very vulnerable to criticism and should stay away from stressful careers (The reason why I’m no longer in social work).  Also really creative, organized and honest – this makes them excellent psychologists, event coordinators or politicians.  (I share this with President Barack Obama, President Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey and Ben Affleck)

DiSC profile: Influence (I) with equal Dominance (D) and Conscientiousness (C)  – Focused on shaping their environment by influencing or persuading others. Influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional, convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. The dominance dimension includes being inquisitive, self-assured, calculated risk-taker and being self-critical. The conscientious dimension includes being analytical, sensitive, “own person” and mature.

Because I took these tests very early on in my adulthood, I had a better understanding of what I would and would not tolerate, deal with or allow in my personal or professional life. I’ve taken both assessments fairly recently and not much as changed. Either you love me because I’m always pushing you to be better or you hate me because I’m eternally optimistic that things will be better. Either way, the person you meet on a Sunday in August is the same person who will give you a hug on a Thursday in October. I’m consistent because I know who I am. I know my weaknesses. I know my strengths. No professional, career or life coach can teach me how to be me. What I want to know is how I can be an even better representation of myself as I Work My Package

Do you know who you are and why you tick the way you do? Click here to take a modified version of the Myers Briggs. Click here for DiSC.

With love,

 

 

 

 

P.S. Registration is open for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference! Register today at www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com.

 

 

Your Scars Are Your Credentials

Your Scars Are Your Credentials

Exhausted. Irritated. Overwhelmed. That was me last week. Multiple responsibilities from home and work collided and I was left feeling defeated and depleted. I had nothing else to give to anyone or to myself. I didn’t feel like working any of my “packages” and felt guilty about it. I shared my feelings online and received permission to be still. Understand this, I didn’t need or ask for permission. What blew me away was that the people who told me it was okay for me to take a day or several days off were the people who I serve. The people who have attended Work Your Package conferences, have bought the book, read the weekly blog and double-tap my images on Instagram. It was confirmation that I could be vulnerable and transparent to the people I was created to serve without being viewed negatively. Additional confirmation came in the form of a sermon preached by Pastor Battle of Zion Church. The name of the sermon was “A Wounded Witness”. Here are some of the lessons I learned from that sermon:

1. Your wounds are a witness.
2. Some of the stuff you’ve been through, you can’t hide.
3. Being transparent is one thing, being touchable is another. (Reminds me of Dr. Brene Brown’s teaching on vulnerability)
4. Sometimes you have to reopen a wound in order to help someone else.
6. Stop giving a censored version of your wounds.
7. Wisdom, grace, life, compassion come out your wounds.
8. Don’t ask why you went through what you did. Ask why you survived it. It’s your credentials. You’ve been to hell and back so that you can help others.

It looks great on social media to appear like you have everything together but behind closed doors that facade is exhausting and eventually, the truth will seep out and your authenticity will be in question. It’s okay to say that you are tired and feeling overwhelmed. Sharing the challenges of life doesn’t diminish who you are as a person, tarnish your “brand” or your effectiveness as a leader. Wounds lead to scars and scars lead to lessons that will help others.

With love,

Write Your Story

Write Your Story

How many times have you talked yourself out of taking the path that would have led you to something extraordinary? I have a friend who has a story that needs to be told to the world. I don’t say this because they’re my friend. I say this because when they told me a small part of their story, a piece of my heart wept and then I was in awe at how they were still standing. Recently I asked my friend when they going to tell their story. They told me they were too young to tell their life story and they were going to wait another 20 years. Insert major eye roll right here. My friend doesn’t know if they going to live another 20 years. Do you know the best stories ever told and the best advice that fit your exact situation are six feet under at the cemetery? If you aren’t ready to tell your story, find a way to document it. 

You are too young to do that. Who would want to learn from you? You haven’t lived yet. You are too old. That is an old-fashioned way of thinking. Write a book? No one would buy it. Go back to school? It’s not like you’ll get a promotion when you finish…if you finish. Lose weight? Haven’t you tried to do that already? Vacation by yourself? Are you crazy? Buy a house? You’ll never get approved for a mortgage. Start a business? Do you know how many fail in the first year? You aren’t doing anything original…

These aren’t the lies that other people tell you. These are the lies that you tell yourself.

Lies hold you hostage. Denying the potential positive impact of sharing your imperfect life serves no one. Lies keep you stagnant. I believe you are more resilient than a lie. But it doesn’t matter if I believe it. Do you?

With love,

From Point A to Point B

From Point A to Point B

How can you get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are right now? While coaching an amazing woman, I asked her, “Where do you see yourself a year from now?” The question stumped her. So I asked her a basic question based on her current circumstances. “What are you really good at?” Again…crickets. When using your GPS for driving instructions, it needs your current location in order to give you directions for your destination. Getting to know yourself is the starting point on the GPS. If you are unsure of where you are, here are a few questions to get you started:

  1. What are my strengths? What are you known for? What do people call on you to do frequently?
  2. What are my short-term and long-term goals? You don’t need a complicated plan. Take some time and mind map it.
  3. What am I ashamed of? If you haven’t read “Daring Greatly” by Dr. Brene Brown, I highly recommend it.
  4. What new activities am I willing to try?
  5. What am I worried about? What is keeping you up at night or keeping you from making a decision?
  6. What does my inner critic tell me? We are our worse critics. Listen to what it is saying. Is it really true or a lie that someone told you that you keep replaying as truth?
  7. What do I do to practice self-care? This is a big one. If you don’t take the time to take care of yourself. No one is going to give it to you
  8. What am I passionate about? 
  9. Am I an introvert or extrovert? Did you know you could be an outgoing introvert? Transparent and vulnerable moment….I’m an ambivert. It took me years to figure out why I get so mentally exhausted after being around a large group of people for an extended period of time. I love to serve others but I now know when I’ve met my threshold of being sociable.
  10. If I wasn’t afraid, I would______. Some are able to complete this statement immediately. Some may take a few minutes or even days to think about it. However long it takes, answer it and then ask yourself, “Why am I afraid?”

When you are unsure of where you are, the road ahead can seem daunting. When you know who you are, you can chart your own path.

With love,

Aww. How Sweet. The Answer is Still ‘No’

Aww. How Sweet. The Answer is Still ‘No’

This week I received an email from one of the parents on my oldest daughter’s middle school PTO asking me to consider joining the board for the next school year. She gave plenty of reasons why it would be a great idea: I’m passionate about my daughter’s education (true), I’m very organized and creative (true and true), I have a GREAT working relationship with the principal (also true) and she REALLY believes I would be great at it (yeah, also probably true…but). While compliments are nice, they are also the “suck you in” tactics folks use when they have no clue or don’t care how full your calendar already is. Like seriously, I will put myself in timeout if I add one more thing to my plate.

How many of you are dealing with well-intentioned folks who see how awesomely magnificent you are and want you to share all that awesomeness and help them with something? They will give you plenty of reasons why you should….Oh, it will only take a few hours a month. All of our meetings are by conference call. There’s a rotating schedule so you won’t have to do it all by yourself. I’ll be here to help you. Listen, while all of that sounds really great, the truth is, you should only commit to doing something based on your schedule and allotted mental bandwidth to take on something else. Will they be disappointed? Yes. Will they possibly give you a little bit a side eye the next time they see you? Maybe.

You, my dear, are the ruler and protector of your precious time. Don’t let sweet words and promises take you off course from managing your 168 and using those hours for what really matters and makes you happy.

With love,

 

 

 

 

P.S. How many of you tried the mind mapping exercise I shared with you last week?

A Woman Without A Title

A Woman Without A Title

It’s National Women’s History Month and this year’s theme is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business”. The theme honors women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and the paid labor force. But just for a moment, let’s just forget about the titles that women hold. Let’s think about the fact that you are a woman first and forget about the fact you might be running a multi-million dollar corporation or you might be on your third startup or you just sold your most brilliant idea to a company that wants to pay you seven figures. Let’s forget about the fact that you just gave birth to twins or you just got married to your high-school sweetheart or you’ve decided to go back to school or you finally got that promotion that you’ve been working for. Let’s just forget about all of that. Take a minute to remember that before all of that you are a woman. Being a woman requires extraordinary strength and resilience because there are times when your womanhood will be questioned or others make a juvenile attempt to define it for you. Being a woman requires patience and I’m not talking about patience with others. We need to have patience with ourselves. We are prone to being Type A…we want things to be perfect…have everything in place…all our ducks in a row…dot the “i” and cross the “t”.  And because of the way we are wired, we have a tendency to be extraordinarily hard on ourselves when gentleness is required. Understand this, no one called you to be superwoman. I don’t know who started this foolishness. Let me say it again, no one called you to be a superwoman. No one said that you had to carry the golden lasso of truth or wear the golden, bullet reflecting cuffs. Take the damn cape off already. 

Your title at work doesn’t matter. It doesn’t if you’re running your own business. It doesn’t matter if you won ‘mom of the year’ and your kids are on the honor roll and your husband places you up on a pedestal. It doesn’t matter because of the end of the day when you close your eyes you are still a woman and everything about being a woman is amazing. 

With love,

 

 

 

 

Registration is open for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference. Register today at www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com.

 

Need Clarity? Get Rid of the Clutter

Need Clarity? Get Rid of the Clutter

When you hear someone mention how much clutter they have, you might assume they are talking about physical stuff like magazines they don’t have time to read, clothes that no longer fit or wedding gifts that they will never use. The sentimental, “what if’s”, and things you have inherited can take up precious physical space and create unnecessary clutter in your home or office. But there is also emotional clutter such as pent up hurt, disappointment, anger, and resentment. Left unexpressed, these feelings repeatedly come to the surface and will not allow you to move forward.

How long are you going to hold on to that grudge that you should have let go of days, weeks, months or YEARS ago? How long are you going to replay that argument in your head? How long are you going to blame someone else for your unhappiness? How long are you going to blame yourself for something you had no control over? How long are you going to let your flaws define you instead of strengthening you? All of that emotional clutter is keeping you from seeing the big picture. It is clouding your judgment, causing self-doubt and keeping you from being your authentic self. That ‘clutter’ is keeping you from fully articulating and demonstrating your life’s work and purpose.

What clutter do you need to let go of?

With love,

3 Lessons from History Makers

3 Lessons from History Makers

Katherine Johnson – an extraordinary mathematician who calculated the trajectories for Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission and worked on the Apollo and space shuttle programs. (Photo: www.nasa.gov)

My family and I saw the movie “Hidden Figures” starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae over this past weekend. The actresses portrayed three remarkable women who made history at NASA…Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. These women were the brains behind one of the greatest engineering feats in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. I took my daughters to see the movie, hoping that they would be inspired and encouraged and maybe just a little bit intrigued about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). I didn’t expect to walk out the theater with three lessons…for myself.

Lesson #1 – There will be times when you will be the ONE in the room. Being the ONE can be many things – the only woman, the only person of ethnicity, the youngest, the oldest or the smartest. Being the one in the room has a myriad of challenges to include feeling isolated and heaven forbid inadequate. You might even ask yourself, Do I really belong here? The answer is YES. Often times the other people in the room didn’t have the influence necessary to keep you out of the room. You are there to be a brilliant, strategic, witty, compassionate and a problem-solver. You aren’t in the room by chance.

Lesson #2 – Just because they love you don’t mean they will understand your “why”. Your love ones mean well, but let’s face it….they will not understand your “why” especially if they don’t have one of their own. Listen, a woman who is driven and focused can drive the average man insane. When you know you have purpose for your life greater than what is right in front you, you will seek that purpose as that purpose makes room for you to excel and be extraordinary. That type of focus can be hard for the people who love you to understand. Don’t lose focus. Keep going until to you make history.

Lesson #3 – Folks will try to limit your elevation based on their insecurities and prejudices. There are some of you reading this right now who are doing a job that your aren’t being paid for but are expected to do. You are managing major projects, you are managing a team, you are nurturing crucial client relationships, you are saving the company millions…but you haven’t been recognized for it. This is what I know, when you consistently showing up and deliver your best, your talent will make a way for you in the most unexpected ways. That promotion you keep asking for and rightfully deserve might not come to you in the way you expect. The people who have the power to promote you aren’t always the people who supervise you.

So what did my girls learn from the movie? They learned that you can do anything you put your mind to no matter what someone else may say or if they try to stop you. They learned that putting a man in space requires lots and lots of math. They learned that when women work together and look out for each other, good things happen. Out of the mouths of babes, but truer words have never been spoken.

With love,

 

 

 

 

Registration for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference is open: www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com