Life Lesson: Affirm Yourself

abundance

I chose this affirmation to post because every day we have the opportunity to share our gifts at work. You may not consider being a great listener, being an effective communicator, having a good sense of humor, or being able to empathize etc. as gifts but they are. Affirm yourself.

If you’ve ever taken a ride in an Uber or Lyft you know that each ride is different. The driver can be a chatterbox or let you ride in peace & quiet. The radio can be tuned to anything from r&b to 80s rock to news radio. The car can be clean & comfortable or quite questionable. It runs the gamut. I’ve certainly met my fair share of characters on these rides and had some interesting experiences. This morning was a good one though. My driver happened to be a certified life coach. As in that was her actual job, not just something she called herself. She told me I was her last ride before she went to work – to be a life coach. As we got to talking, I realized I was in her car for a reason.

Long story short, we got to talking about the universe and energy and affirmations. I know you want to roll your eyes here, but listen. She shared examples with me of clients who had begun using positive affirmations to manifest their destinies and had experienced real change. This resonated with me because I have a habit of focusing on what I don’t have instead of what I have. This is a bad habit to have because as the Law of Attraction teaches us, you attract what you put out. When I got to work a colleague told me she has made the decision to pursue her dreams of helping others live authentically. I felt like the universe was not just sending me a sign but hitting me over the head with it.

I say all this to say, in a world where things often seem out of our control – work stuff, family stuff, state of the country/world stuff – we have to remember to affirm ourselves and speak abundance into our lives. We have to speak as though we already have everything we need. I know this may sound strange to some folks and I have trouble with it myself at times. But honestly, it has worked for everyone I know who does it.

So your mission today folks, is to affirm yourself. Whatever it is you want/need – more money, a different job, better relationships, etc. – create an affirmation for it (you can Google examples if you find it hard to come up with something.) Speak these affirmations daily. And if you really want to do something great, affirm someone else while you’re at it. Show your appreciation for something a friend, co-worker, family member has done for you or that helped you in some way. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it, but even if they don’t, feel good about it anyway.

Life Lesson: Invest in Yourself

investHow many times have you wanted to do something that would you enrich you either personally or professionally but repeatedly told yourself you couldn’t afford it? I know I’ve been in that place SEVERAL times. I look at my bills and my bank account and think “nope- can’t do it.” But if we don’t invest in ourselves, who will?

This year I am attending the annual SHRM conference (paid for completely out of my own pocket – registration, travel and housing) and the WorkHuman conference (thankfully one of my Twitter angels arranged for a free registration for this one so I’m only on the hook for travel & housing.) I SO envy folks whose employers truly invest in their professional development and send them to conferences, etc. I almost decided not to try to attend either conference because it really is a financial stretch for me, but it’s also important to me to learn and grow in my field and to network with my peers face-to-face. Now I may not be eating when I’m there (which will really hurt in NOLA 🙂 ) but I’ll be soaking up great info and meeting great people. I plan to use these experiences (and others) to enrich both myself and my organization. These investments will not go to waste!

When was the last time you invested in yourself? If it’s been far too long ago, I implore you to look into something that will benefit you and figure out how to make it happen. Investment comes in more than one form. It can be money, time or energy (or some combination of each.) Whatever you decide to do, I guarantee you’ll be better off for it – even if it’s a struggle to make it happen.

Put Yourself on the Pedestal You Reserve for Others

This interview with actor, Wood Harris, was a much needed message for me. When asked if he would say Denzel Washington is the greatest (living, black, male) actor, he said no. He goes on to say, he’s not the best, he’s the most successfulThat’s a major and very distinct difference. 

He was in no way taking anything away from Denzel Washington’s talent or the level he has reached in the industry. He was simply saying that he puts no other actor above himself because he knows his craft and what he’s capable of. In other words, he knows what he knows. This is something I sometimes find myself having to remind myself and others.

This is such an important message for everyone. Every day we see people deemed as “experts” in our chosen field and, I don’t know about you, but for me sometimes it’s daunting. One might think, “what do I have to contribute?” or “will anyone want to hear what I have to contribute?” “Why should I bother with having a blog or posting on LinkedIn when there are SO MANY other people out there with huge audiences talking about similar things? Or when asked to speak or participate in a panel discussion one might be nervous thinking there are people more qualified to do so. STOP IT! What you should be thinking is “why didn’t you ask me sooner? you’ve been missing out!

Take a lesson from Wood and be confident in your abilities. Not arrogant, but confident. Never assume someone is better than you because they are more conventionally successful or more well known. We each have our own voice, POV, story to tell, experience worth sharing. We each have knowledge, skills and abilities that have gotten us where we are and can take us even further if we believe in ourselves the way we believe in others.

We all have the ability to be great in our own way, whether or not we have our name in lights (literally or figuratively.)  Sometimes you’re Prince, sometimes you’re Michael Jackson. Sometimes you’re Justin Bieber but that’s a different blog post. LOL. The bottom line is: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. 

(Video courtesy of VLADTV. H/T @newblackman for sharing this video on Twitter.)

Reflection: #FirstSevenJobs

Recently the hashtag #FirstSevenJobs has been floating around Twitter. After reading a few lists from others, I started thinking about my own. I had actually forgotten one of my early jobs and seeing this topic sparked my memory.

I think it’s sometimes a good thing to take a moment and reflect on from whence you came. So here goes – my first seven jobs. I am not including jobs prior to age 18.

  1. Book re-shelver at Loyola College bookstore
  2. Sales associate at Lerner New York (now New York & Co.)
  3. Food server at Boston Chicken (now Boston Market)
  4. Administrative Assistant (government agency)
  5. Personnel Assistant (government agency)
  6. Development Assistant (nonprofit service organization)
  7. Human Resources Assistant (nonprofit trade association)

It’s been a bit of a odd ride but it’s brought me to where I am now.

What were your first seven jobs?

 

Life Lesson: Know Your Worth

Knowing your worth is critical in both your professional and personal life. Don’t ever be afraid to command the pay, respect, time, acknowledgement, etc. you know you deserve. Don’t let others’ perceptions of you change your perception of yourself. When you KNOW you’re great – act like it!

nminaj

 

#MotivationMonday: Paulo Coelho

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This quote is a great reminder of how our attitudes and actions impact our environment. This is true for both our personal and professional lives.

Life Lesson: Do What You’re Doing While You’re Doing It

I think at some point in time we’ve all read a quote, watched a YouTube video, seen a tweet or Facebook post and thought “Wow, this really speaks to me. I needed to see/hear that today.” It’s as if the universe knew what you needed right at the moment and gave it to you. Well, this HuffBlackVoices video with Tracee Ellis Ross was that thing for me today. Continue reading

#MotivationMonday: Elizabeth Gilbert

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This is one of my favorite quotes. I even added it to my email signature. It’s a constant reminder that we can’t just sit back and let life happen TO us. We have to go out and MAKE things happen. This is my mantra for 2016.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2016

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Martin-Luther-King-Quote

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for having said and accomplished many, MANY inspirational things. There are numerous meaningful images and quotes I could have posted here today. However, as I think about my career goals, job search and future in HR, this quote in particular speaks to me. – Keep moving forward. 

 

#MotivationMonday: Michelle Obama

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MObama quote