Personal growth

Social Media and Self Esteem-A Talk with Young Women In Jane/Finch

 Pictured with the Summer 2018 Girls Cohort of the Success Beyond Limits Program. Image Credit SBL

Pictured with the Summer 2018 Girls Cohort of the Success Beyond Limits Program. Image Credit SBL

Yesterday I had an opportunity to connect with 30 beautiful young ladies from Westview's Success Beyond Limits (SBL) program. These young women will be attending Westview Centennial Secondary School in the Community of Jane and Finch in North York Ontario.

Thanks to the recommendation by one of my former high school teachers/mentors (Mrs. Pat Saul), I was connected to the SBL program to conduct workshops aimed at helping the young women in the program.

We discussed Social Media and Self Esteem: Staying Focused and Sane in The Age of Selfies and Snap Chat

The young women were an absolute pleasure to serve.

The SBL program has a special place in my heart because it is housed in my former high school, Westview Centennial Secondary School. This is a school located in Jane/Finch and in a community that is often featured in media for the less than stellar 'newsworthy' stories.

What Jane/Finch was for me, was my training ground. The school of hard knocks if you will. I blossomed into the woman I am today because of my experiences growing up in this community.

Though there are common challenges coming out of Jane/Finch that you would find in any other urban community that is faced with economic inequality, social stigmas, adversity, and poverty, it is truly a unique community filled with heart, diversity and an incredible resolve to overcome obstacles.

Within Jane/Finch, you will find plenty of success stories, countless young people who are making a difference, teachers with heart, community members with guts and grit, and a tapestry of multiculturalism that fosters tolerance, love, and respect for shared human experiences.

Jane/Finch made me. When given the opportunity to speak to young people in my community (it will always be home), I feel blessed and honoured.

When I coauthored my book My Style, My Way, these were the young women I had in my vision for how I would use this book and my story to encourage them. Being a motivational speaker is a passion of mine and I use it to serve youth, particularly those who are faced with learning how to rise above adversity. I can relate to them on many levels, as I've lived similar experiences.

Thank you to Ms. Saul and the coordinators of the SBL program for inviting me to conduct these workshops. It was truly an honour.


Do you have a youth event coming up and need a speaker? Visit my speaker page to find out how I can help your group.

You Got That Mental Toughness?

Catch the replay of my Live Broadcast

How do you process pain, rejection, failure, defeat? Do you use it as an opportunity to grow or do you shut down entirely.,

In this live broadcast, I share with you a lesson I learned from John Maxwell's 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth- The Law of Pain.

The core message is "Good Management of Bad Experiences Leads To Great Growth".

Are you growing in spite of your challenges?

 
 

To truly grow and evolve we must go with others. I'm inviting you to join me and 10 ambitious professionals as I take you through some of the wisdom contained in John Maxwell's 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

We will focus on the 7 Laws that I believe are essential to building your personal brand and ultimately propelling your growth.

15 Invaluable Laws of Growth:

7 Laws To Build Your Personal Brand

Today is World Mental Health Day. Is Your Job Making You SICK?

 Photo credit: Jacob Rank, Picnoi

Photo credit: Jacob Rank, Picnoi

Hello,

Did you know that today is World Mental Health Day?

The focus of this initiative is to tackle the issues surrounding mental health in the workplace.

I understand this issue very well. I left my last career because the work-related stress was intolerable.

At the time, I placed a lot of blame on myself but later discovered that it had a lot to do with my environment and circumstances I did not understand nor could control.

The stress we encounter at work often has a lot to do with whether or not the job is the right 'fit' and many times due to lack of proper leadership.

I did not know how to cope, but eventually, I sought out help and found my way...out!

Here are some interesting statistics for you taken straight from Statistics Canada:

  • The average Canadian spends 8.03 hours of their waking hours physically at work. That doesn't include time away completing work-related activities.

 

  • "Six in ten highly stressed workers identify work as their main source of stress (62%)"

 

  • "Mental health is highly correlated with chronic stress. Numerous studies link chronic stress to anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue and substance abuse."

 

  • "Chronic stress can cause memory loss and can change the brain's structure and functioning, affecting a person's susceptibility to depression and the effects of aging."

 

  • "Long-term stress is also highly correlated with the development and progression of many chronic physical diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, ulcers, asthma and migraine." 

 

  • "Highly stressed workers who identified their job or workplace as their main source of stress were well-educated—almost three-quarters had a college or university education—and over one-half held white-collar jobs in management, professional or technical occupations."

 

For many, these statistics will not come as a surprise. Mental health problems at work, is a big deal.


Are you struggling to cope? Here are some tips to help you along the way...

 

WHERE CAN YOU GET HELP?

1. Seek out a licensed therapist through your confidential Employee Assistance Program (If you have access to one). Otherwise, ask your doctor for a referral.

2. Try to figure out the specific triggers that lead to your stress and find a way to get the support you need from leadership.

This can be tricky because some environments and leaders are not supportive and may actually make the situation worse.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you may wish to approach it by explaining your desire to improve the working conditions and overall outcomes at work. In essence, if those things improve, your condition will likely benefit as well.

3. Learn coping strategies for issues such as anxiety. Meditate, breathe, focus on the positive, take time out when necessary

4. Work with a coach or a mentor, someone who can help you to set goals and gain clarity about your work. Many times, as I discovered, the stress comes from being in a place, doing work and being amongst people that are not in alignment with who we are.

Our health is our wealth. If your job is making you sick, it can impact your overall well being. Seek out the help you need to get better. No job is worth your sanity or physical health.

Your friend in success,

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Throwing Shade, Side-Eyes and Other Covert Communication That Messes Us Up

 Photo Credit: PicNoi-Clarke Sanders

Photo Credit: PicNoi-Clarke Sanders

What's on the menu for today? A good read, a bit of shade and a cut of the eye, on the side. 

The other day I wrote about civility or the lack thereof in the broader culture. I get a sense that there are a lot of folks who are out to claim their title as the baddest B$&h in the streets. Something similar to what used to go down on the middle school playground back in the day.

So what is up with the whole idea that in order for us as women to get through issues we have to resort to insults, mean behaviour or indirect yet aggressive behavior aimed at humiliating or shaming another person we dislike?

Here's my thought on the matter...we need to let it go!

What is it? It's that toxic weight we carry when our default position is to respond to others from a place of contempt or malice.

It's that negative weight that follows us around when we are in our homes and our offices. It seeps into our psyche and before we know it...this is just how we operate.

What I am talking about is the idea that somehow instead of being upfront communicators we should get comfortable 'reading people', 'throwing shade' , or dishing out 'side eyes' to those we aren't fond of or who, perhaps may not be fond of us.

These covert and frankly uncivil behaviors (yep, I called it like I see it) don't do anyone any good. It's catty at best, destructive at worst. I've been guilty, hands in the air. When I first strolled into the corporate world I also brought along my attitude. I'm direct yet I had to learn how to tone down my directness so it didn't come off as insulting or rude. I also had to keep my eye roll in check. Sort of like, rolling it but in the back of my head where it couldn't be seen.

Here are 4 reasons to ditch the shade, cancel the read and straighten out the side eye for good.

1. No one lives in our heads but us, so don't expect anyone to read your mind. Being direct ensures that your point is made and it gives the receiver a chance to state their position. The hope is that it can all be done respectfully. Side eye is just that, it's from the side. Not everyone will pick it up. Learn how to eloquently get your point across, say what you mean and get heard.

2. Stories are great, yet they suck when used to draw conclusions about someone else's behaviour. If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, then chances are it's inaccurate. Wondering what someone is 'trying' to say? Ask them. If they are rude or respond in a way we don't like, we just need to walk away. I've learned that this is the best approach for maintaining our composure and reputation. When they go low, we go HIGH. Michelle Obama, she said that!

3. We will form better bonds. People will either like us or not. No guessing in between. It's ok if they don't, we cant be for everybody but we should know who is truly in our corner. If we aim to approach others respectfully, we increase the likelihood that we will form better connections. Cantankerous spirits tend to get cantankerous results.

4.  You create space for positive vibes. Negative energy is like quicksand, the more of it you encounter the harder it is to break free. We need to drop the negative energy. It's heavy weight. We will carry this toxicity around with us and it will stifle our growth.

Women we need to come together to embrace positivity. If you feel that you are receiving negative energy, check in with the person who is sending it. Ask questions in a way that opens up a dialogue. You may be surprised to discover she wasn't shading you all along.

Positive vibes only!

What are your thoughts on the issue?

 

Your Friend In Success,

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The Professional's Coach

 


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3 Signs That You may be in The Wrong Environment

 
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'Growth Thrives in Conducive Environments'. John C. Maxwell

Have you ever felt that no matter what you do, you just aren't good enough?

Do you sometimes question whether or not you have any skills or abilities to offer to the world?

Feeling unsure about ourselves and doubting whether or not we can add value to the world is more common than you may think. Self confidence is a real struggle for many professionals.

What I have discovered about personal growth is, it is difficult to move upward when your environment or surroundings pull you down.

Yes, being internally motivated is important yet there is still something to be said about the company that we keep.

Not only are our social contacts influential in how successful we ultimately become, but many times our work environments can actually slow down our progress.

In the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John C. Maxwell shares that to growth thrives in conducive environments.

If you are surrounded by people who are growth oriented and are in environments that enable you to work to your strengths, you stand a greater chance of excelling in whatever you choose to do.

Here are 3 quick ways to tell if your environment is for the birds, and it's time for you to take flight...

1. Everyone around you seems to be going NOWHERE FAST! This is a good sign that, if you are in fact focused on growth, you should strap up your sneakers and run for the border.

2. You feel stunted or imprisoned when you are at work and you can't figure out why. A quote I read along time ago said this "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." 

If you are in a toxic environment or are not able to do work that is meaningful to you, you may be that little fish trying to climb the tree.

Find your strength zone and work in it. If your work environment leaves you feeling confused or lacking, it may be time to assess if you are in the right place.

3. You lose interest in the conversations and activities that you used to get excited about. There could be many reasons why we lose interest in the things we used to like, but chances are if the environment that we are in leaves us constantly feeling bad, bored, sad or worse confused...it's probably time to check out.

Have you ever felt that your environment was keeping you back? Was it the people or the places? What did you do to make your environment work for you or did you just exit all together?

Feel free to share below. Would love to hear your thoughts.


 

Want more tips on how you can grow to your fullest potential?  Get on the VIP list to get more tips on how you can develop a Captivating Personal and/or Business Brand.

You will get first access to my resource library for paid and unpaid products, discounts to newly launched products, freebies (books, templates or guides) that will help you as you build your own personal and business brand.

 
 
 

Why Taking a Pause...Can Get You Ahead

Why Taking a Pause...Can Get You Ahead

"Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up With You" John C. Maxwell

Do you take the time to reflect upon your life? It can be a challenge when juggle so much. Yet reflecting has been proven to help evaluate our experiences.

 

Weekly Challenge: Let's Grow with Intention

 

'Growth doesn't just happen' John C. Maxwell.

Can I give you a challenge for this week ahead?

Write down on a piece of paper 1 goal that you would like to achieve in the next 3 months. Something you have been longing to do but you haven't yet figured out how you will get it done.

After you write that down, start envisioning what your life would look like when you achieve that goal. How will you feel? What will you be doing? how will it benefit others? Envision it with as much detail as possible.

Building a personal brand that distinguishes us from the other billions of people in this world starts with the decision to be intentional about our personal growth.

Let's do a check in next week to see how we did with this visioning exercise.

Who's with me? Are you ready? Let's go!

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If you are an emerging leader or desire to grow in the area of leadership check out the upcoming Mastermind 'Laws of Growth for Emerging leaders'. Click the link below to find out more.

 

 

7 Laws to Start Building Your Most Captivating Personal Brand

 
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What does it truly mean to grow? Do you spend a lot of time thinking about how much progress you are making in life? Have you focused on setting a clear path for your life and career or do you just let things happen? Are the chips just falling where they may? Day after day. Are you satisfied with the outcomes you have had so far?

My Lessons Learned:

What I have learned in my transition from a dissatisfied full-time government employee to where I am today, a full-time entrepreneur living my purpose, is that I am responsible for my growth.

15 Laws of Growth:

This month I will be running a series focused on personal growth and development. In this series, I will be sharing a few highlights from my mentor and leadership expert John C. Maxwell. I will share John’s wisdom he poured out in the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth is an incredible book that challenges us to think deeply about our own personal growth. In it, I discovered 7 laws that I found to be critical first steps in building out our Personal Brand.

Laws to Start Building Your Personal Brand:

The 7 laws I refer to happen to be the first 7 of John's 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Here's a quick rundown for you:

1. The Law of Intentionality: Growth doesn't just happen

2. The Law of Awareness: You must know yourself to grow yourself

3. The Law of the Mirror: You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself

4. The Law of Reflection: Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you

5. The Law of Consistency: Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps you growing

6. The Law of Environment: Growth thrives in conducive environments

7. The Law of Design: To Maximize growth, develop strategies

 

Why Does Growth Matter Anyway?

Who doesn't want to improve in some area of life? Most of us truly do, but for the most part, we face serious struggles figuring out how to get from point A to point B. We get caught up in the minutia of the day to day that we can’t see the forest for the trees. Before we know it, 5, 10, 15 years have passed and we find ourselves stuck…in the same place.

My Experience:

I remember like it was yesterday, back in 2006 I was in a very lonely and confused place. I was stuck in what felt like a dead-end career, in and out of bad relationships, lacking financial clarity, confused about my purpose and I had no clue what I was going to do with my life. That was until I decided to do something about it. I decided to live with intention and haven’t looked back since.

I have been where you might currently be. I have been in a place of doubt, confusion, stagnation, 'I hate this da$! Job’ and perhaps had a few to many ‘get me outta here' moments. What got me out of that place was a decision to take control of my life and career. I'm not encouraging anyone to up and quit their job like I eventually did, but what I am encouraging you to do is to find your happy place, discover your purpose, put a plan of action into place and attack it with determination and fearlessness.

Understanding your Personal Brand:

To grow to our fullest potential, we can all benefit from reflecting upon all of John’s 15 Laws. As a start, it’s important that we reflect upon clearly understanding and defining who we are. That is, developing our Personal Brand.

What is it that you stand for and what experience are you leaving with others when they come to know you? To have a personal brand that is captivating begins with personal reflection. A personal brand along with competency and skill is your ticket to standing out and winning the game of life. An outstanding brand presence enables you to attract and connect with the right people for greater influence.

I firmly believe that “the true measure of leadership is influence- nothing more, nothing less.”

Furthermore, “everything rises and falls on leadership!”

“Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness”

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Are you ready to try something new? To grow beyond your wildest imagination? Take an intentional step in the direction of your personal growth.

Join me and a select group of like minded professionals as we explore John Maxwell’s 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

Not sure where or how to start?  Click this link to find out more

 

 

 

Audio replay: Keys to Assertive Behaviour

 
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On March 16, 2017 I had the honour of speaking with Dr. Stephanie Hampton Credle on her radio show The Chrysalis Zone. We discussed how people can demonstrate more assertiveness in life to get what they want. How do you move beyond AGGRESSIVENESS? How can women be heard without the rage? Listen in to find out more.