The earth rotated around the sun once again bringing another birthday my way. The ageless reality I face is that the older I get the more I realize that if I were to meet my younger self today, I would absolutely not be able to identify with or recognize who she is! I would not want it any other way! I celebrate that fact every birthday. It suggests growth, it champions change, and it screams legacy and success!
Younger me would not have had the tenacity to endure 5 years of entrepreneurship. She would have gotten frustrated and lost focus. Older me gets it. Being a founder is about change and appreciating the nuances of running a business when it is perfect, as well as when it is not.
Younger me had a lot of excuses. She spent vast amounts of time waiting. She thought she had forever. Older me appreciates that my time, my best time, is right NOW. I am richest when I invest in what I can do today.
Younger me lived with fears unrecognized. The me of the moment challenges fear, not to be fearless but to fear LESS so that I can accomplish and DO more of what I love.
Younger me spent time in yesterday and tomorrow. Today I am in TODAY. This alone is an energy life hack that drives choice and purpose in ways that I never knew were possible. Every year we add to our birth brings us closer to the reality that the time we can impact is not what was or what will be, but what actually is. This small tweak drives your legacy and shifts your energy allowing you to pivot toward what you most want rather than away from what you do not. Instead of backing away…you are pivoting with purpose and moving ahead.
Younger me thought that she could only handle one thing or another. This OR that. Current me realizes the impact of replacing the word OR with the word AND then completing my thought. Today I resonate with the opportunities and possibilities this supports, something that a younger version of me simply could not, and would not, explore.
Younger me was resourceful because she needed to be. Older me is creative and curious because she wants to be.
Younger me thought she knew what she wanted in life. Older me knows what she is saying yes to in life and she gratefully celebrates that.
Younger me made mistakes. Older me makes mistakes that lead to discoveries and opportunities to renew and shift course. Failure does not exist because perfection does not exist.
Younger me imagined that she knew everything. Older me knows she is always learning something.
Younger me believed that you made choices that lasted forever. Seasoned me realizes that nothing lasts forever other than the relationship we have with ourselves. This is the one thing in life you can control. Everything else is subject to change and interpretation from a new perspective.
Younger me would not have had a meaningful and intelligent conversation with older me. She would not have seen the advantage. Yet, today I cherish the relationships I have collected, connections and conversations with people who matter, which incidentally includes accessing my own wisdom! I seek all of this out for the insight and human spirit it provides.
Yes, I was numerically and biologically younger yesterday. Yet today I am actually ageless. Today I am rich with opportunity and perspective that is steeped in what I CAN accomplish now.
Now is my new next!
Now is your new next as well! Today is a 24-hour window to invest in a 2020 vision. It is in today that we each have a unique-to-us chance to live our legacy, to engage in what inspires us, to seek the unknown and make it known. Today, we can challenge who we have been in favor of pivoting toward who we have not yet allowed ourselves to become.
It makes little difference where you are in the cycle of birthdays. What is important to remember is that you are not adding years, you are increasing experience. If every birthday is a marker of growth, then by extension, every day is a barometer of action steps, decisions, opportunities and ownership. Where will you challenge and own individual accomplishment? Where will you seek out the next step? What makes today different from yesterday?
So…in the 365 days ahead in the everyday of today what changes?
Don't wait. Do.
Don't quit. Pivot.
Don't juggle. Balance. Begin with your relationship to YOU!
Don't overthink. Think it over.
Grab your control back and choose.
Grab your success back and celebrate it.
Grab your life back and live it fully.
Set the tone for 2020 impact! No birthday needed!
- Why Self-Awareness Isn't Doing More to Help Women's Careers ›
- The 3 Levels of Self-Awareness | Mark Manson ›
Starting with a little background, I am an anti-bullying advocate and have recently graduated from The Parent Leadership Training Institute, where as part of our studies we were asked to come up with a community project close to our hearts and put it into action. My cause was bullying, and I began a blog and Facebook page to address issues pertaining to all forms of bullying. Implementing this project was followed by a thre- minute speech to my peers, and, after all this, here is what I have learned about bullying.
Bullying makes people feel bad about themselves, leading to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem and even physical symptoms. The repercussions of bullying can cause people to miss school or work as well as countless other negative side effects.
I have been bullied both at school and at work, and I know of others who have suffered the same plight. It is not fun!
My first bullying experience was in seventh grade as a young teen. There was a group of three "mean girls" who harassed me and, I later found out, several of my friends; they thought it was funny to pick on others about their clothes, their looks or whatever else they could come up with (who knows). It felt awful at the time. Supposedly, I was chosen to get picked on because they claimed I bought my clothes at the Goodwill. That wasn't true, but really who cares? Why they were picking on me was never really the point. Luckily, after a while, the meanies went on to the next victim(s) like a never-ending cycle. I tend to think once a bully, always a bully, which goes to show how good a lifestyle that is, because those "mean girls" never amounted to much. In hindsight, I feel sorry for them. Watch the movie The Gift if you're really curious about what happens to bullies when they grow up.
And bullying was not just an issue when I was a teen, since then nothing much has changed. My own nephew was bullied in eighth grade, and he recently talked to me in depth about of how the bullying took a toll on him. Especially because I had the same experience, I could relate to him in ways that some others couldn't. Like reliving my own memories, I was incredibly broken up to hear how it made him feel.
Even worse than that, bullying does not end in the school yard. Employees are being bullied on the job at an alarming rate. When you are bullied on the job as an adult, it taken an even bigger toll. Further it doesn't just go away like those middle school "mean girls." Unless you can quit your job, you might just be stuck. There are all kinds of physical symptoms, stomach pains, migraines and even panic attacks. Beyond the physical, people's mental and emotional state is extremely sensitive to bullying, and as a result work performance might suffer. Furthermore, it might feel like there is no recourse, no one to believe you. You can hope that the HR Department is willing to listen and do something about it, but the whole process can be so disheartening. And in the hierarchical corporate environment, sometimes the bully seems to get ahead and you are left lagging behind in a subservient position. This is what happened to me as a victim of workplace bullying. It started with me being told by a co-worker that my boss was following me to the bathroom, staring down the hall whenever I left my desk to make sure I came right back to my seat. Then it was standing over me as I typed, ordering me to get in a car with them, not allowing me to sit somewhere if it wasn't within their sight. The list of offenses could go on endlessly. There were times I felt like I couldn't breathe. And then, the bully torturing me got a promotion. Like the character of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, the classic bully is revered by her peers, despite the fact that all of her employees are terrified of her. Yet, she is in a role of high stature and praised as a bully. We live in a culture that is not only complacent in the existence of bullies, but one that actively allows them to thrive.
It makes you realize how unfair life can be. Of course, no one said that life would be fair; maybe you just assumed that bad people would not get ahead. But, they do. Even now, I cannot help but to shake my head in disbelief. I often wonder what makes a person feel the need to laud their power over another. Are they insecure? Were they bullied themselves? They must feel bad about themselves in some way? Do they feel the need to do this to make themselves look good? Whatever the reason, it certainly isn't nice at all. I have found myself at different times in my life standing up for people who have been bullied around me. And I certainly do not allow anyone to treat me in any way that I find disrespectful. I truly believe in karma, and I tell myself that at some point in time, the bullies will get it back in some way. I have seen it happen, and in the meantime, I just say to myself "What goes around, comes around."
Bullying shows no sign of slowing down, and in this day and age, it's even worse than I have experienced in the past. Cyber bulling, rumors, fist fights, knifes, guns and other forms of both mental and physical cruelty, it truly sickens me. I know that I cannot save everyone, but I try to be an advocate as much as possible and encourage others to do so as well. NO ONE SHOULD BULLIED! It is disgraceful to say the least. You should always practice grace as much as you can. With every person who chooses to do so, the world gets a little bit better. I will be writing more on this topic on a regular basis; I feel it helps to talk about this subject aloud and spread the word. and, if nothing else, be kind.