What I’ve come to notice over my four decades and some change here on this Earth is that people are hard-headed. The elders have a saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.” I’m going to take a risk and probably offend some people but know that I do it from a place of love. I’m not the type of person that can see someone going to the waters’ edge and know full well that they can’t swim and they don’t have a life jacket. So when I dispense advice on things that I am a “life witness” to not an “eyewitness” to, it’s discouraging and sometimes infuriating when you’re met with a know-it-all attitude. Yes, you can have in-depth conversations about the what-ifs but until you’ve actually experienced something for yourself, don’t dispute it with someone who has gone through what you’re going through. Don’t base your argument on a hypothetical situation that probably will not go as scripted or may never happen. Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know. As parents, we tell our kids not to touch the stove because it’s hot. What happens? They touch it anyway. Why? Because they don’t know what “hot” means. As an adult, if someone is trying to help you by imparting “life witness” experience…accept the help and heed their warning. Unfortunately, women can be the worst culprits (raising hand). We are a bunch of Type A, cape wearing individuals who believe that we are always right. News flash. We are not always right. While we might be very intuitive and in tune with our surroundings, there are some things that we just don’t know.
Since when has it become a sign of weakness to say that you don’t know? Since when has it been a disgrace to say ‘I am not sure’? Since when has it become profanity to say ‘I need help’? Today I want you to think about where you need help. I want you to think about the things you have been struggling with and are too embarrassed to ask for help. Listen, no one likes a know-it-all but most people love to help.
Are you stuck looking at a huge task, that you haven’t taken the first step? Starting a big project can be overwhelming if you are looking at it in its entirety. You might be wondering, “How am I going to get this done?” The trick is plan backwards while you keep moving forward. The second habit in the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is, to begin with the end in mind. Planning in reverse helps you imagine different scenarios, figure out the what ifs and come up with solutions. In other words, going backwards can help you put the “meat” on the “skeleton” of your plan.
Today I challenge you to see your success and then create the plan in reverse. To get to D, what do you have to do C, B and A. Start with A and be confident in your success.
P.S. Registration for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference closes on Saturday, September 23. Register today at www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com.
Sometimes the hardest decisions that you have to make are the ones that involve what you are passionate about. In December 2013, I floated the idea of hosted a women’s conference. In April 2014, the inaugural Work Your Package Women’s Conference was held followed by two more in 2015 and 2016. On September 6, 2017, I shared with The Maven Network that the 4th conference would be the last…for awhile. As much as I love producing the Work Your Package Women’s Conference, I realized that while I was capable of saying “no” to others, I struggled with saying “no” to myself. The internal conversation started months ago and I ignored it for as long as I could. The myriad of emotions ran the gambit from disappointment to relief. I questioned myself and my motives for having a conference in the first place. The moment of truth came when I realized that by continuing to produce the conference, I was being a hypocrite to the foundation of Work Your Package by:
- Ignoring the little birdie
- Ignoring the loving advice from my personal board of directors
- Not managing my 168
- Not following through my goals
Why am I sharing this with you? I don’t want you to make the same mistake. Listen, I want to you to pursue your passion. I want you to continue to invest in your personal and professional development. But if it “cost” is too high, make the hard decision and hit the pause button. Remember, you didn’t have to find your passion. It’s been with you all this time. It’s not going to go away. You won’t lose it. Pausing, taking some time to reassess and regroup will not (I repeat…will NOT) be a detriment to your life’s work. I dare say that it’s a bonus. After you have taken time to shift your focus, you will open yourself to new opportunities to share your passion.
You are not your passion but the gifts produced from your passion cannot exist without you. Focus on you first.
Everyone likes to win. I haven’t met a person yet who said, “Oh, I’m fine with not winning.” Everyone wants success. Keep in mind that every one of has a different idea of success. A win for you might look like an absolute failure for someone else. Winning is awesome. Winning causes you to poke your chest out and say, “Hey, look at me! I did it!”.
But what about failure and suffering a setback? Crickets.
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
As miserable as it may feel, even more so if it is public, failure is an incredible teacher:
- It teaches you about yourself. Without failure, you have absolutely no idea how resilient you really are. Give yourself some credit. Take time to write down your “epic” failures and write down the lesson. Trust me, there is a lesson in every single one.
- It shows the true character of those around you. One of my sisterfriends told me, “Listen, I’m with you through the glitter and gutter.” Come hell or high water, she has been there for me. Knowing that I have that type of support bolsters me against disappointment.
One of my favorite authors is Paulo Coelho. He said, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Don’t be so afraid to fail that you kill your dreams in the process. Failure is okay and expected. My expectation of you is to keep moving forward. Why? Because I know you can and will.
Psst! Have you heard? I’m part of a stellar line up of 50 trainers for a webathon on September 22-24, to benefit Vickie Sokol Evans. Visit www.executivesecretary.com\webathon to register and for more information.