Just be you, already

We know that media is constantly sending us images and messages about how we should look, behave, dress and progress through life. For the most part, I try to block these messages out. I am sure there are some that get through on a sub conscience level no matter how hard I may try to block them out.

What I have noticed to be sneaky messages as of late are all these blog posts telling us what words we should stop using at a certain age, fashion mistakes that age you, how our generation compares to others, and (insert other topics here). These posts might seem entertaining and fun at first but what internalized messages are we taking away from them? Should we really be engaging with these messages, entertaining or not?

Everyone has an opinion on how, what, when and where life should happen to/for/around us. It’s like taking a year to travel from coast to coast in the Unites States. There is plenty of time and likely more than a million routes from one coast to the other. Seeking perspectives and advice of others along the way is a good thing. However, in the end, I hope we are able to celebrate the routes chosen by others as well as find strength and confidence in the route we have chosen for ourselves – no matter how many times our route changes over the course of our travels.

My challenge for 2014 is that we all begin/continue to own our unique ways of thinking, acting and being. Find strength and power in that struggle and just be you already!

Until next time, keep it real and keep showing up!

Don’t Throttle Back

We have a made up verb we use in our house: “to Anne something”. I have a habit of making a decision and going full throttle in that direction, 100% commitment to the idea and the achievement of a goal; thus, to Anne something.

An example. I was talking with my husband about his desire to run the Keys 100 in May 2014. I finally worked my brain around to the idea that I could do this with him. A few hours later, I had found a training plan for 100 miler first-timers, learned what we should be doing to prepare in regard to eating on the run, and started our own blog as form of accountability and reflection of the experience. I totally “Anne-ed” the idea of joining my husband on the Keys 100.

I recently had an experience with a woman I highly respect. She asked if I wanted to read the book Lean In with her in preparation for the Women’s Leadership Institute we plan to attend in December. I responded with the fact that I had already read the book and would happily engage in conversation/discussion with her. To this point, I had not yet “Anne-ed” the situation.

Reflecting on this conversation triggered me to send a follow up email where I outlined a personal/professional development curriculum I had experienced over the last few months consisting of Lean In, Multipliers, Start With Why, Daring Greatly and (Forget a Mentor) Find a Sponsor. Yup, this is the point where I “Anne-ed” the situation.

After work, I was telling my husband about the situation. I was in the middle of asking him if I went too far and his response was simply this: Don’t throttle back, be Anne!

I grinned, grateful for a supportive partner and agreed. I can only be me. And that means I will continue to “Anne” things…it’s how I do!

The take away, Don’t throttle back, be you!

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Until next time, keep it real and keep showing up!