10: Permission to Indulge in a Little Self-Pity

Do you ever feel sorry for yourself? Most of us do at one time or another. We may call it “having a pity party” or self-pity, but it’s something that prompts very different opinions. In today’s show, I’m giving you a little advice about why it’s OK to indulge in self-pity at times.

“Self-pity in its early stage is as snug as a feather mattress; only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.” –Maya Angelou

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • When was the last time you felt sorry for yourself? After all, it’s a natural human response!
  • Sometimes we think that self-pity is bad and wrong in every way
  • Why self-pity is perfectly fine at times
  • If you say you never have self-pity, then you probably aren’t honest or even human
  • “The more you avoid something, the more energy you actually give to it.”
  • Why would you want to give an enormous amount of energy to something you don’t want?
  • Why it’s OK to admit that sometimes things just suck and you just feel sucky
  • Go to the pity party!
    • Show up for the appetizers and then leave
    • Own your self-pity and give yourself a time limit
  • My recent cancer scare and my anger that prompted a “pity party”
  • “Have I not been through enough?”
  • Why it’s OK to enjoy the “featherbed” for a little while and then go back home
  • Feeling guilty about feeling sorry for yourself just makes it worse
  • How to cope:
    • Have a glass of wine—just one!
    • Talk to a trusted friend
  • Howard Schultz said, “In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, ‘Listen, I have to be responsible for myself’.”

09: Be Authentic, Not Perfect

Oscar Wilde said, “Always be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” That goes along perfectly with our topic for today–authenticity. What does it mean? How do we lead authentic lives? What does it look like when we aren’t authentic? Let’s discuss the idea of authenticity together.

If you heard the show’s intro, then you heard me say that this is a weekly podcast–but that isn’t entirely true. It’s been almost two weeks since the last one, so what’s up? Why have I not been authentic? The answer is that I’ve gotten caught in the trap of wanting everything to be perfect. Have you been there? If you have, then you know that trying to be perfect for everyone else is very time-consuming and energy-consuming. In short, it’s just plain exhausting, so isn’t it better to just be your authentic self?

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • The weirdness of talking to a microphone in my office when I’m much more used to a real audience with real faces
  • The point of the podcast is to be real and honest in mentoring women
  • Making yourself fit into what everyone else thinks you should be does NOT make you authentic; it just makes you a good actor
  • “Be true to who you are and know that who you are is enough.”
  • Why I teach mindfulness: because it teaches you to notice the story line going through your head
  • Speaking about leadership challenges me to lead by example, and–after all–isn’t that what mentoring really is?
  • How I imagine the many faces listening to me (and I want to hear back from YOU!)
  • How do we be the best that we can be? We share aspirations and always leave room for growth and own when we fall down
  • One of my favorite memories from my college days
  • What it means to be willing to “take the hit”
  • My challenge to you this week: Be honest, be real, and be willing to take the hit

Resources:

www.elisahays.com

www.youtube.com/elisahays

Find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

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How to Be Thankful in All Things

Are you thankful in all things? Does it matter?

On Friday I learned I have a basal cell carcinoma on my lower leg. Although yes it is skin cancer, it can be removed and cured without likelihood of follow up treatment. And yet, I’ve been angry for days. Transplant recipients on immunosuppressive medication have, among other things, a high risk of skin cancer. So here we go. I can add one more thing to an already long list of health problems. I’ve been on edge and grumpy to everyone around me since hearing the news. Logic takes a back seat to emotions when it feels like the proverbial straw landed on the camel’s back. Read more

08: Ripped from the Headlines: Lessons on Empathy

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

This quote has been attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, and others. It’s been re-quoted so often that we simply accept it as a “truth-ism.” This quote forms the basis for our show today on empathy.

Starbucks is closing 8000 stores on May 29 for several hours to implement racial bias training for 175,000 employees. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, then you’ve seen the recent news story of the two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia who were asked to leave the store, refused, and then were arrested while onlookers used their phones to record the incident. Let’s talk about what went wrong and what could have been done differently.

Show Highlights:

  • As a resident of Seattle, I’ve sent Starbucks a warm, appreciative video about my customer experience and how getting coffee at Starbucks wherever I’m traveling “always makes me feel like home.”
  • My personal complaint about an incident with my wheelchair: not about a Starbucks issue, but a human issue where I wasn’t seen or heard
  • In the Philadelphia incident, it wasn’t a racial issue, but was manifested as one–”It’s a human issue, about seeing people, listening to people, and caring about people.”
  • The outcome will ALWAYS be better if people feel like they are seen and heard
  • This week, I’ve had meetings with city council officials about a property development issue where there has NOT been “empathy-fueled leadership”
  • “Implicit bias” says, “I’m right and you’re wrong. My problems are more important than yours.”
  • We can tell what’s fake and what’s real, so people will know if you really care
  • The ONLY way to show care is empathy, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes
  • “Go out, listen to someone, focus on their feelings, and SHOW how much you care.”

Resources mentioned:

Watch the YouTube to see videos I’ve done for Starbucks:

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07: The Lessons of Failure from Wilma Rudolph

What does it take to be a winner? Do winners ever fail? Failure and struggle are important processes to go through to fully enjoy the beauty of winning. Failure is painful and hurts in many ways; no one likes that feeling of failure, but it’s an important part of life. There is no better example of all that comes with winning and losing than the subject of our show today.

“Winning is great, sure, but if you’re really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated ALL the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” –Wilma Rudolph

Show Highlights:

  • Wilma Rudolph was born in 1940 in Tennessee into a poor black family, the 20th of her father’s 22 children
  • A premature birthweight of only 4.5 lbs. and a childhood filled with illness preceded a bout with polio that took the use of Wilma’s left leg
  • Leg braces, treatments, massages, and help from her large family were Wilma’s life until she pulled the braces off at age 9 and started walking
  • Soon she was playing basketball, running, jumping, and challenging her brothers in sports
  • At age 14, she was noticed by a college track coach, so she started running, soon qualifying for the Olympics in Melbourne in 1956 at age 16
  • After winning a bronze medal, she went back to college in TN, but fought repeated illnesses because of her drive to always win
  • In 1960, she was the first American woman to win 3 gold medals in a single Olympics in Rome, as she tied and set new world and Olympic records
  • She was an instant celebrity in Europe and America, but was intent on making change 
  • She refused to attend a ticker-tape parade in her honor in TN because it was to be segregated, as everything was in the South in the 1960’s
  • She overcame incredible odds and personal failures, and soon retired from amateur athletics and became a teacher, coach, and mother of four
  • She wrote an autobiography and allowed a movie to be made of her life
  • Her greatest accomplishment was the Wilma Rudolph Foundation, a non-profit sports organization
  • Wilma died of brain cancer at age 54 in Nashville in 1994

Resources:

  1. Amazing Women in History 
  2. Notable Biographies
  3. ESPN 

06: Financial Literacy for Every Daughter

Who gets to give names to specific celebratory months? Have you ever wondered? For example, April is National Humor Month, National Internship Awareness Month, Inventors’ Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, Cannabis Month, National Alcohol Month, and the list goes on and on. I would like to focus on April as National Financial Literacy Month. Why? Because Tax Day is just around the corner!

It’s important to talk to young people about financial literacy. The most valuable thing that young people have on their side is TIME. Just putting away small amounts of money—and starting while you’re still young—will yield amazing results! Read more

05: Do The Hard Thing

Fortitude—do you have it? It’s also known as grit. Why do some people possess this quality and for others it seems so far removed? This is the topic of discussion on today’s show. Let’s find out more! Read more

04: Cultivating True Beauty

When women want to get ahead in the professional world, many will turn to their looks. They have been taught since they were little girls that a tilt of the head and a coy smile will get them what they want. The sad truth is that looks will fade, and many middle-aged women will try to play the pretty card unsuccessfully.

“Beauty comes from your personal presence.”

Read more

03: An Incredible Mother’s Life

When I think of the women who taught me the lessons for success, the first one at the top of the list is my own Mom. Mom wouldn’t consider herself a “wild feminist,” but she did do amazing things within male-dominated industries that paved the way for many women to come. Instead of seeing setbacks because of her gender as unfair obstacles, Mom simply worked harder to reach her dreams. In a time when it was weird to educate women just as we do men, Mom pushed to have every opportunity.

“I don’t think of myself as a feminist. I think of myself as a woman in the world trying to do what I wanted to do.” 

Read more

Press for Progress

hands up for progress

What are you doing to Press for Progress on International Women’s Day 2018?

Are you proclaiming? Protesting? Performing? …or prognosticating?

Are you wearing purple (the official color) or praying for an end to violence against women?

Perhaps you are doing all…or none…of the above.

However you choose to pass the day, make it purposeful. Press for Progress (this year’s theme). Call attention to unfair gender biases. Call attention to extraordinary women leaders. Call attention to the need for less focus on gender and more focus on the quality of ideas.

And for crying out loud, call your mother! If that’s not possible, call another strong female mentor in your life and simply say THANK YOU. May I also suggest, that you take a few minutes today to listen to the second episode of the Letters to My Daughter podcast and share it. When we mentor women to step into their presence with strength and grace, we open opportunity to accelerate the pace of progress for all people. And that’s what International Women’s Day is really all about.