Risk Taking Required

Indecision is a Decision

It 9758602213_26d73ba5ba_zseems that every decision has a consequence, this we all know well. It recently dawned on me that decisions have both consequences and opportunities attached to them.  I often put off making a decision for fear of making the wrong decision and I am learning that my indecision is a decision in itself.

I made up my mind to do some things differently this year. Starting with not to keeping private some of the changes I wanted to make. I actually verbally told family and friends about those decisions. Seems like a no brainer to share what you are excited about. However, I’ve found it much safer to keep things in my head or journal. That way I’m only accountable to myself. Great idea in theory bad idea in practice because I pretty much suck as my own accountability partner. I was secretly frustrated because I wanted to see some things shift in my life but my journaling in my head way wasn’t working.

Accountability is Needed

I needed some accountability to reach my goals. And being accountable is risky. After all if you are formally accountable you run the risk of someone else knowing that you talk a good game but when it comes time for action you don’t follow through. Not a good look. I realized that if I wanted something different I’d have to do something different. I took a risk and attended the Happy Black Woman blogging event in October. I had the nerve to say on a mic that I wanted to connect with women. I couldn’t believe I said that to a room of strangers. I had already prepped myself that if I didn’t connect with anyone out of it would be cool because already had solid group of girlfriends back home. It was a huge risk for me to put myself out there and be open to the idea of widening my circle. I am so glad I did! I met so many wonderful ladies who were yearning to make the most of the opportunities before them. The result of taking this small risk is a connection with some fabulous ladies who are committed to seizing the opportunities that appear through intentional risk taking. We are moving forward in all of our glorious imperfections and it is exciting!

Photo credit: mikie t / Foter.com / CC BY

Inconsiderate People: 4 Things You Need to Know

Some people just aren’t going to like you, your style or your approach.truth-257159_1920

In some situations it doesn’t matter how much you bend or how often you rephrase or adjust your approach, some people just won’t like it. Not necessarily because of the substance of what you are presenting or offering. I’d like to say that it’s because of the words utilized or the way information is presented. Nope sometimes it’s really simple, some folks just don’t care for you, and you are not their cup of tea. And guess what, that’s ok.

The last part is a really difficult thing for me to get my head around sometimes. I know we can often say ‘man whatever, I don’t care what so and so thinks.’ Well, I’m confessing a lot of times I do care and I realize after this week often times I’m caring a little bit too much.

Bad behavior is bad behavior, regardless of the reason.

I have a bad habit of looking for reasons aka excuses for other people’s bad behavior. And in all honesty I’m good at finding reasons for my own bad behavior too. I know in my head that people make choices in how they choose to speak and respond to others. And some people will choose to respond in rude and inconsiderate ways. But I too get to make a choice in how I respond when people come at me like they’ve lost their ever loving mind. And trust me some folks as of late seem to have lost all of the good sense the Lord gave them. I’m learning that while it is noble to turn the other cheek it is equally as noble to stand up for myself. It is appropriate to let others know what type of behavior is acceptable. And I can exercise my choice by how and when I establish and maintain appropriate boundaries.

I can choose not to internalize.

Now this piece of the puzzle I can’t say with full blown confidence but I’m working on it. Through some encouragement from my husband, family and friends they reminded me that who I am and what I stand for is not wrapped up in one interaction with someone I have never met in person. Most of us can take constructive criticism, however it’s something totally different when that “criticism” is sprinkled among personal attacks surrounding ones intelligence and capabilities. That my friends is hard to work through. I know that too often when people lash out it is often out of insecurity or learned behavior. The person levying the attack or tirade is likely experiencing something that I know nothing about. (Yikes, reason/excuse) But know this beloved (in my best Iyanla Vanzant voice), personal circumstances do not give one a pass for bad behavior.

We can choose to accept the statements as truth or we can remind ourselves of who we are. I had to remind myself that I do know what I’m doing and I’m not too dense to comprehend basic business principles and disciplines. Yes, ya’ll it got to that level!!

I can do something about it.

I don’t have to idly sit by and grin and bear foolishness. This is my life and I can choose to surround myself with positive people. And those who may not be positive or stuck in a rut I get to choose the level of interaction with them too. I understand that you can’t just cut off every rude nasty person because unfortunately we may work with them or in some cases live with themJ I’ll share with you some sound advice my grandma gave me. I consider her to be a wisdom expert, she has lived 90 years so I’d say that alone qualifies her. She tells me often “I decided a long time ago I was not going to allow someone else to steal my joy”. Now grandma is so sweet and diplomatic and most times so am I. However today I’m translating her advice into “Ya’ll can act like fools if you want to, but what you won’t do, is cause me to be someone I’m not. I choose to have joy.”

Have you ever found yourself faced with disagreeable grumpy people? What are some things you do to  work around bad attitudes?

4 Ways to Shake Perfectionism: Breathe, Pray, Move, and Listen

As I worked like a crazy person into the wee hours of the night. I felt my anxiety levels rise and my mind began to shift to all the ways and reasons why I couldn’t do the task placed before. For some reason the fear and uncertainty of what my client would think virtually paralyzed me. The work had been done for about an hour yet I read and spell checked, checked fonts and checked the alignment of the graphics. Only to grow more uncertain. While attention to detail is a great skill to have it seems to me there is something inherently wrong with allowing that attention to detail to consume you and prevent you from considering a task complete.

I am slowly realizing that things that pop up in my professional life are often found in other areas of my life as well. The desire for everything to be just so often keeps me from getting started. Until I have conversation with myself saying “Just start! What’s the worst that can happen” and this seems to be when, if I’m not careful, my anxiety kicks into overdrive. I start rehearsing all the ‘worst’ that could happen and before I know it the precious time I need to
complete the task has evaporated.

So while I haven’t totally mastered letting go of my desire to want everything to appear perfect I do implement some techniques that help me snap out of it, focus and get things done.

Breathe

Close my eyes and take 10 Deep Breaths. Now that seems simple but if you are impatient like me taking deep breaths can seemingly take to
o long when you are under the pressure to get some work done. I generally spend the first 3 breaths thinking ‘why don’t I feel calmer, I should feel calmer by now”. By about breath 7 I’m feeling some of the stress leave me.

Pray

Whisper a prayer. There is a time for long drawn out prayers and sometimes I do that too but if I’m feeling extremely anxious, I keep it simple and say “God I need your help here I am freaking out, please help!” Sometimes it gets more elaborate than that but that is always my starting point.

Move

Take a 5-10 minute break and actually go outside and take a walk without music or cell phone. Just a quick step outside for fresh air does wonders.

BreatheListen

Put on some good tunes to help remind me of the greater plan for my life and how every circumstance surrounding me is pushing me closer towards my purpose, the very thing I was created to live out.

 

What are some things that you do to help yourself focus and complete the task at hand?