Monthly Archives: August 2016

Strength is a funny thing…

Some days I am proud because I am a strong, independent woman who works hard and accomplishes amazing things. Some days I am depressed because I am a strong, independstrong_19100378846_oent woman who works too hard and refuses to ask for help.

Strength is a funny thing, isn’t it? The characteristics of being strong include power, courage and potency. Yet it’s the exact opposite we feel sometimes when we are considered to be a strong person. (It can’t just be me that feels that way, right?) Too often being strong simply means we hide our weaknesses and exist in solitude or fear.

We should remember strength comes in many forms and fashions, and can be tested daily (or more often). How we respond to challenges is a true reflection of our strength whether we realize it or not. Asking for help, starting over or even walking away from a situation may actually be a sign of strength, depending on the situation.

The true test of strength is how you respond. After all, you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

This week I asked for help. It wasn’t a sign of weakness, but an admission that I can’t do it all, and more importantly, I don’t have to. Don’t beat yourself up for asking for help. All around you are friends, family members, business associates, community leaders, non-profits and even complete strangers who are here to help. Be strong and ask!

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Making (& Accepting) Change

Most people are afraid of change. Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown or maybe it’s just a certain comfort level we associate with the status quo.  Either way, we must accept that change is a necessary part of life.

Why is it that if we come upon a detour on the highway, we take the new route (a change in direction) immediately. But if we are faced with the possibility of a new job, relationship or place to live, we allow stress and anxiety to take over. More often than not, we weigh our options again and again, invite self-doubt to enter our minds, and struggle with acceptance of what could be growth more so than change.

Several times a week, I gebutterflies_18504082774_ot notifications on my phone of upgrades and improvements to several apps I use on a regular basis. Without hesitation, I click “install” and the new software is updated.

For those of you who know me well, you know I am rarely without my phone or laptop. Technology is my co-worker. I know I’m way too dependent on it, but it’s a way of life for me. But ironically, I never question the need to update (change) the apps or software that I rely on daily. I am confident these changes will simplify or improve my life.

Why then do I question other changes in my life that could make things easier, more pleasant, or more productive?

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.

This week, I vow to embrace change rather than complain about it. When faced with the possibility of change this week, how will you respond?

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The View Is Better From The High Road

When somebody does you wrong or hurts your feelings, it’s easy to respond in anger or even feel the need to retaliate. But you’ve probably been told more than once to “take the high road.”

Even though you may not have done anything wrong, someone has to take the blame, right? And when that happens, it may not be fair, but it’s just a way of life.

When faced with this difficult situation, do you “take the high road” or do you seek revenge and retribution? While our initial instinct is almost always to swiftly respond to a challenge, especially whentake the high road.jpg we feel the need to be defensive, it is often best to just walk away and let the situation resolve itself.

There have been way too many stories recently of disagreements that escalated into violence. Even when that isn’t the case, words can be used as a weapon too. Once spoken, you can’t take them back. Taking the high road is a sign of strength, confidence and leadership. It doesn’t mean you are a doormat, it means you are thoughtful and non-judgmental. Couldn’t we all use a little more of that in our lives these days?

So even if for a brief moment, consider taking the high road next time you are in this difficult position. You might be surprised how much better the view is from there.

 

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Allergic to Average (part 2)

 

In any form of competition, the goal is always to win. Be the victor. Take home the gold (ok, ok…I promise…LAST Olympics reference!!!) or the crown (sorry I can’t promise that’s the last pageant metaphor yet). Be the best. Place first.

You get it…we all want to win. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

“Do your best!”

I’m guessing you’ve never heard someone say, “Go out there and be average!” Of course not. Average doesn’t win a game. Average doesn’t make a sale. Average doesn’t get you a raise.

We most always try our hardest and do our best if there’s a prize at the end. A reward. But what about in our everyday routines? Is average really good enough or should we always strive for excellence?

I’ve said it before – be allergic to average – in your job, your relationships, even your boring household chores. Yes, it’s hard work to strive for excellence when you hate cleaning the house or mowing the lawn. It’s really hard to be better than average at work if you hate your job.

But by setting a goal to strive for excellence – to be allergic to average – you’re pushing yourself one step closer to greatness and fulfillment. So many of you told me that this phrase really “spoke” to you. I loved hearing your stories and being encouraged by your enthusiasm.

Try it this week with one task. Just one.

I’m not asking you to suck up to your mean boss or prepare your house for a photo shoot with Southern Living.

Just be better than before – be allergic to average – and see how your attitude changes (or the attitudes of those around you).

You might decide those intolerable co-workers are a little more fun to be around than you realized. You might find a misplaced treasure in your home or office. You might even catch the eye of someone special who hadn’t noticed you before because you were just “average.”

Pick one thing. One. Thing. Be allergic to average when you work on it this week. And let me know how it goes.

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You Used To Be Famous…

If you grew up in the South, your momma probably told you more than once you were getting “too big for your britches.” That was not a term of affection. It essentially meant you were acting like you were better than everyone else. An elitist. Superior. Again…not complimentary.

Every oncetoo big for britches in a while, we may need Momma to remind us of that again. But perhaps you’re like me, and Momma is no longer able to share that valuable lesson with you. That’s when your friends – or maybe even strangers – come in.

Your family and best friends are usually the first ones to tell you to “bring it down a notch” or stop being “cocky.” Maybe they just give you friendly reminders that no matter how successful, wealthy or popular you become, you’ll always be “one of them.” A few weeks ago, I had a “reality check” from a complete stranger. It not only made me chuckle, but it really did keep me from feeling “too big for my britches.”

While shopping in a drug store in my hometown, I noticed a customer staring at me – profusely – as I walked by her. I tried acknowledging her (saying hello), ignoring her (going in a different direction), and eventually became somewhat irritated by her unwavering stare-down.

Now let me interject here – ever since I first went on the air for our local ABC affiliate several years ago, I’ve grown accustomed to people recognizing me in public, saying hello, or even acting as though we are friends when we’ve never met in person. I don’t mind that. Really I don’t. It’s quite flattering actually (if I may say that without seeming “too big for my britches.”)

But this situation was different. This female customer not only stared at me, she followed me. Up and down one aisle after another after another. And finally, when I couldn’t take it any longer, I stopped in my tracks and asked her – politely – if I could help her with something. (Now I know I have a lot of different jobs, but I assure you that stocking shelves at the local CVS isn’t one of them!)

Apparently, the sound of my voice was exactly what this woman needed to finally “put two and two together” as we say in the South. She finally recognized me! And I know this because of the look on her face and her immediate response of “I KNOW YOU!!!”

My reply was kind and humble. “You do?”

Her reply was brutal. “You used to be famous!”

The chuckles from other customers (and the real CVS employees) who were nearby couldn’t be stifled. And my ego couldn’t have been any more deflated.

We went on to have a nice (but brief) conversation, and eventually we each went on our way. But the more I thought about her comment, I’ve been reminded that fame (just like beauty, money and even success), can be fleeting.

And we mustn’t EVER get “too big for our britches” that we forget that lesson or take any of those gifts for granted.

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