I need to talk about something that I myself do on a daily basis and I'm sick of it. I'm sick of watching my friends feel lost and hopeless and ignore their capabilities! I'm sick of seeing everyone around me stand in their own way. I'M SICK OF STANDING IN MY OWN WAY! Why do we shut down or self destruct when we can't be perfect or do all of the things? Enough is enough! Here are 8 rules we all need to live by:
1. Stop Being Polite.
Helpful? YES! Considerate? HELL YEAH! But polite? NOPE! Polite doesn't serve you. Polite sets limits. Polite reinforces the fact that you have a place when the reality is your place is wherever you want it to be.
2. Stop Tearing Women Down.
We all have those people who we just don't get along with. They could be the nicest person in the world but for some reason they make your skin crawl. Get over it. Avoid them. You know the saying "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all"? Well try this, "If you don't have anything constructive to say, then shut your mouth." Stop saying mean things about people. Stop judging people. Does Anne Coulter make my skin crawl? YES. But I don't know how to make that situation any better so I count to 10, let my blood stop boiling and I keep fighting my fight. That being said, stand up for other people. Be loud and vocal when you see something or someone who needs to be challenged. (That's you Princeton Mom.)
3. Re-frame Criticism.
From this point forward, whenever you receive criticism, re-frame it by saying "That worked because..." or "That didn't work because..." Why? Because criticism sucks. It's hard to give everything you have to something and then have someone tell you it sucks or that you didn't work hard enough. But there's a way to make that un-constructive criticism constructive by saying, "this didn't work because..." It's hard not to take some criticisms personally or internalize them and play them on repeat. But when you re-frame it, it's constructive. Use it at work, in your relationships or in your own self assessments.
Still having issues? For every critique you give yourself name 2-3 things you did well. RIGHT THEM DOWN. Then repeat it. I'm serious! It's OK to make mistakes but it isn't OK to forget to celebrate all the sh*t you did really, really well. CELEBRATE YOURSELF BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WILL. (I know, doesn't that suck? Celebrate other people more!)
4. Own Your Flaws.
Great news, you're not perfect. Why is this great news? Because it's so much more fun to be flawed! Your flaws set you apart so stop hiding them. Do you have a big nose? Acne scars? Stretchmarks? Great, no one cares. There is nothing more infuriating than watching my friends Photoshop their Instagram pictures. KNOCK IT OFF. No one cares if you have a speech impediment. No one cares if you stutter or sweat profusely when you speak in public. If you show up, care about what you're doing, engage and be the best you possible, I promise you no one is paying attention to all that nonsense you're self conscious about. Just do the work and own the room. Do what you came to do. BE DIFFERENT. Don't blend in, STAND OUT! (And there is always going to be an asshole or two who is going to point out your flaws. It's not you, they're an asshole. Thank them for coming. Wish them luck! They need it.)
5. Empower. Embody. Embrace.
Confused? Ask for help! No one expects you to have it all figured out. Embody confidence and success because you have no reason not to! Embrace the fact that you are powerful beyond measure. Push yourself. Say yes to challenges, critiques, criticisms and never stop learning. Find a role model, a mentor or a group and watch them. Use them. Ask them questions. You don't have to do anything alone. Put yourself out there and ask for guidance. Voice your concerns and your inhibitions. Chances are a vast majority of the people around you share them.
6. FAIL BETTER.
Take chances, step outside of your comfort zone and accept failure. Failure makes you stronger and it encourages growth. So if you have to take 5 steps back before you can take 15 forward, why wouldn't you want to fail? Be prepared, do your work, and be prepared to fail. The more you fail the more you grow. Then brush yourself off and charge on. Be bold, loud and work your face off.
7. Fight For A Fair Wage.
Here's some advice for anyone seeking their first jobs. I know you feel like you are going to mess it up by negotiating your pay (Yes, you are going to negotiate), find 3-5 people who do the same thing as you at different companies if possible (Male and female preferably) and find a fair salary. (Check Glassdoor if you don't have anyone you can reach out to.) You may be low balled. Don't tell your future employer what you make now, just ask what they are offering. Then negotiate. ALWAYS NEGOTIATE! Don't be greedy but you deserve to be compensated fairly. (I know 3 people who negotiated their first salaries. 3! Don't make that mistake!) If they aren't budging and you know the fair market value, ask them how they came up with their number. Counter with how you came up with your number. But dear God NEGOTIATE!
8. Say Yes To You.
Life is hard and it will never get easier. You have to advocate for yourself and say yes to you. If you aren't happy figure out why not. Your quality of life is important. Whether you're not happy with your career, relationship, body image, health or persona, it's never to late to make a change. You are already the best you possible but there is always work to be done. It's never to late to try something new and terrifying. The time will never be right and you can do whatever you want to do. Work hard. Make sacrifices. Fight for you. No one is going to advocate for you as hard as you can. Love yourself. Believe in yourself. Say yes to you.
The road is long but it's your job to enjoy the journey. If you aren't happy, figure out what's standing in your way and either break through or go around it. You always have options. You are more than enough. You are beautiful, bright, full of promise, confident, incredible and strong. Remember to support the people around. Give. Be grateful. Fail better. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.