January has been the shortest and the longest month. Christmas seems like yesterday. But the last two weeks have felt like a month or longer.
Why? I started teaching a course at a local community college. Just when the teaching arrangements were finalized, client opportunities started to come again. And like many American’s, I decided to focus on my health – so I changed up how I’m eating and participated in the 21-day meditation challenge through Ten Percent Happier. Add to this, life. And I was feeling very overwhelmed by January 30.
In this episode, I share a Brene Brown strategy that helped me overcome or at least manage, the overwhelm. It is the F’ing First Time (FFT).
What is the FFT?
Brown defines FFT as the recognition of how we respond when experiencing something for the first time. We all go through this and handle it differently. When faced with anxious feelings or overwhelm, she recommends thinking through these three steps: normalizing it, put it in perspective, and reality check the expectations. I talk through how I have used these steps to help me move away from overwhelm and have more calm and clarity in my weekend.
The brilliance of Amanda Gorman
If you haven’t listened to the poem Amanda Gorman wrote for the inauguration, you need it. It is moving. During this episode, I share three passages that stand out to me:
We are striving for a union with purpose – we do this every day when we go to work, when we build our brands on a platform of service, we are aligning our efforts to the underlying purpose we’ve been called to do, the impact we make and the way we inspire others to do better and achieve their goals.
If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade. But in all the bridges we’ve made, that is the promise to glade, the hill we climb. If only we dare. – When I read this passage, I am reminded that will we have challenges and hurdles to achieve our goals and our dreams, we must not let those hold us back. Rather we need to dare to climb that hill and our relationships & collaborations will help us get us there, not our competitive nature.
And finally, the words I’ve seen shared most often from her poem: For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.
Recently I’ve had the privilege of being a guest on a couple of shows. Both were released this week.
First, check out my conversation with Kim Hamer on her podcast, 100 Acts of Love. Kim’s mission is to help HR managers become more aware of the challenges employees face when dealing with a cancer diagnosis, whether it is their own or that of a loved one. I share my experience of working through my Dad’s cancer diagnosis, treatment, and passing. It was undoubtedly one of the hardest times of my life. Working in a hospital made the reality of his diagnosis more significant – and real. I worked with physicians who dealt with serious diagnoses like his daily, it was a constant reminder. And it took a toll on my emotional well-being. As I shared my story with Kim, I was enlightened by her perspective as an HR executive of how things could have been handled differently.
As a listener to this show, if you are in HR or are dealing with a cancer diagnosis (either personally or close to you), please listen to this conversation. I think it will offer some insights from both perspectives.
And the second was a conversation with Julie Bruns on her show, Peace and Possibilities. She did a special episode to showcase female entrepreneurs and what they do in business. I was able to include our conversation as the wrap up of this episode.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Brene Brown’s On FFT, Unlocking Us podcast
- Brene Brown Gives Tips on How to Take on First Times and Covid-19, Forbes
- Productivity and first times, Episode 39, The Pursuit of Purpose
- Amanda Gorman read The Hill We Climb, ABC News
- How not to manage an employee with cancer with Amy Austin, 100 Acts of Love podcast
- Peace and Possibilities with Julie Bruns
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