So, let’s talk about packages. No, not Amazon kind, but your own personal package. You know, the one that makes you uniquely you. How’s that package shaping up this week? Are you giving it the attention it deserves?
I know life can get crazy, and in the midst of all that crazy, we can forget to check in on ourselves. It’s the package that gets lost in the shuffle of to-do lists and meetings. But guess what? You’re worth more than just checking boxes and getting through the day. Your package – your dreams, goals, quirks, and talents – deserves some MAJOR love and care.
If you ever had one of those days where you feel like your package is all over the place whether it’s the midweek blues or a rough start to the day…fear not. You’ve got the power to turn things around.
Here’s my challenge to you: Take a moment today to give yourself a virtual high-five. Celebrate a small victory, no matter how tiny. Maybe you made a killer cup of coffee this morning, nailed a presentation, or simply managed to survive rush hour traffic without losing your cool. Those are all wins.
So, let’s make this Work Your Package Wednesday count. Give yourself permission to shine, to celebrate the wins, and to work that package with pride.
Long time, no post! I know, I know. I’ve been negligent with my weekly post. I won’t make excuses (they are the tools of incompetence) but I will ask for some leniency. This morning, I went live on Facebook and shared a few reminders. I’ve talked about this stuff before but it seemed like a good day to share them again.
What People Think About it Is None Of Your Business – What people think can’t propel you towards greatness or push you further in your journey. Everyone has thoughts, but the thoughts of others should not impede your progress towards extraordinary success.
It is Not Your Responsibility To Explain – It is not your responsibility to explain your hustle, your grind or your purpose. You do not owe anyone an explanation for any decision that you make for your growth. When you are clear on what you have to do in order to achieve your goals, you do not have to explain the “why” or the “how” behind your hustle.
Stop Being Scared – Stop being afraid of pursuing that dream that will not let you rest at night. You know the dream I’m talking about. The one that is constantly with you. Fear will keep you in a mediocre place. You were created for more. You used the same amount of energy that you use to say “I can’t” and “I don’t know” to say “I can” and “I will”, I’m pretty sure you will surprise yourself with what you accomplish.
View the Work Your Package Wednesday FB Live post
We are six days into summer! Summer is the time for vacations, extended weekends and trips to the ice cream parlor. But summer is also the time to feed your brain and spark creativity with a good book. I asked for recommendations from my friends for books they were either currently reading or will be reading this summer. This list has everything from non-fiction to business to self-help to romance.
- From Panic to Empowerment Series by Dr. Stephanie Reid (Recommended by Karla Wynn Diouf)
- 5 Steps to Rapid Employment by Jay Block (Recommended by Karla Wynn Diouf)
- Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell (Recommended by Karla Wynn Diouf)
- Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Recommended by Karla Wynn Diouf)
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Recommended by Michelle W. Russell)
- Chasing Waterfalls by Takoma Washington (Recommended by James Lewis)
- The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer and Brené Brown (Recommended by Debbie Shaffer)
- Impact! What Every Woman Needs to Know to Go From Invisible to Invincible by Nancy D. Solomon (Recommended by Debbie Shaffer)
A few weeks ago I did an FB Live where I shared three of the books that I will be reading over the summer by Shawn Achor. I read one over the weekend and WOW! I can’t wait to get to the other two books. I’m intrigued by positive psychology and Shawn Achor has a style of writing that is not only humorous, it is backed by scientific research.
- The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor
- Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change by Shawn Achor
- Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being by Shawn Achor
What books are you reading this summer? Share them in the comments below.
Let that sink in. Everything. Your mistakes, mishaps, disappointments, successes, achievements, tears of joy, tears of sadness, drama, shenanigans….all of it. Since you already have everything you need to be extraordinary, believe me when I tell you, whatever you are going through is only preparation for the amazing things coming your way.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to London as one of the speakers for Executive Secretary LIVE hosted by Lucy Brazier, CEO of Marcham Publishing, specialist publishers of Executive Secretary Magazine – a global training magazine dedicated to the professional development needs of senior and aspiring administrative professionals. The experience was, in one word, PHENOMENAL! From the moment I was greeted by my driver at Heathrow until I was dropped back off at the airport six days later, I soaked in every minute. Did it rain? Yes, it was raining when I landed. Did it snow? Yes, it snowed the night before I left. Did I have jetlag? You bet! I think I’m still battling the residuals of the time difference two weeks later. Oh, but what about the good stuff? There’s plenty! Here are some of the lessons I learned from my trip:
- Transparency and sharing your journey can inspire others. I’ll be perfectly honest with you, being transparent can be scary and downright terrifying when you are surrounded by people you know. Now imagine being transparent with people you just met 48 hours prior. Talk about a leap of faith. But here’s what happened. I became relatable. The attendees at the conference saw themselves in me and vice versa.
- You never know who is watching you. There I was minding my own business (after eating a delicious cheeseburger) and from across the room, I hear a woman calling my name. She tells me that she’s an Ayanna Castro fan. Excuse me? A fan? The woman’s name is Melissa Esquibel, a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with more than 25 years in business application technology. She proceeds to tell me that she thought that one of the FB live videos I posted for Work Your Package Wednesday was epic. (Insert a big fat HOLY COW right here). Then it happened again when a conference delegate told me how much she looks forward to my post. I had no idea they were watching, I was just delivering on a promise to myself to show up consistently every Wednesday. Be true to who you are and let your light speak for itself.
- Never stop practicing your craft. Do you know that some of the most world-renowned singers have vocal coaches? When I learned that little tidbit, I decided that I would never stop practicing my craft. It wasn’t my first time giving my signature presentation but it was the first time I was delivering it in front of an international audience and I wanted to make sure I gave the delegates my best effort. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done something a thousand times, practice is part of growth.
- Check your ego at the door. When you do something with the intention to serve and not be served, leaving your ego at the door (or better at home) is an easy thing to do. Once you realize that your gifts and talents are to be given away, it is harder for your ego to show up.
Here’s the bonus…adding this amazing presenters and speakers to my network. Someone asked me if they were my family from London. My response was very simple, “They are my family now.”
Pictured Left to Right: (back row) Dinah Liversidge, Lucy Brazier, Chrissy Scivicque, Cynthia Thomsen, RoseMarie Terenzio, Geoff Richards, Vickie Sokol Evans; (front row) Kemetia Foley, Colette Carlson, Shelagh Donnelly, Andrea Macarie, Ayanna Castro, Marie Herman
I’m excited to be part of the Executive Secretary LIVE speaker family and a contributor to the Executive Secretary Magazine. Check out my articles:
Situations continue to resurface until the lesson is learned. Learning how not to overreact is one of those lessons I believe we continuously learn.
Respect + Asking Question + Seeking Correction = Not Overacting
Lack of Respect + Assuming the Worse + Seeking Crucifixion = Overacting
A Proportional Response…And Other Lessons Learned from TV
Do you remember the first time you touched something hot and it burned your hand? You were more cautious the next time you approached the stove. Do you remember the first time you disobeyed your parents and got grounded? You paid attention the time and got home before curfew. What about the first disappointment or heartache? You remained guarded a little bit longer before you allowed yourself to be vulnerable.
Wisdom seldom comes from pleasant experiences. It often comes from a source of pain or hardship. The tactic to survive what you once thought was so debilitating is to apply that wisdom to future circumstances so that you can make better decisions and share that wisdom with others. Your “little birdie” is strengthened with each experience and has an amazing memory. Are you trusting it and applying your wisdom to help you navigate the inevitable pitfuls you will face during your journey?
It seems like everyone is running on full tilt these days. Between home, work and civic responsibilities and interests, it has almost become commonplace to be left without time for yourself. Here’s a roundup of some self-care tips:
The Self-Care Tips You Need to Add to Your To-Do List
15 Ways to Add Self-Care to Your Workout Routine
Treat Yo’ Self: Self Care in the Workplace
How To Practice Self-Care In 2018 For A Happier You
How do you practice self-care? Share your tips in the comments.
I read a quote that said if you have to wonder if you deserve better you already know the answer. If you have to wonder whether or not you’re being fully supported to go toward your hopes and your dreams, you’re not getting the support that you need. So what happens when you’re faced with an opportunity to receive the support that you need? Do you think it’s too good to be true? Do you wonder whether not you actually deserve it? Are you willing to accept the fact that you deserve to have the support that you’ve been giving to everybody else? Are able to accept the fact that you finally have the support you need as you grow into the person that will achieve your wildly ambitious dreams?
I often talk about my board of directors and how invaluable their support is to me. There are key members of my board of directors who I know will push me when I’m ready to throw in the towel. Then there’s another level within that board who will not only not let me throw in the towel, they will carry me the last mile if they need to. Why? Because they believe that I deserve better. They believe that I can do better.
Being a superhero is overrated. I mean honestly, it is a thankless job when you think about it. You go around saving people all day and at the end of the day you are battered and scarred and waking up with bruises in the morning. And I’m not talking about physical bruises, I’m talking about the emotional bruises left over from someone else’s emotional baggage. Far too often we try to pick up somebody else’s broken pieces ended up getting cut in the process. Are you ready for someone else to bandage you up so that you can heal? Stop being so damn strong and let someone support you.
While it’s nice to wear rose-colored glasses some of you have been extending American Express Black Card credit privileges to people who don’t even deserve a prepaid debit Visa. If you think that I’ve covered this topic before you’re right. Allowing people access to different facets of your life without them being qualified put you in a position and at risk of being disappointed. But the extension of credit goes much further than that. I need you to start considering the access to you as lines of credit. There will be some people who are very responsible with the line of credit you extend to them. They will use it for emergencies or they’ve planned for the purchase with every intention of paying the debt at the end of the month. Then there are some people who will make purchases knowing full well they won’t have the cash at the end of the month to pay the bill. You would be lucky if they pay the minimum payment. What’s even worse is when they don’t pay the bill at all.
Having Rose Colored Glasses is not a weakness. Not cleaning the lens is where many of us fall short. We want to see the good in everyone. We want to believe that everybody is true to their word. We want to believe that everybody will pay their bill. This is where listening to the little birdie comes into play. Because if you would just be honest with yourself for a moment the same people you keep extending credit to haven’t paid the last bill. They are same people who continue to disappoint you. Why do you allow it? Why do you continue to sell yourself short? It’s time to change your mindset. Once you change your mind on how you will allow yourself to be treated, the people who do not respect you or value you will slowly distance themselves from you. It won’t be because of what you say, but because of the boundaries, you have set.