Tag Archives: motivation

Start With I

We all know the saying there is no “I” in team. We’re told not to be selfish. We’re encouraged to focus on others. Women, especially, can find themselves putting everyone else’s needs in front of their own because we are born to nurture – it is innate in us – and we are afraid of being seen as selfish. But there’s something fundamentally wrong when we never put ourselves first. We can’t be the best for everyone else when we don’t take care of ourselves and our own needs.

Sometimes, we have to start with I:

I know I feel valuable when…

I want to accomplish…

I started this company because…

I know I can…

I don’t feel comfortable with…

I need…

I expect…

When we “start with I” we can identify what we need, what we like and don’t like, and how we stay motivated. We can set clear goals, expectations and boundaries. We can discover our purpose. We can then better communicate this to important people in our life: spouses, friends, children, bosses, colleagues, business partners. When we communicate what our tolerances are, what we need and what we believe we can give, relationships are healthier and ideally, happier.

startwithiThere is nothing wrong with saying, “I need this” or “I want this in my life,” or “I don’t want this in my life.” Oscar Wilde said “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” Starting with I is not selfish – it is clearly stating your expectations and how you want to live, and giving others the choice to be a part of that or not. It is accepting friendships, romance and business relationships that align with your values. Starting with I is often courageous – it can go against our gut feeling that focusing on ourselves is wrong. It is giving and communicative. It improves relationships and mental well being and can eliminate stress. Starting with I is the setting of boundaries, expectations and goals and ensuring that you’re surrounding yourself with like minded people who can appreciate or even admire them. It is generous and wise to let others know what you expect.

Work every day to become comfortable with starting with I. Embrace it as the best starting point to your best life and best relationships. Mind you, I said start with I. It doesn’t mean to solely focus on just yourself but rather that you know yourself, that you trust yourself, and that you’re honest with yourself – and with others – about what you want and need and what your life direction is. Only then can you begin to focus on enveloping others into the life you want to build in a healthy and mutually beneficial manner.

Stubborn, much?

stubborn_I love this quote. I’ve always been told that I am stubborn as though it is a negative thing, but this Josh Shipp quote puts a positive light on that stubbornness. For entrepreneurs especially, stubbornness is necessary. Well, most of the time.

Stubbornness paid off when I insisted I was moving from the midwest to Boston after college, despite naysayers telling me I’d be a “little fish in a big pond.” Stubbornness paid off when I insisted there was a better way to run a marketing agency with senior talent and everyone said I didn’t have enough experience to make it happen (my agency is turning 21 this year, so…!). Stubbornness paid off when I fought a legal battle and insisted on taking it all the way to court because I knew in my heart that I was right. (I won, twice.) Stubbornness is paying off as I listen to my heart and my body to train again, instead of the doctor who told me I wouldn’t likely run another marathon after breaking my foot in three places last summer (three months into training for the Chicago Marathon – heartbreaking!).

Using stubbornness as a way to get where you need to be is a good thing. It takes chutzpa to get what you want in this world. No one is here to do you any favors. Without a stubborn will to make new things happen, we would never see change. Change and growth are what makes the world great. We need stubborn people.

Certainly, we have to know when to not be stubborn – like when the new startup isn’t working and it’s time to pack it up, when Mom and Dad tell us they’ve had enough of our ‘tude, or when we’re fighting with our spouse over something really not worth fighting over and we know we just want to be right. You learn to recognize when stubbornness will get you into more trouble than it’s worth. If it isn’t helping you persevere to something more positive, let it go.

Happy Monday – go forth and persevere, my stubborn friends!

 

What Are You Waiting For?

We spend so much of our lives waiting:

  • We wait to grow up
  • We wait to graduate from college
  • We wait for the bus, train, plane
  • We wait to order food or get a seat at a restaurant
  • We wait on hold
  • We wait in lines for events, auditions, jobs

Some of these waits are unavoidable. But too often, we wait until life is “ideal” enough to do things – to get married or start a family, to quit our job and start that entrepreneurial journey we dream of, to buy something special.

Sometimes, you just have to go for it. It may never feel right until after you do! Sometimes, as the saying in my kitchen goes, you just have to “Enjoy life, this is not  a dress rehearsal.”

You have to stop waiting. You have to jump. You have to stop staring down, wondering – you’ll only get the answer when you take the leap.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s Monday. This week, don’t wait. Do something daring and go for it.

 

Photo by Andy Spearing; via Flickr Creative Commons