Archives For confidence

I find it equally surprising and comforting that so many people took the time to comment on a post I wrote back in June 2012 titled “I’m leaving my job” because, at the time, I wrote it mainly to reassure myself I was making the right choice. I honestly didn’t expect feedback in response to what I wrote.

Since that initial post sparked a lot of well wishers to chime in and let me know I would be ok, I thought it would be fitting to follow-up three years later with an update. I AM better than ok.

You see, I left a corporation that had limitless time attached to it (no, that’s not entirely true, there is no place that is 100% safe). But I did say goodbye to a company with seemingly more security than I have now.

Back then I accepted a new role that is tied to a company that was awarded a defined-period-of-time contract to do business. I live with the knowledge that, as early as this time next year, I could be job hunting again if we aren’t re-awarded new business.

I like to talk the talk, but not necessarily walk the walk, when it comes to embracing change.

I know without a doubt that every leap I’ve made up to this point in my life has resulted in being better off than where I was before. Yet, it never gets un-scary to take that leap, does it?

There are likely more than a few of you on the fence right now struggling with an important life change. I’m here to tell you…it WILL be better than ok.

  • It will be better than ok so long as you’ve weighed your options (never underestimate a pros/cons list) and it feels like it’s a choice you can accept and embrace.
  • It will be better than ok if you can imagine the possibilities of pursuing something that calls to you without fear of the unknown blocking your perspective.
  • It will be better than ok if it makes it easier for you to explain to your children why you choose to go to work because, believe it or not, they are interested in knowing what it is that you do all day and why you do it.

If you are anything like me, you started working because you wanted to somehow make a difference along with a paycheck. You wanted to use your talents and work alongside compelling colleagues that brought out the best in you. You didn’t mind putting in extra hours when no one cared that you did because you thought your work would define your greatness.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret….

…. (come close and listen, this is good stuff)….

…. life happens when you least expect it.

It happened to me.

I graduated college, got married, landed a job, lived in a few apartments, played in slow pitch softball and volleyball leagues, bought a house, had three children, stopped playing all previously mentioned activities, leaned on and laughed with girlfriends, signed my kids up for too many activities, watched loved ones get sick, rejoiced when some got better, said goodbye to others forever, and started to listen more than I talked.

That last one continues to be a struggle.

This time in my life, this job, has given me opportunities that I won’t take for granted. This phase of my career has given me the chance to make an impression on my kids.

Lexington baby shower4

Helping a little guy with the ring toss game at a community event.

I have more life experience and, as a result, recognize how different people deemed “in charge” have either helped or hindered my progress over the years. Some were leaders who encouraged new ideas, other were followers who trickled down orders.

Because life happens, I now know how to take better care of the people who rely on me from day-to-day. I’m handling less projects and more people.

People are saying things like “Your communication was excellent,” and “I appreciate you more than you know.” Amazing the types of things you hear when you stop doing all of the talking!

Yet the future remains uncertain.

If it all comes to an end in a year’s time, I will never regret making that leap.

Because…I am better than ok. And you will be too.

Written by Heidi Woodard

I cried at work

September 5, 2014

Aside from major life tragedies (sickness, loss, prejudice, poverty, war, death), is there anything worse than crying in front of coworkers?

That moment when you feel your cheeks turning red, are unable to blink fast enough to stave off tears, and lose all control in an environment where self-composure and confidence hail supreme?

Usually there’s not a worse feeling. But not this time, my friends.

This time, I felt a mixture of silly embarrassment and glorious pride as I blotted the corners of my eyes. I didn’t mind in the least bit that the instructor’s gaze landed directly on mine or that my coworkers heard my sniffling.

I was taking part in a Community Health Worker training class and we were discussing cultural intelligence; in particular, how gender roles are established and reinforced.

The instructor casually dropped a bomb on me when I was least expecting it. It came in the form of a YouTube clip about a campaign I had read about months ago, but had never taken the time to actually watch: Always #LikeAGirl

This 3-minute video gives a glimpse into how fragile the identity of a female is as she transitions from a little girl into an adolescent and beyond. How seemingly innocent words that are directed at her, about her, with little to no regard of her internal drive or ability, but rather solely focused on her external anatomy, can have lasting consequences.

The athlete in me wanted to scream out DON’T EVER DOUBT YOURSELF! to 10-year old Dakota, the feisty brunette dressed in the rainbow-striped tank top.

The mother in me wanted to throw my arms around the boy in yellow who came to the realization, with a wee bit of nudging from Director Lauren Greenfield, that he will think before he judges girls – including his sister – in the future.

The writer in me wanted to capture all the thoughts spinning round and round in my head…

One of those being how fascinated I am in seeing the reverse side of the coin: What is means to do things #LikeABoy.

Another being how grateful I am that a feminine hygiene product company finally got it right with their customer messaging.

And, lastly, I wondered why I was so deeply affected watching it considering I’ve always considered myself to be a confident person. I guess it just reminded me of times in my life when I doubted myself.

This video tugged on my heart because it gave a voice to those who have felt wrongly judged.

Everyone has a burden to carry, a hurdle to clear, a story to tell. You have the right to write your story.

Here’s another fun video just because. GO GIRLS!

Written by Heidi Woodard

I’m here to conquer you, New Year. You should know this about me…I’m not, and have never been, deficient in the confidence department.

But I’m a realist too. And, realistically speaking, I know I represent false hope. Because today I am shouting from the mountain top.

Where will I be in 30 days, 6 months, 1 year from today?

I signed up to run my fourth Half Marathon on May 4, which as my Facebook friends should know by now, means they need to decide if they want to unfriend me. I’m going to publicly share how I’ve either met my training goals or failed miserably. Consider yourself forewarned.

I’ve committed to giving up pop for the next 30 days. Or, as I like to call it, my happy juice. I’m in the process of developing coping strategies that don’t involve the beheading of my spouse or getting fired from my job.

I got on the treadmill and logged a very slow and steady 3.5 miles this morning. It felt good. It always does before you allow the soreness to soak in.

I’ve committed to attending a kickboxing class on Friday. I figure I’ll have a lot of pent-up rage from seeing everyone around me drinking pop by then. My imaginary sparring partner won’t stand a chance against me. I’ll actually likely envision the 20-year old version of myself with her flat stomach and ability to eat anything without regret staring back at me. She’s going down.

Finally, I’ve vowed to read more as part of The Empty Shelf Challenge.

Yep, that seems to be enough crap to concentrate on for now.

Good luck to everyone with all your many resolutions. Let’s remember that, at the end of the day, we’re all pretty awesome as is.

New Year. Same ol me.

New Year. Same ol me.

Written by Heidi Woodard