Monthly Archives: January, 2017

Interviews Are Like Trying On Shoes

January 31st, 2017 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “Interviews Are Like Trying On Shoes”

I freely confess that I have been one of the world’s worst interviewees in the job world. My first interview ended with me being speedily ushered out of a giant global airline company. The second one got me a job but probably more through dumb luck than any skills.

Back to the first one. I was ill prepared (which is always a very bad thing), dressed inappropriately (another goof) and I didn’t mesh with the culture of the organization. When I realized that I was being viewed as ‘too fancy’ for the job, I responded by telling the woman that nothing was too fancy for me since I had heaved sheep over fences. That was one sheep too far. I was gone immediately.

The second one involved a different approach. Changed clothing down the economic scale, and decided to just listen. That didn’t work too well at first since instead of offering too much information I offered too little and suggested the interviewer simply read my resume. I have no clue actually why I got offered the job after that inauspicious start.

So what advice do I have? There is kind of an emotional aroma about various places and circumstances, and it can be critical for us to be very receptive to the clues in the interview, many of which are subtle. Interviews, or for that matter, all relationships whether professional or personal, have a certain style. No matter which side of the interview you are on, you need to assess the ‘fit’.

There are interviews also in the non job world. Such as meeting a future spouse’s or partner’s family. Or how about if you are asked to join a group, or a community event. Do you fit in? Do you even want to? And yes, you do have a choice about it.

In many ways throughout life, we have to decide if we want to fit in, if we want to spend time with these people. Are they a bunch of cacti- like people with very sharp edges? Or are they friendly and welcoming, where you know you will feel at home? Being in tune with yourself as well as your surroundings helps each of us avoid potential mistakes. Bad spouses, terrible jobs, fraying relations in your community. Each of these can make you miserable. It is sort of like trying on a new pair of shoes only to find that they pinch horribly and you want to get rid of them shortly after buying them.

Being comfortable in an environment where you feel you can thrive is critical and it takes all of your analytical skills and people antennae to be sure you get the right fit. Have you had this kind of an experience? Let me know. I’d like to hear from you. And be tenacious with your next pair of ‘shoes’!

We Direct Our Own Destiny

January 20th, 2017 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “We Direct Our Own Destiny”

It can be both liberating and exciting to discover how much real strength each of us has. Too often we tell ourselves that we can’t do something, so of course we don’t.  I can’t do this new job, I can’t leave this terrible relationship, I can’t take the next step forward. We don’t understand how powerful our inner self can be. Yet we ultimately are the ones who direct our destiny, if we just will.  If we suffer adversity and then overcome it,  the realization that we triumphed makes us feel fantastic.  

After leaving my first marriage, with all of its fear, I realized that I had taken my future into my own hands.  No one else saved me.  I saved myself This Site.  That was a defining moment in my life.

My high school friend lived just a few blocks away and she welcomed me into her home when I literally ran from my marriage.  I also believe I could have gone to a church, or a police station, or somewhere else, and I would have found help.  But first, I had to make the decision to walk out the door and into a new life.

There was a seismic shift in my head when I realized I was too valuable to stay in an abusive relationship.  All of us are too valuable to live a bad life.  That new perspective made me leave my marriage, and run towards a new future.

This all sounds dramatic and I hope that you don’t have an abusive relationship in your life. But the essence of this experience taught me that I could and should firmly grasp my future and create one where I am valued and my worth as a person becomes real to me.

That realization has helped me over the years.   My hard earned sense of self worth helps me move forward to the next step from wherever I am, to take charge of my destiny.  When I realized I ultimately had to depend on myself for survival, I became my own best guardian.  This is true for each of us.

In a very real way, who cares more about you than you?  When we care for ourselves, and become fierce protectors of ourselves because we are worthy, then we are our own best champions.

Each and every day, remind yourself how valuable you are.  You deserve to be the best person you can be, and to pick the right path.  So let’s all start today charting our next destiny.

Don’t Let Other People’s Expectations Determine Your Life

January 13th, 2017 Posted by featured, writings 0 comments on “Don’t Let Other People’s Expectations Determine Your Life”

Julia Roberts, as the “Runaway Bride,” famously escaped groom after groom, and it was the stuff of movie drama. Why did she run?  What was wrong…with her?  It turns out that ultimately she didn’t know who she was, and therefore the various fiancés didn’t know who was the real person either.  She kept adapting to the fiance’s wishes.  Not her own.  Their expectations determined her life until the pressure built up and she bolted.

In my own case, I was so ‘wedded’ to the idea of marriage that I picked the wrong man.  When I realized there was maybe something really wrong about him and our future, I was tied down by:  the cake, the dress, the reception, the invitations, and of course, the embarrassment.

Rather than stopping the marriage before it happened, I ended up running from it two plus years later.  What lesson did I learn?   That other people’s expectations, i.e. those of society, can be an unreasonable and useless burden.  You are who you are.  You must, in a sense, protect the core you, the real person you are.  If you are ever to achieve the goals you have selected, you have to be somewhat fierce about being consistent with yourself.

On a much smaller scale, but it resonates with me, saying no to a social invitation sometimes makes me squirm.  Why don’t I want to go?  Pause.  Maybe because I don’t want to be with those people, or at this particular time, whatever.  Yet I hesitate.  What will ‘they’ think.

Ever notice how many ‘they’ people there are that we don’t agree with?  A whole mob of them.  

I now step back mentally when I get an invitation like this, and I ask myself:  “What do you want to do and why?”  If upon reflection I feel it adds value to my life in some way, I accept. If I would agree only to meet some one else’s expectations, I probably say no.

Of course, I exclude those family gatherings!  They are a duty sometimes rather than a pleasure but we are also part of our families.  So there are no easy answers.  But when it comes to the big stuff, like long term relationships, advocate for yourself.  Stand up for yourself.  Don’t let anyone else drive your life.  You are worth being the real you!

Risk Tough Struggles in Order to Achieve a Great Outcome

January 9th, 2017 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “Risk Tough Struggles in Order to Achieve a Great Outcome”

We all make mistakes of one kind or another.  And I think it is generally because we are trying to meet someone else’s expectations, or their view of life.  That certainly happened to me.  My worst mistake was prompted by others’ expectations combined with a significant lack in self confidence that I married the wrong man, and ended up literally running for my life.  The expectation had been that I would ‘need’ to get married…’need’ to find a man…and so on.  It could almost be any man.  And I picked the wrong man.

Fortunately I learned from this mistake, and later married a wonderful man with whom I have three terrific sons.  Looking back on that earlier woman I still find it hard to understand how I let myself get into the position I did, except that the external pressure was pretty intense.

If we know and value ourselves, then there really isn’t much mystery about our choices.  The problem is that we may not value ourselves sufficiently to understand there are many ways and paths for our lives to take.  We truly can pick and choose.

I understand that many women, whether through family circumstances, culture, or their environment, are led to believe they are not ‘worth’ a better choice.  They don’t merit something better.  They have to fulfill someone else’s world view.  This is a very pernicious state of mind, and takes effort to get past.

Based on my own experience, my advice for young women of today is very straightforward:  You are absolutely worth the best.  And you need to live the life you choose, not one selected by someone else. You also deserve to have good people around you and in your life.  And my strongest suggestion is to stay away from people who aren’t worthy of you.

Yes, that can be hard.  But ask yourself what other outcome you would like?  In every relationship there eventually is a crossroads.  You get to choose, to decide the direction you will take. Pick the right path.  Your future rests in your own capable hands, and the bright outcome you deserve is waiting for you.

I agreed to marry the ‘mistake’ because I didn’t think I would get a better offer, and many friends had already married.  Who was I waiting for?   The answer I would give today is that I was going to wait for the right person who valued me, and where I could be the person I would dare to be.

The lessons I took away from that early experience have enabled me to overcome many obstacles, to put faith in myself, and to accept a different kind of risk. I am willing to risk tough struggles in order to achieve a great outcome.  You can do it too.

Get Ready to Advocate for Yourself—YES YOU CAN DO IT!

January 4th, 2017 Posted by featured, Uncategorized, writings 0 comments on “Get Ready to Advocate for Yourself—YES YOU CAN DO IT!”

It is very common for us to pause and reflect at the start of a new year…where are we…are we where we want to be…and what do we need to do?   Just this morning I was asked by a woman radio host how I managed to propel myself forward from the start.  Was there one key lesson?

I basically answered her that it was one baby step at a time.  I didn’t leap from one mountain peak to another.  I just made it slowly, building confidence with each small achievement.

In my own life, the first time I tried to ask for a raise, I got way too ‘cute’…meaning I chickened out from just asking directly. Instead I dreamed up this very backward way of trying to get a pay raise.  Looking back, I should’ve just asked for the raise.  I needed to advocate for myself.  It isn’t all that common to have someone else willing to pick up our banner and march ahead for us, so we have to learn to do that for ourselves.

A friend of mine had an issue at work and she was very apprehensive about how to approach her boss.  After talking it out, it seemed that the boss wasn’t aware of the problem she was having.  So she had a great meeting a day or so later with the boss, and to her delighted surprise, it all worked out!  She made her case and was successful.

I have a tendency to over analyze some things…chew it to bits…and probably drive up my anxiety.  My goal for 2017 is to be sure that I am ready to recommit to reaching my goals for the next year.  It always takes some courage if the task seems big, but we should tell ourselves, that we are worth it, and that we can do it.

The idea that we are ‘worth’ something is a concept that we women don’t always focus on enough.  We are worth it – and our worth needs to be defined by us.  We have goals, aspirations, dreams, and we are worth achieving those.  So planning ahead to advocate is a smart strategy.  We need to look ahead, and commit to the path.

Every day I am going to get up and say to myself:  Go advocate for yourself try here.  You can do it! What plans do you have for 2017 to help you achieve your dreams?