This year was a life-changing year for me. It was one of the hardest and best years of my life, all wrapped up into one. Through these blessings and obstacles, I learned a great deal about myself and how to continue to push myself to think differently, while learning more about the world around me.
In a nutshell, in 2017, I moved across the state, planned our wedding, got married, moved into a new place, started a new position as an administrator, and started and finished writing my upcoming book, Unleash Talent. Ironically enough, many of these huge life changes all happened at the same time, which bestowed on me many of the stressors that come along with it. I must say, all of these things together are complete blessings from God that I am eternally grateful for. But, as we know as educators and family people, we can tend to get pulled in a multitude of directions with many pressures, some that we even put on ourselves, that can weigh even the best blessings down if we allow them to.
With that said, here are 4 of the hard things I realized in 2017. These lessons have and will continue to be at the forefront of my mind as I lead this upcoming year with, what I hope is, even more, wisdom than I had the year before.
1. Value your talents and what you have to offer
Many times in my life I have almost self-sabotaged my own talents due to my fears of not being good enough or being judged. Although writing a book has been a life-long goal, there have been countless times when writing the book where I had writer’s block, not because I do not know what ideas to share, but because I personally got in my own way. Once I am able to get past this feeling, I am able to truly unleash my talent and to be proud of who I am. Therefore, when my self-doubt haunts me, I continue to tell myself: “I am talented. My story matters. People need to hear my story. My story will positively change people.” Although it sounds cheesy, these self-affirmations help me realize that I matter, just as much as everyone else, and they help me to keep sharing who I am to the world.
2. Know when to say yes, and when to say no
With all of the life changes this year, I have learned more of when it is okay to say yes and when to say the opposite. I used to think that I needed to say “yes” to any opportunity and to any request that people sent my way. I am a hard worker and tend to find more worth in myself through giving back to others, which makes it even harder to say “no.” This can be a blessing, but it can also wear me down if am not careful. Therefore, when people in my personal life or in my career have asked me to do things or to be a part of something, I now purposefully think before answering:
- Am I even interested in this opportunity?
- What projects am I currently already apart of at work?
- What commitments do I need better to prioritize at home?
- What talents of mine do I have to offer to this potential project/activity?
- What could my experience or learning be if I did dedicate my time to this?
- What time do what I have to dedicate to something new?
Although these are 6 heavy questions, it helps me become realistic to the idea of what I have time for, the resources and gifts I am able to provide, and to what capacity so I am a fulfilled worker AND family member. I continually seek ways to build my talents and to bring more purpose in my life, but I also am mindful that I do so without bringing down other areas in my life as well. It is okay to say yes, and it is definitely okay to say no, too.
3. Limit the guilt and pressures that you put on yourself
My initial reaction when typing this lesson was to write “stop the guilt.” But, then, I realized that if I told you to stop the guilt, I would be asking you to become inhuman. Therefore, let us make the goal to limit the guilt and pressures that we put on ourselves, rather than to stop them fully, which would be merely impossible. Ironically enough, the pressures we place on ourselves can help us to be bolder and to be better overall. But, just like with anything else, too much of anything is unhealthy for you and those around you. Continue to seek progress and growth, but take the time to reflect and realize when you did something right, too! If we continue to place guilt on ourselves for not doing enough, especially when we are putting our best foot ahead of us, we can get in a looped train of thinking that forces us to focus on feelings of worry, anxiety, and negativity. Find an accountability partner who will not be afraid to call you out when you get stuck in this thinking and will help you to be proud of the choices you have made, not guilty; This has made all the difference for me.
4. Find comfort in the discomfort
With all of this said, tides and shifts in your life can make you feel uneasy and weary. When things change, you naturally want them to go back to the way they were, or for the change to de-escalate in its speed. But, as one of my new favorite quotes and ideas by Lilly Singh says, “Think of discomfort as currency- it is the price you pay to learn some pretty crucial things.” Discomfort is temporary and is proof that you are pushing yourself. Discomfort is life’s way of showing you that you’re making efforts to forge ahead. Embrace that feeling and move towards it, rather than exerting just as much effort to run away from it. If you find a way to work alongside discomfort, you will be more apt to complete your goals and to live the life of your dreams.Discomfort is life's way of showing you that you're making efforts to forge ahead. Embrace that feeling and move towards it, rather than exerting just as much effort to run away from it. Click To Tweet
My upcoming book, Unleash Talent, will be released in the Summer of 2018 by IMpress and DBC (Dave Burgess Publishing), Inc. Stay tuned for future blog posts to get more sneak peeks of ideas within my book.
When my book is released, I will share more information here regarding book resources, materials, book study information, and where to purchase my book. #UnleashTalent