October 11th was International Day of the Girl. I was blessed to attend and speak at a fundraising event with Girls Inc. Pacific Northwest a few days before to celebrate the occasion.
The event is a day to celebrate the "strong, smart, bold girls of the program and showcase all that the organization does to promote and lift up these girls so that they can live independent, successful lives.
Hosted by Jenny Hansson, anchor for KOIN TV got the afternoon started by welcoming the attendees and offering her story and the support she received from those around her, I spoke with Jenny, an awesome woman who gets up every day at 2am to anchor the sunrise news. Yes, that is really early but she said it was a small price to pay to live out her dream.
Hands down, the best part of the whole event was the girls.. About 20 plus girls were there in total and they greeted guests with enthusiasm. They also each took lead at tables around the room to showcase some of what they experience with Girls Inc. PNW. A few of them were selected to get up on stage, no easy task for anyone but even harder when you are young. Many survey's done with people of all ages say that a lot of people fear public speaking more than death. YIKES.
That makes what these girls did all the more amazing. For most of them it was the first time they had ever been in front of an audience. I am not understating how amazing it was to watch them in action. For most of their speeches I was a puddle of tears. No joke. I was so overwhelmed with the intelligence, enthusiasm and fearlessness of each of them as they explained who they wanted to be and why Girls Inc. is helping them make their dreams a reality.
Just my luck, I was the final speaker of the day and directly followed all of these girls. Talk about intimidating. There was nothing I could say that would appeal to the audiences desire to contribute to Girls Inc. more than what these phenomenal young women did. I had a job to do though and so I got up on stage and let the room know that they just saw the REAL reason to donate and support. There was really only one question to be asked...
will you stand in a girl's corner to help her be strong, smart and bold?
This truly was an amazing experience for me. Not only did I get to live out my dream and speak to a room about girls but I got to see what happens when we support girls and lift them up. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend a Friday. I have to thank everyone who came to support the event, especially my friends and family who came to support me and this great cause. I also have to thank Girls Inc. PNW for doing what they do and letting me play in their sandbox for a bit with some amazing girls who inspired me to keep following my path and be
strong smart bold
How great would it be to keep the momentum train going? If you would like to donate to Girls Inc. PNW and support these girls, send me an email I can help get your donation over to the group. Hope to hear from you soon.
Recently, Forbes named the 50 Fastest Growing Women Led Companies in America and I think that is pretty cool. It would be even cooler if one day there didn't have to be a list separating the genders when it came to top business but progress should still be recognized here. One of the best parts about the article is that they talk about misconceptions around female entrepreneurs and dispel some common held myths that women aren't good at starting successful businesses.
So rather than listen to me babble on this gorgeous Friday why not read about these amazing women instead? As you read it, think about what you want to do. What is stopping you?
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
So if you haven't found what you love yet, maybe this list can help inspire and move you one step closer to finding out. The list includes businesses across the spectrum so even if your exact purpose isn't there you get the chance to see the wide variety of options that are out there for all of us.
Enough already, let's get to the list. Click below to check it out.
From interior design to home security, here are the top companies spearheaded by women on this year's Inc. 5000.
At the end of the day I have spent my life searching for my purpose so anything I can do to share what I have learned or people, and companies that promote something similar I will do. Learn a little bit more about my journey here.
Have a great weekend everyone, go out there and do something you love. Hope you come back Monday.
Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend an event put on by a group called Creative Mornings PDX. According to their website, "Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community." They supply breakfast, coffee and an inspiring speaker. Each month they choose a theme and chapters all over the globe. SCORE!
How have I never heard of this before? Especially since upon further examination I saw that Brad Montague (of Kid President fame) has done one of the breakfast lectures. Let's just say I knew exactly what my weekend was going to be spent doing. (I mean, I of course have other scintillating plans as well so this will just be an addition to the already wild and crazy weekend I had planned.)
I was doubly excited because the person speaking this month was none other than Kevin Carroll. You may recall me mentioning Kevin in a few past posts.
Yeah, if it isn't obvious, this guy is inspiring. For this session he was speaking on the theme "ACTION". As a person who calls herself the "Chief Ideation Officer" of her own endeavors, the idea of action is a must have. As creatives, we tend to be people full of idea and inspired by the things around us, which is amazing. The struggle, sometimes is putting those ideas and inspirations into action. Dreamers can daydream non-stop. Often times we need to be prodded to keep moving forward on one project instead of jumping around to the next.
I often speak to this idea of putting action towards your purpose and the question that always comes up is "HOW". It isn't always easy. If you search hard enough you can find lots of obstacles to block your path. Nobody is going to stand and hold your hand. The truth is that you have to have "a thrust of spirit to do this, you have to want it" according to Kevin. Think about that for a minute... a "thrust of spirit". If you really want something you should be feeling some kind of emotional, physical and/or visceral thrust towards it. You have to feel deep in your spirit. That is what passion is all about.
Passion isn't about liking something a little more than something else. It isn't about something being cool or popular. Passion is something that cannot be ignored. Surprisingly, passion isn't always sexy. It is a bully in a way. It gnaws at you if you ignore it, sending things in your life time and time again to smack you over the head until you notice it. Most people seek out their passion for a long time but ignore it when it comes to their door. You see, here is the thing, passion isn't just the love or the spirit of something, it has to include the thrust or the chase. Without an action, passion is becomes something different. It's spark starts to dull and it becomes something you yearn for from a far which causes pain.
Your passion should never be the cause of your pain. Sweat, blood, tears and exhaustion, YES, but pain?Kevin's grandfather often spoke of this idea that "you can't do anything with a broke want." I have heard him say this a number of times and I like the idea more each time. We live in this weird time where "wanting" has become more important than "doing". It's as if we don't realize that if you want something YOU have to go get it. We actually expect other people to satisfy all of our wants and needs and when they deliver we become unsatisfied and can't figure out why.
I'm going to tell you why. We are unsatisfied because if something is truly OUR passion, we don't want someone else to wrap it up in a pretty bow and give it to us. Having a passion is about way more than wanting, it is about the journey. So cliche right? Maybe. Who cares, I happen to believe in the truth of it. You will never truly embrace your passion if you didn't do anything to bring it to life.
There are a lot of talkers in the world (I should know I am totally a talker), but we need more doers (which I just realized is the tagline of a Home Depot commercial). If you are a talker then use your voice for something, talk about SOMETHING REAL. That is the way to be a doer. If you are a doer, make sure people see it, it will catch on. If you are both, then share what you have learned and how you have found your way.
There's a quote you have probably heard a hundred times;
This implies that everyone is born with a purpose. Regardless of what you believe. I believe it is our duty to find that purpose and use it to make the world a better place. It is time that we stop being complacent with our purpose, it is time we put it into ACTION. Don't know what your purpose is yet? Time to get moving and find out.
I can't thank Creative Mornings PDX and Kevin Carroll enough for an inspiring morning and for reminding me to act towards my purpose.
P.S. After finding out Brad/Kid President did one of these as well, I immediately ran home and watched his. Since the one I went to is not yet up online, I thought I would share Brad's. It is truly inspiring and actually kind of follows the theme of "action" so it is a good addition to this post.
I have talked a lot about my own personal experiences to set the stage, today I want to switch it up a little bit and provide you with some tangible tips to push past the biases you may experience in the work place.
The 5 tenants I want to focus on are listed below and I am going to try and post each day this week so we can get them all covered and start climbing those ladders so that we can shatter those glass ceilings. It's a lot of work, so let's get started. First the topics...
- Sorry not sorry
- I"m here for a reason, get over it
- A lil' swag goes a long way
- Just ask Kanye
- Eww, verbal diarrhea is so not cool
- Seriously, dude, it's not a good look
- I got shot gun, I called it
- (and other ridiculous game you should learn to play)
- Let em' hear you roar
- (it's okay, we promise)
Ever notice how women are always apologizing for the strangest things? How many times have you heard someone say the following or, if you're being honest have said them yourself?
- "Sorry, can I ask a stupid question?"
- "Sorry, do you have a minute"
- "Sorry" when someone else bumps into you
- "Sorry" as you hand your child to their father
- "Sorry" when someone sits too close to you
- "Sorry" when someone else was the wrongdoer
What's the big deal? I mean I know I probably did one of these this week alone. We are just being polite, right? But are we doing that or is it something else?
Saying I'm sorry is one of those annoying quirks and peccadilloes that seem to come in like an alien and body snatch every bit of what makes us us and for some reason we let it. Probably because we were taught to have manners and be the "bigger" (better) person. So we say sorry again and again. It is almost like when you great someone with "hi, how are you?" The whole concept is there as a rhetorical question because if anybody actually stopped and told you ow they were feeling, you would be running for cover because let's face, for most people that we present that question to, we don't really care.
I know, sometimes I'm a bit of a jerk. but I'm a truthful jerk and I am only saying what most of us are thinking. We say "sorry" as a formality. We don't really mean it and if you asked us "why" we apologized, we probably wouldn't know what to say. In the small cases we would be able to give you a reason, it will sound just as ridiculous in our head as it did when you heard it out loud. Then we go home and curse ourselves for doing something so "stupid" and never once giving ourselves the luxury of an apology.
in the workplace
When we are interviewed and hired for a job the assumption is that we impressed the boss. We said or did something that let them know we would be an asset to the team. Imagine the bosses surprise when we show up and start apologizing for all of the things they hired us to do. That's doesn't make any sense, it also doesn't help you out at all because it is not what they wanted. It may seem seem like they do but they don't.
how do i know that? well, do you see men do it?
I realize men and women are different but that doesn't mean one is superior over the other or that one's ideas, questions, space or responsibility is any more valuable than the other. It just means different. So while I ask if you see men do this, it is not to tell you that you should copy what they are doing but comparing our reaction to a situation at work with that of a man does gives some good insight into confidence and at the end of the day confidence is key. Now for the million dollar question Alex...
how do we stop saying i'm sorry all the time?
I'm glad you asked. It is NOT easy. I still catch myself doing it from time to time, especially when I just don't want to bothered. What I have found to be effective though is do one or more of the following:
know you surroundings
a lot of times, sorry comes from feeling inadequate. When you take the time to REALLY evaluate a room, you will realize two things.
- They are all just people, like you
- Some of them are definitely smarter than you but some are definitely not.
This means that 99% of the time you are sitting with people who are probably saying sorry in their head too, especially if they are women. Know what the men are thinking that you don't hear or see?
Fake it till you make it
Yup, that age old saying is so true. You are smart. You are capable. You are strong. You're basically amazing. THEY hired you, not the other way around so if you don't know something, learn it. If you're confused, ask questions (with out apologizing for them). If you need to get up to speed, then work a little extra to get there. Despite what some may think, hard work, knowledge, dedication, passion and commitment do still mean something in the world and people will recognize your efforts. Nobody knows everything and very few people are experts. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. How many of the people in that office have put in that work? So relax, and fake it till you make it. I mean hello, you know what will happen, the saying tells you. You will make it!
get passionate about your work
If you wanna be a shark, be a shark This one is not so easy for a couple of reasons.
- What happens if your job isn't exactly sexy and not what you dreamed of?
- Once you do it, people will use passionate to describe you in BOTH positive AND negative ways when you are a woman. Sorry, but it is true, there are studies all over to prove it.
Passion comes from within. You have to learn to harness it. I believe passion and drive are intimately connected. You have to WANT something to feel passion. Now, that might only be money. It might be respect or recognition or the knowledge of a job well done. If you are lucky, it is all of those things PLUS getting to do something that actually knocks your socks off. When I speak to kids, I always tell them that passion and creativity manifest themselves differently in everyone. It is up to us to figure out how. Stop complaining about not knowing your purpose and go find it. Easier said than done yes but NOTHING gets done until you want it bad enough.
So, how bad do you want it? If you want it that bad, why are you apologizing? You've made it this far, so you're doing something right, all it takes to move ahead, is one little step.
Okay, the first tenant is done, come back tomorrow when we talk about swagger in the workplace. YUP, I typed "SWAGGER". Deal with it.
share with me
If you are feeling especially engaged today, tell me what you're "NOT SORRY" about in the comments below or on social media with the hashtags
I just want to thank everyone who emailed, texted, wrote and called me last week and told me about your experiences. I was in awe and truly humbled that you read my words but that you also chose to share yours with me. Just Keep Swimming.
you came back for part 2. YEAH!
here's where we left off... (if you missed Wednesday's part one, go read it so you can catch up.)
when it happens to you...
I was struggling at work. It wasn't WITH the work necessarily. That was always the easy part. I was struggling with the structure around me and the way in which business was done. This is not to say my way was right, it is simply saying that I wasn't used to what was happening and it confounded me.
You see, in my experience, work had always been somewhat easy. I got the job, I went in, worked hard, got bored, asked for more, did more and then typically moved on to something new. Here I was in a job that I loved but the environment was all wrong. For the first time in my career it felt as if people were judging me. It felt like people didn't like me. I understand that in the professional world "being liked" should not be what keeps you up at night and normally it wouldn't. I am pretty confident in who I am and I know that I am not for everyone but at work, I had never had to deal with that.
On a weekly, sometimes daily basis, I was told one or more of the following things:
- you are too aggressive
- maybe if you toned it down a bit, people would be more receptive
- they think you are a bitch
- why don't you ask (fill in the blank with any guy's name) to help
- he got promoted because he had more experience (despite having less education and work experience than me)
- we just really need you to be less emotional
- you shouldn't care so much
- You are really good at what you do but we just need you to change this one little thing
- your personality just doesn't mesh well here
- some people think you are too harsh, I don't but "some" people do
I would come home every night and feel like I had gone a few rounds in a boxing ring. Wasn't I hired because I was aggressive? Wasn't I hired because I am good and show results? Should I be worried that people don't "like" me? Why in the heck should I not "care" about what I am doing? Wait, why wasn't I promoted?
I think this happens a lot to women, maybe not this exact thing but the idea that at some point at work, you are told to act different than who you are and you are done in so in a way that wouldn't have been said if you were a guy. Heck, some of the guys I worked with literally would go into my bosses office and FART, yes FART and they would laugh with the boss about it. First of all WHAT? or to stay with the theme...
I am not kidding. When we find ourselves in these situations (not the farting, the stuff before that) MOST women, start to question their qualifications and value. They feel the need to justify themselves and the make accommodations that men wouldn't. But why wouldn't we?
For example, how many times have you been in a meeting, maybe you are the only woman, and you are the one is asked to take notes or call for lunch? In my entire 20 plus year career I have NEVER seen a guy take meeting notes OR order lunch. NEVER! We are not "just one of the guys" and apparently that is less somehow.
These things might seem small to some but they really add up to a lot and they are why teaching our daughters to be leaders is so important. We will not become leaders if we do not acknowledge what we bring to the table. We have to find a way to move past the ridiculousness of experiences like the one I explained.
I know what you're thinking, was it really that easy for me to just "get past it"?
I was upset. I was confused and don't tell anyone, but I basically cried on my drive home every single night. This was not what I signed up for. I really had a crisis of confidence and I am NOT a person who has a confidence issue at work. But I felt like I was just hanging there and since I knew this was not me I had to develop a game plan. Something had to change and unfortunately I have yet to secure a super power that allows me to bend people at my will. This means...
i couldn't just hang there anymore...i had to be the change.
to be continued...
next we'll talk about ways to change our attitude, outlook & responses in the workplace so that we can continue our upward climbs on those ladders we're always hearing about. Till Then...
I talk a lot about "finding your purpose" and going after it. In essence making the decision to "love what you do and do what you love". I realize this is a process and not something that can be simplified.
An old co-worker of mine though epitomizes the dream of being able to do this. I will probably over simplify his journey but he decided to go after his dream of being a photographer. He packed up and moved from California to New York City. He has now traveled around the world taking some of the most amazing pictures I have ever seen.
We can look at another person's journey and assume that it was easy for them. We act as if they have less hurdles than we do, more time than we do or special circumstances that makes things harder for us than other people. The truth of the matter is we all have the opportunity to walk towards our purpose. We each have to go through our own hurdles and bumps in the road but it is still something we can all do. The biggest obstacle in our way is deciding for ourselves that we are worth it. Once yo make that decision here are a few things you will need to remember.
it will not always be easy
you will be told no, you can't or you shouldn't
it will be fun
you will learn things about yourself you never knew
you will be happy you did it
I am not going to say much more than that today. It's Friday, it's nice outside and this is a lot to think about in and of itself. What I will leave you with is a video that the friend I was talking about directed. It's a short couple of minutes but watch it, spend the weekend thinking about how you could go on your own journey towards purpose.
Hope you all have an amazing weekend dreaming of the possibilities and start seeing some light of your own.
One of my first concerts in life was a 90's dream. It was a mix of hip-hop and r&b that featured then rising stars like The Luniz, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci and Notorious BIG, if I remember correctly. Hip Hop wasn't new on the scene but it still had not reached the mainstream of pop culture the way it is today. While I listened regularly from its inception, having a visual representation to go with it besides MTV Raps and BET was new to me.
I remember when the Luniz came on the stage there was so many people with them. A few jumped off the stage and into the audience They had microphones but they were not any of the rappers from the Luniz. They weren't rapping either. It seemed like they were just yelling out random words and flinging their shirts in the air. I was so confused. Who were these extra guys? It was in that single moment I learned what the Hype Man was.
So why am I telling you about the concerts of my youth? Because I believe we should all have our very own "hype man (woman)". Someone that lifts us up, gets us excited to "be on" and someone who keeps our momentum and energy up when it might otherwise slide.
I am so lucky, I have a lot of good people in my corner but since it is "Woman Crush Wednesday" I thought I would tell you about one of my biggest "hype ladies". The one who keeps the music going for me. By no means is she the ONLY "hype lady I got, but I know you have other things to do besides learning all about my fabulous peeps.
When you have more than one friend, most of the time you each play a role in each other's lives. Maybe one of you is the comedienne, one is the voice of reason, one forces you to step outside of your box and get a little crazy. This is kind of the process that adult friendships take. So, while all of my friends are awesome, my girl Krystle is most certainly my "hype woman".
From the first time I was able to get her to "call in sick to work" (shh, don't tell anyone), I knew we were meant to be. For most of our friendship we have lived in different states but it never got in the way of our bond. She has seen me through bouts of unemployment, depression, boys and other life changing events. I have never had to worry about what I say or what I do with Krystle.
No matter what I do, she sends me emoji filled text messages telling me how amazing I am. She sends me personalized gifts to lift me up and keep me going.
Aside from my sister's she is the only person who is down for anything and when I say anything, I mean it. Anyone who knows me or follows me on social media will know that I am all about trying new things, acting silly, costumes, wigs and photo shoots, just to name a few of the shenanigans I have pulled her into.
Not only does she float along with my whims but she uses those whims to lift me up. I don't know how she does it really, but she has actually made me realize that corn dogs are a part of my shtick in the world and others jumped on board. This girl is really good.
I have no idea what I have ever done to deserve this "hype lady" but in my time of transition I am so glad to have her.
Do you have someone who you can rely on to "bless your quest", who are encourages your dream, cheers on your purpose and who champions your quest to find that primal source of joy that we all deserve.
P.S. I want to clarify that I am NOT endorsing this Where Dreams Meet Reality group that sponsored these videos. I am not familiar with them in anyway and tried to research them but found no site available. So ignore the parts that speak to that and really listen to the message Kevin is providing. That is what I am speaking to.
Happy Monday. Today I want to continue our conversation from last week in the post from Friday, "red rubber balls, coffee breaks and other musings". Today we talk about what happens when you go after your purpose. I want to talk about the part the everyone avoids,
At some point in every journey you come across people who don't quite see your dream as clear as you do. Here's the thing. It's ok.
it's not their dream to understand.
WOAH! right? We spend so much of our lives worried about what everyone else will think, how they will perceive what we are doing, whether or not they will like what we do and who we are.
I mean it, who cares? In a perfect world, everyone would love everyone and everything they do. This isn't a perfect world and that alone makes it perfect. confusing? yes, but having naysayers more than likely means you are headed in the right direction. I am not sure why it happens but for some reason it scares people to see other people doing better than them. These people are not mean by nature and deep down they probably do want what is best for you but there is something in our chemistry (especially women) that makes us think it's either them or us. Like there is limited pool of happiness in the world and you either get a big gulp of it or nothing at all. We see other people doing well and we long to have the same success for ourselves. We start playing the good old comparison game which nobody ever wins.
Got a little depressing there for a minute, didn't I? My bad, but I wanted to make sure you really get what I'm talking about. There is some good news though.
Are you ready for it?
The good news is that when you follow your purpose or passion, you become a megaphone to others. Living your purpose gets so loud, others can't help but hear and want to get loud themselves. I am about to rock your world but did you know that it is never to late to be happy?
there is not limit to happiness on this earth
There just isn't. Go ahead, research it. We do not have a "don't fill past this line" in us with regards to happiness. Quite frankly the only thing preventing us from being happiness is ourselves. We are scared, lazy and doubtful and so we are prime targets for the naysayers who would come and knock us down.
But I have a secret tip for you on how to ignore the haters in your world. If you remember this one simple phrase...
Rocked your world again, didn't I? Well, I can't claim ownership of the phrase, it is actually from the video you will see below. It's perfect though. Think about it. If you realize that everyone is an admirer of what you are doing, things get really easy. Some are confused, and that is fine especially when you consider the following:
not everyone understands genius at work
normally people's negativity has nothing to do with you
not everyone is going to like you
sometimes people admire you from afar
it's your purpose not theirs
It's not always easy to ignore the haters, I get that. There is more than one time where I was crushed by someones opinion of my journey. I would get knocked around a bit but eventually I would get up. Then I started thinking about that saying... "haters are just confused admirer's". I am not saying that a little phrase will solve all of your problems but it does help to put things in perspective and sometimes a little perspective goes a long way.
Check out the second video of the series, with Kevin Carroll speaking on haters.
Now that you know how many admirer's we have, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to plow through the confusion and going after your purpose? Tell me below in the comments. See you Wednesday when we talk about the next step, the people who lift you up on your journey.
P.S. I want to clarify that I am NOT endorsing this Where Dreams Meet Reality group that sponsored these videos. I am not familiar with them in anyway and tried to research them but found no site available. So ignore the parts that speak to that and really listen to the message Kevin is providing. That is what I am speaking to.
When I was younger, one of the things I spent most of my time on was tearing myself down. I didn’t need anyone around to do it. I was quite good at it. In fact I carried a black belt in it, even had the WWF championship belt given to those that are able to knock themselves out. At the time, I honestly thought I was the only one in the entire world who felt this way. As a pre-teen I would hide in the back of my closet with magazines, notebooks and journals that I would then fill with words to outline all of the ways in which I didn’t measure up.
I would compare myself to most anybody but more often than not I chose to compare myself to my siblings. I am the oldest of six. The gap is 14 years between the oldest and youngest. Each one of them has veritable cornucopia of amazing and unique things about them. I was always the proud “big” sister that would show up to every play, choir concert, soccer game, taekwondo practice etc. and aside from my Mom, I am pretty sure I was the loudest cheerleader that was there.
My comparison was not one of malice. It was jealousy, of course, but it was the kind of jealousy that made me think I didn’t measure up. They did all of these wonderful things and all I did was, well in my mind I did nothing. I became one of those people that was constantly on a search for “my talent”. From as far back as I can remember, every one of my siblings just had something special about them. They were all talented.
My brother is an artist who would blow your mind. No joke, he doesn’t just draw, he builds things, and basically is good at everything he attempts. Add to this his quick wit and old people love him. Well lots of people love him but especially old people. I have no idea why.
There is my brother who was a second degree black belt before Jr High. He was a multi-sport athlete in high school and is maybe the most charming person you will ever meet. He is witty and knows how to turn a phrase like no other.
I have a sister who is a championship roller-skater, cheerleader, dancer and fashion savant. She has the most positive natural energy and loyalty of anyone you will ever meet and doesn’t give up on anything ever.
My brother was a basketball phenom. He was the kid people loved to watch play and my Dad loved to coach. He has this natural ability that seemed to appear straight from the womb. He's hungry to learn as much as he can about people & takes chances in his life more than most.
My sister, the comedienne & writer. She'll read this & roll her eyes but she is the smartest person I know and sees the world as whole. She uses humor & words to understand & explore the world. Nobody can make you laugh like her. Don’t even get me started about her Ralph Machio impression.
Did I mention that they also all happen to be really really really good looking? Like Zoolander good looking?
So imagine me, the first one, the oldest, a pasty, scrawny girl with fluffy blonde hair and eczema all over. (umm, yes that is a real pre-teen picture of me on Valentines Day and yes I see the outfit.) I was/am loud, chatty and bossy but I brought no “talent” to the team. I was the bench player who was great at cheering and bringing everyone their sweat towels to feel part of the team but I was never going to get to play. I spent many a conversation crying to my mother and asking her “why am I not good at anything, why don’t I have a talent?”
“But you do. You’re talent is business.” She would say as she stroked my hair to calm me down. It didn’t work.
“That is not a talent” I would inevitably yell. Of course I didn’t storm out because who is gonna leave when their Mom is playing with their hair? I was sad not dumb.
If I could so clearly see everything that they were good at why was it that I couldn’t recognize any talent within myself? Was I being too strict with my definition? Was I not seeing something that was there?
The truth is, it is all about playing the comparison game. We compare ourselves to everyone else around us and use that to gauge how successful, talented and/or worthwhile we are. Most of the time we don't even know we are doing it. Research says there are a lot of reasons we do this:
- comparison helps provide us a bar to reach for
- we are socialized to compete with others not just in sport but in everything (think young school age girls and the hierarchy involved, think politics, think sports, you get the drift.)
- lack of confidence
- social media
We have all heard some version of the saying "don't compare your worst day with someone else's best day" or worse yet with their social media best day. It's not real. We not only compare ourselves to everyone but we compare them on stuff that isn't even real.
So let's stop already. Easier said than done right? Well, maybe not. Maybe if we take what learned on Negative Bias and apply it here it could actually help us reduce our need to compare. Think of it this way, if we are focusing on the positive things in our lives we are bound to find our purpose. When we find our purpose we live a happier life. When we live a happier life we don't have a reason to compare because we see, honor and respect the amazing things we have.
So...have I stopped comparing myself to my siblings? Most of the time, yes. I slip every once in awhile, because they really are amazing. But...finding my purpose and passion changed everything. I like what I'm doing, who I am and who I have around me. It's a pretty dope feeling so I have decided to own that and let them own their awesomeness as well.
Oh, and by the way, I did find my talent and while business is great and I am glad to have a head for it. My talent is what I was put on this earth for. Want to know what it is? Read the "DO" section on this website. How do you battle the comparison game? Tell me in the comments below?