Self 02 May 2019
I seek to find meaning in every experience that I have or in anyone that I connect with. I crave a valuable existence.
Therefore, I apply myself conscientiously and wholeheartedly in every aspect, including my life at home, at school, with friends, with family, and with my business: Nudesox.
I am a thoughtful friend, a resourceful person, and a deep thinker; my strength in finding value in various parts of my life brings me happiness and stability. Self-reflection has allowed me to really understand myself and how I can discover my purpose.
I try my best to start and end my day with reflection. One way that I have found balance in my life is through yoga and meditation, but any type of reflective thinking about the day counts! Another tool for finding happiness and peace within myself is reading a gratitude list that I add to from time to time. I find that listing events, thoughts, people, and scenarios from my past and present that make me happy, allows me to fully focus on what I do have in my life, rather than what might be missing. If I don't review my list and practice meditation, I lose focus on what really matters and all that I have to be thankful for. If you, yourself, are not balanced, how can you expect your life to be? It is easy to get caught up in the physical aspect of life, which is why spirituality and self-reflection are so important. Self-work is crucial to personal wellbeing, but it is also important to have a balanced environment, and to surround yourself with people who allow you to thrive.
Through my reflections, I have realized that my values do not necessarily align with all of my friends' or family's. Once I understood this, it became easier for me to accept that I cannot have certain expectations from people. Just because I have a certain value, does not mean that the person I am dealing with will have that value as well. This clarity has allowed me to better read people's deeper motivations. Being able to comprehend the inner workings of personal relationships has enabled me to better understand the dynamic between a brand and its customer. By discerning people's values and perspectives, I am able to predict the outcome of a situation and better prepare myself to engage with someone. In business, it is harder to know your customers' mindsets without having interacted with them several times, so it is important to make your brand valuable in and of itself to encourage buyer loyalty.
The work of self-reflection is a powerful tool in both life and business. Throughout this practice, I have gained five primary strengths that aided me in establishing my business, Nudesox, a women's athleisure sock brand in five shades of nude.
The ability to focus my mind in silence has greatly honed my analytical abilities. Having just a few moments of silence during a busy day can have a huge impact on my efficiency when completing daily tasks. Making the time to think about your needs makes you more likely to fulfill them; your priorities become clearer and you are able to achieve more after dissecting the task at hand.
Self-Reflection allowed me to gain insight into how other people think and why they behave the way they do. When you really learn to understand yourself, it becomes easier to understand others. In business, it is important to understand your consumer and what kind of product or service they need. With this understanding, you can grow your business by releasing products that fit your customer's needs, as well as creating a community of raving buyers.
In general, I consider myself to be a reactive person. However, learning how to meditate and finding my center has taught me to recalibrate and relax in stressful situations. By not reacting, I am able to step back and handle situations with more clarity and maturity. I have the ability to assess my options and choose the more appropriate one. It is crucial to make good decisions in business because one mistake can ruin the brand image. In daily life outside of business; just one mistake can ruin a brand's image. In your personal relationships, it may be easier to seek redemption, but it is much harder for a business to be forgiven.
Being more aware of myself and what makes me feel good has allowed me to strengthen my character and be more demanding of what I need. Building my self-worth has allowed me to see my value and what I am able to create. That level of confidence is vital in business because without it you can't strive to do the impossible, which is the mindset it takes to be successful. The main reason why people don't take the step to start something of their own is that they believe that they are not capable of greater achievements. It is far easier to stay in your comfort zone than to abandon your routine and try something new that involves risk, but confidence allows you to believe in yourself, even if it starts out as fake confidence.
Taking some time to stop and clear your mind gives you the ability to think deeply and openly, allowing fresh, new thoughts to become clear. By simply being conscious of your breathing, you allow your mind to expand and fill with genuine ideas that flow effortlessly. These thoughts are more pure because there is no force behind them and they emerge straight from your consciousness. Creativity is always important in running a business from the very moment your idea is born. You need to be constantly innovating to keep up with the market and stay relevant. People always want the latest and greatest, so it important to use creativity towards that.
Tips for feeling more at peace with yourself:
Although self-reflection has helped me in so many ways, there are always going to be times when I need an extra boost. These tips help me put things in perspective and return to my center when I feel a little lost.
1.Sometimes I feel like I am having a quarter-life crisis because I feel like I have so much left to do. But, being busy is a good thing; it means that you are living your life to the fullest. Regardless of that fact, it is easy to become overwhelmed by everything on our plate. Whenever you have this issue, picture yourself as a bird. Slowly start flying and zoom out of that image and picture your surroundings, then zoom out even more, and watch as your surroundings shrink beneath you. Zoom out of your city, out of your country, out of the world, and you will realize how small you are in comparison to life as a whole.
2.I am the type of person who puts pressure on myself to be successful and to be successful fast. When things don't go my way or as I planned, I stress out. I think it is fair to say that a majority of us think about ourselves and our lives in relation to time. We tend to map out the way we want things to work out, or where we want to be in X number of years. One thing that relieves this type of pressure is to think about each year as a percentage of our lives. Let's say that with the progression of technology and advancements in medicine, we live until we're 100 years old. That means that each year is only 1% of our entire existence. That's nothing! When you train your mind to have a wider perspective on life, time starts to feel like less of a burden, and more of a tool to progress along your journey.
3.If you don't relate to the stressors in these examples, the next time you feel overwhelmed in any way, you can always just stare into the sky. There is something so peaceful about spacing out into the stars or clouds. It is another way to remind yourself how tiny you are in comparison to the universe. If you can't find a clear sky nearby, just visualize yourself in relation to the sky and remember that in the end, it will all work out, even if it is not the way you pictured it. No matter which industry you work in, or how old you may be, just know that you are capable and can reach your goals through self-reflection and a passionate determination to be of more value to society.
New parents re-entering the workforce are often juggling the tangible realities of daycare logistics, sleep deprivation, and a cascade of overwhelming work. No matter how parents build their family, they often struggle with the guilt of being split between home and work and not feeling exceptionally successful in either place.
Women building their families often face a set of challenges different from men. Those who have had children biologically may be navigating the world of pumping at work. Others might feel pulled in multiple directions when bringing a child into their home after adoption. Some women are trying to learn how to care for a newborn for the first time. New parents need all the help they can get with their transition.
Women returning to work after kids sometimes have to address comments such as:
"I didn't think you'd come back."
"You must feel so guilty."
"You missed a lot while you were out."
To counteract this difficult situation, women are finding mentors and making targeting connections. Parent mentors can help new moms address integrating their new life realities with work, finding resources within the organization and local community, and create connections with peers.
There's also an important role for parent mentors to play in discussing career trajectory. Traditionally, men who have families see more promotions compared to women with children. Knowing that having kids may represent a career setback for women, they may work with their mentors to create an action plan to "back on track" or to get recognized for their contributions as quickly as possible after returning to work.
Previously, in a bid to accommodate mothers transitioning back to work, corporate managers would make a show at lessoning the workload for newly returned mothers. This approach actually did more harm than good, as the mother's skills and ambitions were marginalized by these alleged "family friendly" policies, ultimately defining her for the workplace as a mother, rather than a person focused on career.
Today, this is changing. Some larger organizations, such as JP Morgan Chase, have structured mentorship programs that specifically target these issues and provide mentors for new parents. These programs match new parents navigating a transition back to work with volunteer mentors who are interested in helping and sponsoring moms. Mentors in the programs do not need to be moms, or even parents, themselves, but are passionate about making sure the opportunities are available.
It's just one other valuable way corporations are evolving when it comes to building quality relationships with their employees – and successfully retaining them, empowering women who face their own set of special barriers to career growth and leadership success.
Mentoring will always be a two way street. In ideal situations, both parties will benefit from the relationship. It's no different when women mentor working mothers getting back on track on the job. But there a few factors to consider when embracing this new form of mentorship
How to be a good Momtor?
Listen: For those mentoring a new parent, one of the best strategies to take is active listening. Be present and aware while the mentee shares their thoughts, repeat back what you hear in your own words, and acknowledge emotions. The returning mother is facing a range of emotions and potentially complicated situations, and the last thing she wants to hear is advice about how she should be feeling about the transition. Instead, be a sounding board for her feelings and issues with returning to work. Validate her concerns and provide a space where she can express herself without fear of retribution or bull-pen politics. This will allow the mentee a safe space to sort through her feelings and focus on her real challenges as a mother returning to work.
Share: Assure the mentee that they aren't alone, that other parents just like them are navigating the transition back to work. Provide a list of ways you've coped with the transition yourself, as well as your best parenting tips. Don't be afraid to discuss mothering skills as well as career skills. Work on creative solutions to the particular issues your mentee is facing in striking her new work/life balance.
Update Work Goals: A career-minded woman often faces a new reality once a new child enters the picture. Previous career goals may appear out of reach now that she has family responsibilities at home. Each mentee is affected by this differently, but good momtors help parents update her work goals and strategies for realizing them, explaining, where applicable, where the company is in a position to help them with their dreams either through continuing education support or specific training initiatives.
Being a role model for a working mother provides a support system, at work, that they can rely on just like the one they rely on at home with family and friends. Knowing they have someone in the office, who has knowledge about both being a mom and a career woman, will go a long way towards helping them make the transition successfully themselves.