Some believe that telling someone they are “too much” is an insult. The funny thing is, those same people will criticize you for not being “enough”. Fortunately, the women I know, love and admire not only take it as a compliment, but it also fuels them to be and do even more. When someone tells you that you are “too much”, it usually comes from a place of insecurity and maybe even jealousy. If you are the one at work that everyone calls on to lead a major project, get things back on track, or create a streamlined process, do you do what was asked or do you take it to the next level? You just don’t lead the project, you also inspire the people who begrudgingly are on the team because they were voluntold to be there. Now, they look forward to working with you. You don’t just get things back on track, you find out how it got off track in the first place to find the root cause so that it doesn’t happen again. You don’t just streamline an archaic process, you elevate it into a company-wide initiative. Do you see where I’m going? When you operate in excellence, you will be too much for people who are quite complacent with mediocrity. And guess what? That’s okay. Team Too Much is where I live and thrive. I’m motivated by other women who think the status quo was made to be challenged and questioned. How about you? Are you Team Too Much or okay with being just enough? If you know you are part of the team, we have t-shirts.
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.
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’s not my fault if he/she/they didn’t do…..then I would be in this situation now.”
The most frequently used excuse for not owning up to taking responsibility for your life.
It is an easy cop-out to say that you are a product of your environment. It’s easy to blame someone else for your current state of affairs. It’s even easier to blame someone else for your anger and anguish. You are not a product of your circumstances but of your decisions. You have a choice to be happy. You have a choice to see positivity instead of negativity. You have a choice to rewrite the narrative as the victim. Making decisions is hard because then you are the one who is ultimately responsible for its outcome. But imagine for a moment, where one decision can change your trajectory for the rest of the day or the next month and maybe into the next few years? Make a decision that supports your dreams. Make a decision that supports building your character. Your circumstances will always change, but your character should not.
“I love that you have wild ambition but don’t get in your own way.”
“You are a titan, but you are like a bird with no place to land.”
“You know I support you but do you have time for this?”
I won’t go into detail about what prompted the statements and question but I will share this: If you cannot fearlessly share your goals and challenges with the people on your personal board of directors, you are surrounded by the WRONG people. I declared that I was going to take a little bit of a break. That break lasted for about a week. My people will not let me off the hook that easy. My people have called me out on my nonsense. They held up the mirror and forced me to see my hardheaded ways. Don’t laugh. I’m willing to bet you have hardheaded ways too. Are you turning away from the mirror? Are you ignoring the calls and text messages? Are you telling yourself you just have to get “everything under control” and things will be better? The Perfectionist Trap is real.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to write down everything that is currently on your proverbial plate. Be honest with yourself and if you have a hard time doing that, ask a member from your board of directors to “remind” you of your commitments. Are you overcommitting yourself? Success is awesome but you won’t be able to enjoy it if you are a hot mess.
Have you ever allowed yourself to be so vulnerable that you felt naked? That’s what happened to me while I delivered the closing keynote at my fourth annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference. I spoke on the topic, “Your Life. Your. Story: What to Do When You Have a Story to Share”. It was the second time that I had spoken on the topic. The first time was for a webathon hosted by Lucy Brazier, the editor of Executive Secretary Magazine. However, this time was different. This time I wasn’t alone in a conference room with my laptop. This time I was in a room full of women that I am honored to serve and affectionately and proudly refer to as “Mavens”. These women have their own stories to share but there I was sharing mine. And I felt naked but not afraid. Sharing my story was cathartic and allowed me to be unapologetic about who I am. Being vulnerable is liberating because it erases any preconceived notions of perfection or lack of challenges. Being vulnerable is an act of acceptance of oneself. In the article, “Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable” by Daniel Wallen, here are the benefits of being vulnerable:
1. You will learn to appreciate the quirks that make you unique. Being vulnerable will help you embrace the strange (interesting) and quirky (unique) things that make you special. While you might call certain personal characteristics are “awkward,” they are only awkward if you don’t accept yourself, and consequentially feel uncomfortable in who you are. We are all crazy in our own ways; and if you’re going to be weird, you might as well be confident about it.
2. You will make peace with troubling memories from your past. Being vulnerable will help you get rid of pent-up baggage that bothers you. While it isn’t easy to deal with painful memories, it is better to confront your past than it is to hide from it. We all have made bad decisions we regret, so don’t even think about judging yourself; search for a lesson or takeaway that will help you prevent similar mistakes in the future and let it go.
3. You will attract the right kind of people into your life. Being vulnerable will help you understand what types of people you can most relate to. While you might be tempted to hang out with whoever crosses your path, it is better to choose your friends carefully. We all have made the mistake of telling something personal to somebody we shouldn’t have, and ended up getting hurt due to backstabbing or betrayal; it is good to love all people without question, it is best to only put total faith in true friends worthy of trust.
4. You will find it easier to empathize with the struggles of others. Being vulnerable will help you develop empathy for others. While it’s easy to throw a fit when something terrible happens to us, it is a lot harder to demonstrate compassion for the struggles of another person. We all have been guilty of getting so caught up in our own lives that we forget the world doesn’t revolve around our needs; before behaving like an upset infant, remember that many people face hardships that you couldn’t begin to imagine.
5. You will earn the trust of people at work. Being vulnerable will help you grow closer to the people in your workplace. While you might think you deserve a raise just because of your hard work, you need to remember that no amount of book smarts can make up for a complete lack of emotional intelligence. We all have complained about getting “passed up” for a promotion; before assuming you’re “under-appreciated,” take an honest look at your ability to communicate and work together with your fellow co-workers.
6. You will strengthen your bond with your romantic partner. Being vulnerable will help you bond with the person you love most. While you might be afraid to reveal your deepest and darkest secrets due to a fear of judgment, doing so will put your mind at ease. We all have put up barriers to protect ourselves from getting hurt; but if you hope to spend the rest of your life with a particular person, don’t you think it would be best to be forthcoming with the important truths that they would like to know?
7. You will humanize yourself in the eyes of others. Being vulnerable will help you demonstrate that you are an approachable person who is kind and considerate. While it isn’t easy to find the courage to reveal our true nature, there is no better way to encourage others to accept themselves. We all have fought with a lack of esteem at one time or another.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity.
Dr. Brené Brown – Daring Greatly
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.
Let me just cut to the chase, this week I had writer’s block like nobody’s business. When I can’t focus it is usually because I have multiple priorities vying for attention and my plate runneth over. I shared this with a sister-friend and she said, “Love yourself enough to deprive yourself of the things which depreciate your personal greatness.” Excuse me, what?
My vision is pretty good, but I had to reread the text message several times. Now I could have dismissed it, as I have other advice that I’ve received over the years. Not because it wasn’t good advice, but because it was self-serving or came from an “eye witness”. Eye-witness advice usually starts off with “Well, I heard that if you….”, “I read somewhere that…” or “I feel that you should…” Insert eye roll to the heavens. Whereas “life witness” advice comes with no pretense and no introduction. Life witness advice has the uncanny ability to gut punch you and take your breath away. In a good way. Life witness advice is what the little birdie has been telling you and you REFUSE to listen. Life witness advice isn’t condescending or cruel. It feels like a hug and a hot meal at the end of long day.
Life witness advice comes from an authentic place. The person providing it didn’t read about it or hear about it…they lived it. And while you may be hurting when you receive the advice, because it comes from a place of love, it has the ability to heal a wound that has been open for too long. That type of authenticity requires the type of bravery that only life experience can give you.
Think about the advice you have given lately. Was it superficial or did you think about your life experience in order to give life witness advice? Have the courage to be authentic. You never know who you might impact.
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.
“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.