This week, as we are celebrating the many “firsts” that women have achieved politically (yes, I’m choosing to ignore the other ugliness), I find myself asking, how do we go from inspiration to action that gives shape and meaning to how emotionally charged and motivated we feel? I don’t mean just political action. That too, but I mean personal actions we take for ourselves.
Inspiration (whether we are on the giving or the receiving end of it) is really only part of the story - if we don’t internalize inspiration, it fades away to join the scrapyard of all the cheesy feel good movies we’ve seen, “beautiful just the way you are” Dove ads we’ve consumed and Hallmark cards we’ve read. It’s like watching a sporting event, like the Olympics, where we feel so inspired by the human drama unfolding in front of us, but as soon as we turn the TV or phone off, we seamlessly go back to our life of work deadlines, endless Zoom calls and trying to keep our kids (and ourselves) sane.
So whatever feelings are triggered by an inspiring moment, how do we carry that forward to make it matter to our own life? What are we doing for ourselves, to show up for ourselves?
Whatever that may be, let’s put a date on it.
If you search the web, there are at least a gazillion ways to inspire you to “take action” - there are quotes to read, meditation to do, books and podcasts to read or listen to, life coaches to work with, and the list goes on. But, it’s a whole different task to just do it.
In my day to day routine, whether I’m scheduling clients at Own Your Wonder or keeping tabs on my kids’ activities and therapies, I’m totally dependent on my color-coded calendar and follow it like it’s the only map of survival. And, I’ve seen other women do the same. That’s what we do as the multitasking gender, right?
The one color code that is missing from my calendar is the action items for myself. Whether it’s finding the time to exercise, joining networking events or putting together a group of business advisors, I just figure it’s something I’ll get done “on the side” once all the important tasks for other people on the calendar are accomplished. Especially during the pandemic, my growth plans (personal and professional) can’t seem to make it onto my scheduling priority.
My most realistic solution that I’m trying (that requires no reading, listening or any other extra effort) is putting a date to each of my goals and plans in my jam-packed, color-coded calendar. Because putting something on my calendar makes it real, makes me plan for it, and be accountable to myself. The first item I will be putting on my calendar this week is to clean up my LinkedIn profile, which I’ve been meaning to do for months. I know, it’s a far cry from being a political first or winning an Olympic medal, but it would be a huge accomplishment for me if I can get this done this week.
How about you?
Channeling Beyoncé, let’s put a date on it.
Speaking of inspiration, Eileen Smith at Spokesmith is joining the WhiteTable this week to share her wonder with us. Eileen has such calm and poised energy about her, even when she’s sharing messy Mexican food with me. So it’s not a surprise that she’s one of the most sought after public speaking and executive presence coaches in DC.
What’s your superpower?
My superpower is that I think I can. I don't let doubts hold me back. If something doesn't go right, I find another way forward. It was a bold move to leave the career I loved at the State Department. Starting my own business has been an exciting and energizing journey that keeps me involved in content I love, let's me help people project their best professional image, gives me the flexibility I need to live life to the fullest.
“SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD, SO SHE DID.” (R.S. Grey)
How do you take care of yourself (or wish you did)?
Most of my spare time outside of work and family goes to socializing, exercising, and reading. I also love good chocolate and creative cocktails!
Cocktails and Beyoncé…what better way to celebrate the hump day. See you next week!