Tag Archives: advice

Write Like it’s Yours Already

It happens a lot… friends or celebs or ads tell you about something that will change your life for the better.  I’m almost okay with getting smacked across the face with celebs and ads because it’s expected.  BUT… when a friend tells me about something that worked for them to change their life for the better, I always approach it with doubt.  (Seriously, who would ever want to be my friend?)  Too many people have suggested books, movies, and music that I absolutely hate and couldn’t connect to on a personal level that I have a hard time trusting someone’s recommendation.  I’m sure you’ve heard someone tell you, “You’ll love this movie!”  Right?  Then you probe a bit deeper to figure out the basis of this recommendation only to learn that their only reason for suggesting this movie is that they liked it.  Ummmm… unacceptable.

I know.  I sound like a heartless bitch right now.  Hopefully I’ll redeem myself by the end of this entry.  If I don’t… maybe I’ll make it up to you (and me) in my next entry???

Okay, so it’s hard for me to take suggestions from people.  It’s almost like if it’s not my idea, it’s not valid.  I can’t be the only one who feels this way.  I felt this same way when I was trying to name my son too.  People kept spewing suggestions and there was no way I’d take any of them.  It was going to be the name I came up with. I am not impenetrable, however, and the one time someone got through to me really changed my life.  I do have a handful of people I’ll allow to make suggestions.  They have proven themselves and I trust that they know me enough to weigh in and actually get it right.

I struggle with goals.  I struggle believing that I’m worth my dreams.  I struggle with visualizing my future.  I struggle believing that I can influence outcomes.  I always have.  I can point fingers and such but I’m 35 and I’m the only person who can set myself up for success (or failure) and I own that.  A friend once suggested to me that I write about the future I want.  Duh!  I’ve done that for years–since 3rd grade.  It didn’t help.  But he suggested I write about my future in the present tense.  He wanted me to write about things as though they were true today.  I wasn’t just supposed to list out my wants in the present tense, but I was supposed to explore how these things made me feel, provide specific details, and really dive into these things and ideas.

I was already on board with my gratitude journal so this was easy to incorporate.  Once I had made my gratitude entry I would flip to the back of my journal and bang out a page of actualizing my future in the present tense.  I did a lot of work on my job and money.  I wanted to take the next step in my career and I wanted to earn more money.  I began writing about being a property manager.  I got pretty granular with it.  I also got super specific about what kind of salary I wanted.  I wrote daily about it.  I really went in and kept at it.  Within 2 months I was offered a promotion and given raise that put me at a salary that was really close to my goal.  It was almost unbelievable.  I was given everything I wrote about in a pretty effortless way.

When you throw stuff out to the universe, it starts finding ways to make it happen.  When you vibrate at a certain frequency, it sets things in motion in ways that seem impossible to see.  But it has worked for me.  So, take my suggestion and start throwing your hopes and dreams out into the universe in super specific ways and watch your life change.

With all that being said, I need to take my own advice.  I haven’t kept this practice up much.  Why?  Did my own success scare me as it often does?  That’s just my head getting the best of me (as it often does).  That ends today… I will pick this practice back up because it’s the only way for me to train myself to welcome my dreams.  It seems silly but I assure you, this is the ONLY way for me to think about my wants and get them.

Stay tuned…

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Curiosity Never Killed this Cat

curious

“Don’t feel pressured to make firm plans for the person you think you are now and will be years hence. They will box you in. You will wake up decades from now wondering how you are living a life decided on by who you believed you truly were when you were 21 years old. Instead, keep living life for the as-yet unknown person you will keep on morphing into; keep the possibilities open.”

I read this little nugget of wisdom in an article that popped in my inbox from LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-breaking-free-yourself-michael-puett?trk=eml-b2_content_ecosystem_digest-hero-14-null&midToken=AQH4GcXhGvSdHw&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=1XGEoVENy1ang1.

When I feel overwhelmed at work or I’m entering situations/conversations I know I’m ill-equipped for, I take a step back and remind myself to stay curious.  I learned this as I was pounding the pavement in dental sales for Henry Schein, Inc.  I didn’t know my catalog.  I didn’t know what mattered to dentists.  I knew my products typically sold at a higher price than my competitors.  When I started to approach my days and my customers with curiosity I began listening more.  I was paying attention to things that really mattered and not my own agenda.  I was a better person for it and my sales numbers grew.  Whenever I interview for a new job, I stay curious.  When I encounter a difficult resident, I stay curious.  When something doesn’t feel right with my life, I stay curious.  When you approach ANYTHING with an open mind and with the expectation that you’re going to learn something, you can’t lose.

Staying curious grounds me and allows me the freedom to not get caught up in my own head.  It connects me to all living things and has afforded me the opportunity to learn on a daily basis.

I am not perfect.

It doesn’t happen often but I guess it happens often enough for me to keep doing it.  My journal reads just like my 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th (you get the point) grade journals.  The same themes and issues pop up and really it’s where my thoughts on boys and the daily grind of life go to die.  But I keep at it, trudge through, because every now and then I have wonderful insights… this happened just this past Saturday night.

I was enjoying a fabulous single-mom night in and I took to the page and scribbled a ton of ink down. I was borderline manic.  I penned the line, “I am not perfect,” and was like an epiphany.  Simple, right?  I don’t think anyone believes they are perfect.  I certainly don’t.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still judge and hold myself to the standards of perfection.  I think that’s part of the guilt I wrote about recently and the standards we hold ourselves to as humans.  I don’t spend a lot of time admitting to my downfalls though and it’s not the most comfortable thing to lay down on paper–I can assure you that.

But that one line hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am not perfect.  In that one line I found myself holding myself in a place of tenderness.  I don’t do that very often.  I saw myself as a work in progress.  From there I could forgive and move past a few things.  I didn’t have all the answers and it was okay because I’m not perfect.  I wanted to run to the mirror and tell the girl in it that she was more than okay, that she was good.  I chickened out of the mirror part but I need to do that.  Saying things to yourself in the mirror is frightening but so f’n worth it.

That one sentence saved me in ways.  I combed through the past year.  It was a really tough year.  I walked away from a relationship that hurt me.  Sure, I told myself not to blame myself but I held some blame.  I was lied to, betrayed to in major ways, and found myself living a life of pure worry and anxiety.  I’m not perfect though and either is my journey.  It’s been that way for a long time but I’m okay.  So the revised sentence because, I’m not perfect and that’s okay.  My journey will never be perfect.  I was able to then look back at my life and celebrate my successes.  And giving myself some breathing room will allow me the space to cultivate more successes.  I can taste it.

I can’t control everything.  Now that I don’t have the worry of my past relationship I need a new way of building.  That got me thinking.  I’ve spent  a few years reacting and making decisions because I needed to make them.  I lost focus while on the defense.  That’s not what life should feel like, right?  So, it’s time to climb back into my imperfect skin and get down to Britta Business!  Let’s look at life through the Britta lens and make decisions from there.  I won’t be perfect.  Life will send me obstacles.  I will be hurt again.  I might fail.  But if I’m always perfectly Britta, I’ll be a better person because of those trials.

With fall comes Homecoming, right?  Fitting.

Hate the Heat but I Want to be Back in the Kitchen

It’s Labor Day, the “end” of summer.  Usually I’m excited for the end.  Christian, my crazy 9-year-old, is back to a routine, learning again, and I don’t see his friends as much.  It’s the start of my month long lull (kind of) at work because the students are back, the beds are leased, and I can shift gears and tackle Admissions Events and more creative tasks.  It also signals the return of my favorite season, FALL!  Yes, I’m that #basicbitch that loves all things pumpkin flavored.  I’m dying to get back into my jeans and sweatshirts.  I love the cooler weather.  My birthday is in November and I love the extra days off in November and December.  All signs point to me welcoming the end of summer, right?

WRONG!

For the first time since childhood (cause who ever really wanted to go back to school?) I actually don’t want my summer to end.  I’m in a good spot, with my twin in our cute little townhouse.  I got to spend some awesome time with her this summer… our pools days were amazing.  C had a blast at two camps.  I spent some great nights out, grabbing dinner and drinks with friends.  I had an awesome happy hour with my work crew.  I went out on my dad’s boat a couple of times which has summer written all over it.  By far though, the most incredible part of my summer was going to OCMD for a week at the end of July.  I’ve been to OCMD for a week before, it’s almost become a tradition in our family.  But this vacation was different.  I went with C and the twin.  We had such a blast.  It was unreal.  Lots of beach time, lots of awesome lunches and dinners, and lots of memories,  Mini-golf, a speed boat ride, dolphins, whales, and just a ton of relaxation.  It was awesome.

I don’t want summer to go.  It’s been a great ride.

I also lost important people in my life… not to death, but because it’s in my best interest.  Will I be able to hold strong and keep them away?  What does it take?  I’m horrible (no really, I’m really horrible) at ending things.  I’m not good at it.  All my past relationships ended because the guy left me.  I hold on until they do that.  Is that fun to admit?  No.  But when you notice patterns, you should call yourself out, right?  Even if it makes you want to puke, right?  I hate goodbyes.  I hate losing.  Those two ideas coupled together pretty much makes me “ride-or-die” until the end, right?  I always cave, let them back in, become delusional for a few months, and then erupt in anger and sorrow.  It’s a pretty awesome cycle.  LOL!  And this isn’t the first I’ve thought about or written about it.  So, why continue?  I’m used to what I’m used to and it takes so much for me to break from that mold.

Change or be changed.

I say “Change or be changed,” all the time.  Time to start being the agent of change for once.  I started dating this summer.  I haven’t dated in years… seriously, not since 2010.  I didn’t have to put myself out there, sell myself, and be able to talk about myself in 5 years.  I took things into my own hands and made myself incredibly uncomfortable to learn and grow once again.  It was awkward–lots of side glances and nervous laughing.  I had to find outfits, send confirmation texts, hideout in my car and scope the  scene, and apply lipstick quickly.  It was a nightmare at first.  Dating exposes so much.  My self-esteem was super low.  I was not self-aware.  But I kept at it, even after a horrible first first date experience.  And I met some great people.  Most importantly, I met myself again.  I got to explore all things Britta and it felt like a warm homecoming.

The summer of 2015 has set me up for continued success.  I don’t want to let go, but, as they say, “Change or be changed.”

“Audit who you ACTUALLY are.”

I surround myself with social media #alldayeveryday.  I know you’re in the same boat.  But I am like obsessed.  I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and touch that “F” square on my phone’s home screen and scroll through Facebook until I get to the place I stopped before I went to bed.  Hi, my name is Britta and I’m addicted to Facebook.  Anyway, I’m that girl.  I own it.  I’m starting to be okay with it.  Learning about people is fascinating.  Most of what makes its way to people’s actual Facebook accounts is super filtered and fake.  But learning about that is fascinating as well.  Nonetheless, every now and then I stumble upon something life-changing.  Seriously, every now and then social media comes through for me and perfection is delivered right to me–in those sleepy morning scrolls, a new life is born.  I had that happen this morning…

I clicked on a video.  Gary Vaynerchuk spoke to some college class.  It appeared to be very off the cuff–he cursed a few times and his delivery was a reigned in version of stream-of-conscious thought.  The majority of the talk he merely dispensed advice and some thoughts about starting businesses, living life, and introspection.  The title of this blog came from the video.

At work we audit stuff all the time.  I’m a slave to the MS Excel and we constantly audit our lists and info, and blah blah blah.  But a self-audit?  Mind BLOWN!  I do all this self work.  I journal.  I’ve had lengthy bouts with therapy.  I tap (EFT).  I read.  I feel like I’m constantly evaluating myself, taking stock of who I am and what I need to fix.  Sometimes I have to take a break because I tend to cycle–constantly processing the same thing over and over and over again in my head.

But Gary said something pretty awesome… he poked fun at the fact that most people in the room will spend the next 20-30 years of their lives focusing on the things they aren’t good at and trying to strengthen those aspects.  But, he thinks, you need to do a self-audit (*chills) to figure out what you are really good at and then sink all of your time and energy using those aspects of yourself to drive your success.  It’s true!  I immediately thought back to my cold-calling sales days.  ‘m not good at selling over the phone.  I took classes, read books, forced myself to meet daily call quotas, and just tried a million things to get me “okay” with it.  Honestly, I’ll never like it.  I’ll never be good at it.  Why waste any additional time trying to cultivate something I suck at???  It makes so much sense.

Pay attention to your best self and work your ass off to finds ways to build success from there.  It sounds so simple right now.  It sounds like I’ve heard it before.  I need to make this my focus.

Everything (even social media sometimes) is dropped onto your path for a reason.  Listen, ask questions, and LEARN!  Stay curious, my friends.