Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #13-Walking with Power

This week was truly an enlightening week with a few aha moments…moments in which I actually felt the warmth of the light bulbs going on for me.  Jumping right in…we all have our seasons where we forget about the great things that make us who we are and with that, tend to let go of our self-awareness, even if just a bit.  This week was one of those weeks for me.

What brought this on?  So glad you asked.  Well, this week involved just a lot going on with family, friends and even coworkers.  It actually got to be a bit overwhelming with me wondering how to even respond to some things.  One situation involved someone just coming into my office, shutting the door behind her and saying, “I’m sorry, I just need to sit here for just a few minutes because I feel some tears coming on and you’re the nicest person I know here.”  Uhhhh, crying, I don’t do well with that. Anyhoo, needless to say, with all of this, I just got lost in trying to help others and getting them through that in facing some things on my own….I got a little lost.

Fortunately for me, I am surrounded by people who will bluntly give me a quick reality check that includes a reminder of who I really am.  The reminders all came mid-week, from three different people, all just in time.  From one of my managers, a coworker, and a dear friend came the following:

  • “I need you to keep walking around here like you’re a VIP because that’s just who you are.”
  • “I don’t think you realize how much power you actually have.”
  • “You’re a woman with more power than you know and if you’re not going to use it, hand it over because I will.”

I had to think about all this and make sure that this wasn’t about being overly confident or down right cocky.  The more I did think about it, I realized that given the definition of power-ability to act or produce an effect-yeah, I am pretty powerful!!!!  And so is every fabulously fierce woman I know, including you! So, my message for you today:

  • I need you to walk around like the VIP that you are.
  • Realizing the power you have, acknowledge it for yourself every day, focusing on the effect you want to produce.
  • You’re a woman with more power than you know and if you’re not going to use it, I will and so will a whole lot of other women I know.

Finally, my ask of you today, please remind another fabulously fierce woman about how powerful she is; remind her of her ability to produce the effect she seeks to have in this world; treat her like a VIP by sharing what you now know.

Soundtrack of the week:  Ummmm, I actually need some recommendations here…….any songs about power come to mind?

Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #12-Owning Your Value

The past week has been unbelievable and it’s all because of you!  After last week’s post, every day I received a number of texts, vmails, and emails from a so many of you thanking me for the post.  It really wasn’t’ the fact that you called to thank me that made the week so fabulous.  It was the fact that so many of you hit the pause button after reading the post, then even took the time to answer the questions.  I am so passionate about the branding process as I define it: self- discovery, definition, and distinction; that to hear so many of you on the journey just brings me joy!

These text, vmails, emails and follow-up calls brought something to my attention though: valuing yourself is just the beginning of increasing our self-awareness and appreciating all that we are.  The most critical part of the process is really centered on owning your value.  What do I mean by this?  So glad you asked….

Here’s a quick example.  I recently caught up with a friend who was sharing some frustrations about her current position at work.  All is going well for her because she’s just incredible in her area of focus. The challenge however, is that although she is totally aware of how remarkable she is, she hasn’t taken it to the next level of owning her value, and raising the awareness of others regarding what she brings to the table.  So for her, the focus is on getting to the next level, promotion.  Essentially, at the end of the day, they know they need her because she is contributing…she is valuable.  But because she hasn’t really yet begun to own her value, they don’t realize what trouble they’d be in if she walked out the door because they won’t promote her.

Now I am using the example of a job/place of employment here, but ladies, we know we could tie this to relationships with friends, boyfriends…any relationships in which we need to really think about what we bring to the table, and how it’s being valued but us and the other party involved.  As I write this, another friend of mine is answering the questions we went through last week as she prepares for a conversation with her boo of seven years who doesn’t seem to be interesting in promoting her by putting a ring on it.

Before getting off the phone with her just a few minutes ago, I walked her through the steps to beginning to own our value.    So, this is what we reviewed, along with my friend seeking the promotion at work, that you can now leverage:

1-Identify every strength, skill, and unique trait about you.  Literally take five minutes, just five, and keep writing every positive thing about you, all the things you bring to the table, all the things that the world gets to have in play because you’re here.  It’s always easier to build the list of our weaknesses or things that we’re not so good at for some reason…hmm.  So, when these creep up on you while doing this exercise, just remember that it is really important to “know your strengths and amplify them.  Know your weaknesses and overcome them.”  Florence Littauer.

2-Take everything you’ve written down, and put it into a list.

3-Rate yourself on each of these identified items on a scale of 1 to 10; 1 being that you’re very far off from where you want to be with this skill and 10 being you’re exactly where you want to be with this skill, in this season.  Let me give you an example: I’ve started running again and my strength is more around endurance than it is intervals.  So, my identified strength is endurance.  Where I am today, I’m not where I want to be, but I’m much farther along than a few months ago.  All this being said, I’m really comfortable giving myself a 7.5 with the goal of getting to 10 by the end of the month.  That’s related to something really specific.  Another example, just generally speaking is that I am truly a trustworthy person.  Because I cherish trust so much, I actually honor it as a characteristic of mine and would even give myself an 11, but I’ll follow my own rules and give myself a 10.

4-Actually state why each trait is valuable.  As it relates to my endurance, I’m in this life journey what I trust will be a looooooooooooong, long time, so I’m committed to being healthy so that I’m one of the flyest 80-, 90- 100-year old woman when the time comes.  So, this is valuable because it is contributing to my long-term health goals.  In terms of my trustworthiness, as a coach and confidant to various executives not only in their day-to-day strategies related to work but just in general, being a 10 gives me a significant advantage of even those with 20+ years of experience over me.  I’ve actually seen that advantage play out and result in HUGE wins for me.

I really think that’s just it.  Honestly, it is pretty basic, the challenge is really just taking the time to do this.  So here’s my promise, I’m actually going to do this exercise this week and I’ll share it with the first five people to comment on this post, sharing anything that comes out of this for them.  Then, maybe we’ll all even get together and work on the next LFF Factor that ties to actually owning your value.  We’ll all be on fire together.  So, what do you say?

Soundtrack of the week: Girl on Fire

Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #11-Valuing Yourself

Well, the first week of 2013 really set the year up for a fabulous start for me and I really hope and pray the same is true for your and yours.

In a recent interview with Essence Magazine, The fabulously fierce, Jill Scott shared:

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“I’m excited about something and I don’t know what it is yet.”

That’s where I am right now.  I’m just so excited and I just can’t hide it (you know the song), but I know something is about to burst-it may even just be me, but it’s definitely going to be extraordinary!  Just remember I told you so!
The past couple weeks, the last of 2012 and the first of 2013 presented a number of fruitful conversations that have, of course, got me thinking.  Two points in particular have been on replay in my mind:

1-Most of us really don’t know what it means to value ourselves

2-There really should be some process/outline/guide for valuation of self

So, in true Farah Fashion, of course, I’ve got to build some sort of solution to what I see as gaps from these two things.

Valuing Ourselves

First, in terms of know what it means to value ourselves, let’s, again, start with the technical.  If you do a simple search of the term (so grateful for Google), you get the following definition:

The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance or preciousness of something.  To appreciate, evaluate, estimate, appraise, assess.

Though we don’t view ourselves as things or objects, we can leverage this definition as a way to determine what it really means to value ourselves.  For me, this means that to value myself is to determine the regard that I deserve or feel I’ve earned, the importance of myself as an individual and all the parts that make up who I am.

Regarding the action of valuing myself, this means I also have to estimate, appraise or assess myself in order to really appreciate all of who I am. On some level, at this stage, this really boils down to feelings right?  I think Betsy Myers said it best in Take the Lead when she states:

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The way we feel about ourselves…has an impact that adds or detracts, inspires or deflates.

Well, I want to be amongst the fabulously fierce who add and inspire…no doubt about it.  So the next piece is, how do we go about actually carrying out the appraisal or valuation of ourselves?

Self-Valuation

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of spending time with my friend, Sharon Brewster.  We hadn’t really had good bonding time since high school!!!  We were paired as big and little sister my freshmen year and the time has flown by.  So we slated time to catch up at 10:30a.m.  At 2:01p.m. when my phone rang we both realized hours had gone by which we totally didn’t realize because our convo was absolutely incredible.  What came out of it was really part two of what I’ve been thinking about, the process.  So, here’s my recommended guide:

1-Express the truth about how you feel about you. Ask yourself and answer the following questions:

  • What do I really feel good about as it relates to who I am?
  • What makes me really proud of who I am?
  • What are the most significant things about me that I love?
  • What aspects of me don’t I feel so great about?

When I say to express these truths, I really mean to be truthful and hold the mirror up, just for you.  Literally take a sheet of paper, answer these questions, just for you.  Since it’s yours, no need to hold anything back in the form of false humility or keeping the negative out…it’s literally just for you.

2-Identify what factors have contributed to the way you feel about myself.  These are different people, experiences, perfections that have had impacted us through influence.

3-Take the positive factors and commit to leveraging them and continuing these to be in a position to influence you.  For instance, last week I talked about Dionna’s influence on me.  Um yes, she will definitely be leveraged today, forever, and always!

4-List the negative factors on a separate sheet of paper be they people, your own mindsets, and/or past experiences, and commit to letting them go by taking the list and literally just throwing it away.  Through that action, you’re in essence just releasing whatever hold they may be continuing to have over you.

5-Take 10-15 minutes, sit still and just reflect on what came out of this for you.  Even during our short time together yesterday, both Sharon and I at one point or another sayd, “wow, now that I’m sitting here talking about this with you, I actually realize…..”  What light may have been shed for you that you hadn’t realized?  For instance, is there someone that now you’ve taken the time to think about it, isn’t really adding anything to your life and actually detracting?  Well, it may be time to release them from your inner circle.  I’m not saying to totally do away with someone, but limit their influence over you.  Is there a positive factor that you just haven’t given enough time or put  some other invest in as a way of leveraging it’s impact on how you value yourself?

At this point, the real goal is to be able to confidently say,”You know what, I like me.  I’m worth a whole lot.  I truly, truly value me.”  I’ll even say it with you!

Soundtrack of the week: Kirk Franklin’s I Like Me