As part of my fellowship, I was assigned an executive coach. One piece of homework from our first meeting was to list four reasons I am doing this fellowship. He said, "You're good at design. Make it a nice one-sheeter you can hang up." I didn't do either one of those things. Instead, I made a list of four things that I need from my work -- this work, and any work I do in the future. I made it a graphic I can use as my phone wallpaper.
Work is an area I am not willing to compromise on again. I need work that is challenging, makes a positive impact on the world, helps me grow as a person, and is flexible, so I can live the rest of my life.
Did you know that I worked at a business bank for six months this year? After I finished my MBA in February and was laid off from the marketing agency I was working for, I wanted to do something completely different, and decided to learn new skills while figuring out what that was. You should know, I can analyze corporate financial statements and recommend debt financing options now.
What I came up with was that I want to use the skills and experience I have gained over the last 20 years to do some good in the world, either in the public sector or the nonprofit sector.
Just over a month ago, I started with FUSE Corps, an executive fellowship program that partners with local governments to tackle some of our society’s most important challenges. FUSE works with cities across a range of issues, including health, public safety, economic and workforce development, climate change, equity, and education. My fellowship is a project in partnership with the LA County Department of Health Services to implement a strategic marketing function and lead a rebranding effort for the second largest public health system in the country.
It's a massive challenge, the kind of work I like best.
The number for the phone on my desk.
How to use the phone on my desk.
(Originally published on Opinions for Nothing.)
Clearly, I would not be friends with people who are not awesome, so I am mystified by one friend's low self-esteem. I told her that, if I could, I would gladly give her some of my self-esteem because sometimes I feel like I have too much. We were chatting online with a few of our other girlfriends at the time, and one asked why is it that I have so much self-esteem when they have so little. I didn't always.
Why do I have so much self-esteem? Innate narcissism is the most likely answer. Thinking that I am better than most people I meet can't be hurting either.
It's much easier on yourself if you are kind to yourself and think nice things about yourself. You can stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself. There's a psychological technique called thought-stopping that is rather simple to master. If you Google it, you'll see that it doesn't work for panic disorders or chronic worry, but it absolutely works for replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Have a couple of positive phrases about yourself worked out in advance. Every time you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself, say, "STOP!" in your mind, then think the positive thought. It is that easy.
I am not the prettiest, or the slimmest, or the smartest, or the funniest, or the anything-est, but I am great. I like who I am. I like most things about myself, and I am actively trying to change the things I don't like. That is the best that I can do, so there is no need for me to be the one to berate myself for anything. I am a pathological overachiever. This makes me come down very hard on myself, but it is almost always about how much I can achieve, not who I am.
Rejection is difficult for anyone, myself included. It stings, but I shake it off with no damage to my self-esteem. When I am rejected (for a job or a potential client, by a man...), I chalk it up to fit. I don't take it personally, at least not for too long. I like who I am, and I can't be anything else other than that, so if I am rejected for something about who I am, it's fine. It means I was not a good fit, and that situation would not have ended well.
It does not mean I was not smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, funny enough...
I am more than enough. I am awesome.