assistant, Guide to being a good assistant, Personal Assistant

I “doubt” you’ll believe me.

In this series of blogs that I will affectionately call “The Ponder Series” we will explore the 15 things to give up that I posted in my pre-thanksgiving blog (please refer to https://superduperassistant.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/things-to-ponder-this-holiday/). Number one on that list is:

DOUBTING YOURSELF!

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Self doubt is one of the biggest thing that keep up from developing our true potential. We talk ourselves out of our own hopes and dreams. So in the fight to assist you all in a better you, let’s explore self-doubt a little.

If you ever get a email from me you will see the following quote at the bottom

Self-doubt-quote-by-Sylvia-Plath

The full quote is actually:

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Now, this is the quote that fuels my writing, in whatever way shape or form it appears on a daily basis. It’s why I started this blog. There are so many people out that that have said that have benefited from something I have said or posted that why deny that creative bone in my body. I shouldn’t doubt my ability to put word to page. To evoke a thought or a idea in a perfect stranger. I need to stop doubting that I had a voice that needed to be heard. Creative begins with an idea and grows from there, if we stifle that, then what?

So in assisting anyone and yourself, you gotta leave the self doubt at the door.  Kaiden Block said it best I think.

 It will be the biggest road block you will face.  “Don’t stop yourself from greatness before you’ve begun from fear or from self-doubt. You were put here on this planet to do great things, to pioneer change by way of your own personal uniqueness, and to express yourself and share your happiness with others.”

So in preparing for this moment, I did  a little research to see what the “experts” say about self doubt and ways to work on eliminating it in your life. And I came across a very interesting article on a website called Zen Habits. Alexandra Levit who is a career advice columnist for the Wall Street Journal and she wrote about 5 ways to conquer self- doubt. I found her thoughts quite interesting and pretty smart. (http://zenhabits.net/conquer-self-doubt/).

Levit states that self-doubt is something that most everyone struggles with. It is a very real and can be debilitating human emotion. It can be very isolative, which if you think about it can make the situation worse. Think about when you had a big decision to make and you were sure of what you should do. Did you find yourself sitting alone in your house, thinking constantly “what should I do?” Your best friend would call and you wouldn’t answer because you were plagued with worry. Hell, I have been there. Its a pretty scary place to be depending on the situation. You compare yourself to those around you. This is when the wishes and hopes come into play, but not the happy ones. It’s the I wish I was as good as such and such, I hope to be like you know who, which usually just makes you feel worse.

Now you can get GREAT at kick self-doubt in the face, but a key fact that Levit wants you to embrace that self-doubt might show up even if you get really good at giving it the bird. So best thing to do is to find a way to help yourself curb the feelings so that you can move forward. Levit’s 5 ideas are:

  1. Go Back in Time: Remember past incidences of doubt in your life where you have prevailed. The first time you spoke in public. A dance recital from when you were little. How did you feel when you go through it. Was there a time when you were quite sure you could accomplish a goal? What happened when you did? Remember the triumph. Focus on those feelings instead of the negative ones that lead you to believe you can’t. I use to be afraid of speaking in public. I have over the years almost forced myself to do it at least 2 times a year to remind myself that I can do it. I remind myself that feeling when I am done and the clapping starts. The even better feeling is when people come up to you with questions or just to say a kind word.  Remember the past and those feelings can be so helpful with fighting your doubt.
  2. Defeat the Doubtful: LIST I love them! This idea calls for making a list with 2 columns. On one side put the doubtful thought and the other side put facts that dispute the thought. And example could be, I shouldn’t start a blog because no one will read it. Thing is (and this is what I thought) doesn’t matter if anyone reads it, the information is out there for someone to find. Blogs aren’t always about who is reading them. I also thought about this wasn’t for anyone else but me, and if someone reads it (besides Davis) it is worth the time and effort. And now after doing this for a few months, people are reading it.
  3. Keep an Event Journal: This journal is for you to keep track of your daily activities and how they made you feel. Keep track of all the things you accomplished and felt good about and the ones that you didn’t feel so good about and why.  This according to Levit will help you see how much of your day goes great and that the not so great things are far and few between.
  4. Call on your Cheerleaders: People who love you will always see the best in you. When the self-doubt gets really overpowering, I call my mom or my best friend Lynnett. They are always great at helping me see the bright side of things and working through my fears and doubts. Find out who those people are in your life and let them help you. Eliminated doubt is also asking for help and encouragement when you need it.
  5. Celebrate your Successes: Take a moment and pat yourself on the back. When self doubt has reared its ugly head, smell those flowers. Treat yourself to your favorite something. I like Starbucks personally. Take the time to feel how you feel and maybe write about it, that way the next time you feel that doubt creeping in you can remember that moment.

Doubt can be crippling, but with these ideas maybe you can help yourself or someone else with becoming less doubtful. I tell Davis all the time stop focusing on the negative. There is always something you CAN do when you are surrounded by a bunch of things you think you CAN’T do.  If breaking my leg has taught me anything its that even when you are stuck on your back for 3 months you can find something to work on and improve. It taught me what was important and what I should work on to shatter my own self doubt.  For the longest I wanted to get back to writing and with my blogs I have. It has helped me hone my craft. I am truly living my favorite quote.

So Start today, as the new year approaches take steps to be less of a self-doubter.  Be positive. Allow yourself a chance. 2014 will be here soon enough and its gonna be better than the last 🙂

doubt

“Erase self-doubt by working to build your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.”   ―     Rodolfo Costa,
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assistant, Guide to being a good assistant, Personal Assistant

Things to ponder this holiday….

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I saw this picture earlier today and though those are some interesting ideas for me to explore over the next few weeks as the year comes to a close. What better way to work on being a great assistant in your life then some self reflection and ridding yourself of bullshit.

I am completely grateful for the point I am at in my life and thing that the new year is gonna bring more growth and I want to be able help my readers out there with some growth when and where I can.

The hard part about growth is that it requires you to take a REAL and HONEST look at yourself and learn to accept and or change those parts of yourself that others tend to snub their nose at you about.

So prepare to take a trip into the deepest parts of yourself and be real and maybe learn so,etching in the process because this is what assisting is all about. Sometimes we have to out it all out there and say the hard shit, but it’s never with malicious intent but to help guide and shape those who we assist.

I hope all over you have a safe and fun Thanksgiving!!

Come back to us soon and be prepared to put in work!!

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assistant, Guide to being a good assistant, Personal Assistant

The only thing I want in my life that’s flaky is a good pie crust

A friend and I were speaking the other day about people who say they are going to do one thing, but do another. We all have that friend who is always late, or forgets or will make plans but cancel at the last minute. It is annoying at times but we continue to make excuses and allowances for this person because well they are our “friend.” But what concerns me in the lifestyle that I am trying to lead is that I need to be able to count on people for various things and to show up when they are suppose to, especially when it comes to getting stuff done for Davis. So FLAKY, I can no longer do, especially in my professional life.

So with that discussion it prompted me to do some research on why people are flakey and what you can do to sort of rid your life of the flake. Now, I am not talking about a person who may be depressed or have other things going on. I am talking about a true flake as defined by the following definition:

Urban Dictionary says:

1. flaky

An unreliable person. A procrastinator. A careless or lazy person. Dishonest and doesn’t keep to their word. They’ll tell you they’re going to do one thing, and never do it. They’ll tell you that they’ll meet you somewhere, and show up an hour late or don’t show up at all. Also spelled “flakey“, or “flake” in the noun form.
She told me she would send me her pictures, but it’s been 3 months and she hasn’t sent me shit. She’s flaky as hell.
So I make plans with you to go to the movies. Five minute before the movie starts you text me (don’t call) and say you aren’t gonna be able to make it. If this happens once, you aren’t flaky. But if it continues to happen, then I may put you in the flake category and have to move on with my life. Folk don’t realize that time is precious and especially in business you can’t sit around waiting for someone to do the things that they say they were gonna do in the first place. It’s annoying to say the least, especially when others are counting on you, but its a sign of poor manners in my opinion and the flakes need to be stopped!
Now let me be clear. People go through things. They get sick, might be depressed, and the simple answer is that things just come up. But blowing off your friends, or work, or responsibly just cause of whatever is never cool. And those are the people I am talking about.  I bet as you read this you are thinking of someone right now and call them a god damm flaky in your head. So my hope is to help you deal with those  people in both your professional and personal life, because lets face it frosted flakes are good and flaky pie crust is wonderful, but flaky business contacts and friends are no good.
In my research I came across an article written by Alexandra Frabzen called ” how to attract people you can count on — in life, love + business.  (http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2013/03/11/how-to-attract-people-you-can-count-on/) And in this article she talks about ways to have people in your life who essentially won’t flake out on you and who will be there for you when you need them.  I found it a really interesting read that really just teaches you stuff that you should have already learned (if you had a PARENTS) growing up.
SN: My sister and I always say that we had PARENTS. Now we know that everyone has parents or they would not be here, but my mom would call that a sperm and egg donor. Parents are something completely different. Parents teach you stuff and make sure you eat your veggies at dinner. They help you become a upstanding citizen and teach you how to tie you shoes. Some people just didn’t have that. And its pretty sad. But I digress.
So where flaky begins is within. You won’t attract the kind of people you can count on if you can’t count on your self.  The author says “aspire to be the kind of person Mr. Rogers would be proud of.” So make sure you show up. Be the kind of person that your friends feel you can call in the middle of the night with a true crisis, and don’t cancel at the last minute. This was something that I struggled with during my depression after my miscarriage. I wanted to be there and in my heart I would say that I was going to show up, but the depression was so debilitating that a year later I looked up and I didn’t have any friends left because I wasn’t being  a very good friend. In the past year I have learned to go, to show up, to be that friend that is always there and now I am surrounded mostly by people I trust to be my 4 am phone call.
The author says you are a work in progress and developed 7 points that will help you get rid of the flakes you life and be surrounded by supportive non-flaky peeps.
  1. Lay down the law- with a dash of love: If given, people will take a mile, so you got to tighten the leash.  So lay down the law. With business dealings tell people exactly what you want when you want it.  I have to do this with Davis other wise his ass will be all over the place. So when I need something from him I say I need it by this time or I will go forth without him.  Set deadlines and stick to them. Make people accountable.  When dealing with friends give them the same thing. If you know they tend to cancel last minute, tell them that if they aren’t going to be able to attend that you need 24 hour notice, not right before notice. This would be a good time to establish that their behavior is unacceptable to you. It could also open up a dialog with your friend about why they have been so flaky.
  2. Model the behavior you want to see: This was a tough one for me a year ago. Like I said my miscarriage left me flaky as hell. I never wanted to do anything that I said I wanted to do. Sometimes it was stuff that I didn’t really want to do, but other was stuff that I did want to do. So take the advice of the author and commit to things you love because then you are more apt to follow through. The same goes with your friends. Don’t invite Sally to go feed the homeless when you know she has a issue with transient people and expect her to show up.  Don’t try to hang out with a person who has told you time and time again that they don’t like dinner parties and then invite them to a dinner party. Know your friends loves and that will make them seem less flaky when you really need them.
  3. Use shame…sparingly: sometimes you just have to bit the bullet and let it rip. Call people on their shit. If you spend hours making a meal and they don’t show up, let them know how you feel right then and there. Don’t wait a year and a half later and bring it up. I recently had a conversation with a friend who was upset that I didn’t show up to visit them while they were in the hospital and they in turned decided that they wouldn’t come and see me after my surgery on my leg. Now while her point was valid, her waiting a year later to shame me didn’t have quite the affect that it would have if she would have said something right when it happened. And even though I stand by the fact that I had a valid reason (depression and no gas don’t go well together) I wish she would have brought it up then, not when I was laying in the hospital in pain.
  4. Trust the beginning: Maya Angelo says when people show you how they are, you should believe them. If a person or a contact is chronically late with things or don’t show up when they say they will, believe them. The only thing you can do is to call them on it and see if they change. If they don’t then you can choose to continue to deal with them or to move on. People can change, but THEY have to want to.
  5. Express your appreciation: This is something that my mother taught you. Always say thank you, even to your friends and family. My sister thinks I am nuts, but I always send her a text thanking her for the day and for shluping me around town since I broke my hand. At work I send emails to co-workers thanking them for their help with things. Saying please and thank you are two biggest saying that you can use to save your relationships. When dealing with potential clients and even with your boss, thank them for their time, because they then in turn will remember to say thank you to you. If you can, chocolates never hurt either (hint hint Davis)
  6. Know what you want: nothing sucks more than a indecisive person.  When what you want and articulate that. Be specific.  I always tell Davis you need to tell me exactly what you want it to look like, to say or to be. Be declarative not subjective. When you are vague that’s what you are going to get a vague mess.
  7. When all else fails; accept the flows and fold them into your rhythm: We all have that AMAZING friend who is constantly late for everything, but you know would ride or die for you. We all have that contact we can call with a last minute need or want and it may take them 2 days to get it to you but they come through in the nick of time. So have patience. Tell them a asinine arrival time and bring a book.

So what does that all have to do with assisting in life. Well we all have that flaky friend like I said before or we have been or still are the flaky friend. The advice that is given is good and sound and could help yourself become less flaky or help you get rid of those in your life who can’t ever seem to show up. The best piece of advice I can give you is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat people like you want to be treated and you should be fine. Surround yourself with people who have similar work ethic and morals and you should be fine. When helping your boss, treat him/her with respect and you will get it back. Keep that flaky to crust and enjoy your slice of pie.

 

 

 

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Story : Never Judge others, it blocks kindness

Good story

PROPEL STEPS

heartA doctor entered the hospital in a hurry after being called in for an urgent surgery. He answered the call asap, changed his clothes & went directly to the surgery block. He found the boy’s father pacing in the hall waiting for the doctor.

On seeing him, the dad yelled “Why did you take all this time to come? Don’t you know that my son’s life is in danger? Don’t you have any sense of responsibility?”

The doctor smiled & said “I am sorry, I wasn’t in the hospital & I came as fast as I could after receiving the call. And now, I wish you’d calm down so that I can do my work”

“Calm down?! What if your son was in this room right now, would you calm down? If your own son dies now what will you do??” said the father angrily

The doctor smiled again & replied…

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Guide to being a good assistant

Do NOT make Life changing choices in the middle of the night….

First blog after the rebrand and tt has been presented to me to return to my post as Davis put it. And as I wind down with my prayer and reflection,  one of the lessons I have learned,  while praying and reflecting is,  you don’t make major life decisions in the middle of the night. I mean night is the time where they say all the bad things in life happen.  Freddy came to you in your dreams; vampires and werewolves walk the earth; The Candy Man and the Boogieman were gonna get you; AND isn’t that when BEDBUGS Bite. I mean come on! It probably isn’t the time to make a life changing decision cause you could not possibly wake up or make the wrong decision. What’s that saying, “what is done in the dark will always come to light?” So maybe there is some validity to waiting until the light of day to make major decision; no one is hired at night usually unless they are a lady or man of the night or a stripper. #imjustsayin

But any whoo, I digress as always, let’s get back to the topic at hand…

Last night I was thinking about all the reasons why I left. What needs to be different in order for this to work. It made me think about all the dysfunction that I am surrounded by most days. Not only the dysfunction in my working relationship with Davis but in my life as a whole. I thought about all the life changes that I have made, most good, some that are supposed to be for the better (I have yet to experience this “for the better”) and I have survived.  A year from now all this angst, hurt and pain will be a distant memory and I will be (at least I am wishing, hoping, thinking, planning and praying) a much more secure and better person for it. But the problem here in the moment is that I am so terribly sad at so many things that my ability to separate has become difficult. I have this decision here in front of me to make and I don’t know what the answer is. I get the feeling that once things are said and discussed that deep in my heart that I won’t wanna return to my post because its gonna turn into something (like before ) that I want no part in anymore.

I will be honest, like most people you want the approval of EVERY ONE around you. You want your friends to say hey that person has it together, great job, great relationship, good credit, everything. But what they DID NOT teach you on the Facts of Life that you can’t solve those big problems in at 22 minutes. Life is MESSY and full of shit that you have to wade through and you can get stuck. And sometimes when you get stuck the people around you wanna rush you through and that is when you run into pitfalls and pits stops where you get even more stuck and end up either losing EVERYTHING and or EVERYONE. I don’t wanna end up like that. I want to be heard and supported and NOT just by my therapist. I wanna know that when I call you will listen, make an assessment and offer HELPFUL advice. We can all be painfully aware of what our friends want for us and they can push too hard sometimes and then push us away in the process. And if there is anything I want my friends who read this to know is that I hear you loud and clear, but you gotta stop PUSHING so much and give me time.

One of the new parallels that I will be attempting to make is that how my failed previous relationships are related to the concept of assisting. How do we assist those who we love? How do we enable for a better word family, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, our husband and wives and partners through out their life. How have I assisted people in my life to become something that they should have never. And not just my failed relationship. How do any of my relationships affect my ability to be effective in everyday life for myself, my family,  and my job.

I have spent so many years feeling like I have not had autonomy. I have had decision made for me and left other people knowingly make decision for me. Let the bad advice of a friend make a decision for me because I wasn’t strong enough to make it for myself and keeping my mouth shut when I should have kept it open. Kept my TRUTH hidden and gave my souls code no voice. Denied myself the right to be happy to the point where I thought I couldn’t dig myself out.  And I can no longer do that and assist others in helping their dreams and aspirations come true or on the other end enabling someone to not reach their full potential because they want me to do all the work.

I will admit that at times I can be loud and out spoken. I share to much, hell I have a blog. But what those outlets provide me with is a way to maintain MY AUTONOMY. I may not always handle something they way you might handle it. Hell it took me 7 years to figure out that my idiot boyfriend was who the fuck he was/is. I have held on to people I shouldn’t have and made excuses for them. I have allowed people to run my life. And the MOMENT I took control there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. You wanna have an opinion GREAT. You wanna think I am STUPID, go right ahead. But what I will NOT allow to happen anymore is for MYSELF to shut down and be mad and fester, while I run away and hide, because that doesn’t solve anything.

Breaking free from the baggage was a conscious choice that I made for myself.  Taking the time for myself and allowing myself to heal in the way I see fit could possible not only help myself heal, but could help someone who is in a similar situation. I can’t do it YOUR way anymore. If I had a nickel for every time someone would say to me, well “I just be happy when you don’t wanna talk about it anymore” or “you know when I will be proud of you…” I wouldn’t need to work again. Here is the thing, you can’t put a time constraint on someone needing to talk about something, because the FACT that they are willing to talk about it with you means that they trust you with how they feel and what they are feeling because feelings are scary no matter what they are, especially if you don’t understand them. I need people to understand that I am ALWAYS going to talk about certain subjects but the hope is that the longer I live the less I will need to talk about these things. My relationships are very important to me and the WHOLE point of this blog in the first place was for me to showcase my relationship with Davis and to write about something that was important to me. Because here is the fact of the matter, I am not YOU and you aren’t ME. So you can’t expect me to deal with it the way you would. All you can ask of ME is to open and receptive (when I ask for it) to the advice and wisdom that you may have.

Working with Davis has taught me more patient, because even when you THINK you may be right about something (and us WOMAN know we are ALWAYS RIGHT) you can’t lead someone else to it without them getting to it when they can. It is about meeting somewhere where they are at not where you want them to be. Your design for life may not always be someone else’s. And the fact that some one is from Wisconsin does mean they like the Green Bay Packers (oh wait that’s another issue all together) but seriously. Being a life coach, or assisting someone with their life doesn’t mean you can control it (YES DAVIS I said that) because fact is people are gonna do what THEY want to do and they may come to that place where you wanted them to be, but they had to FIGURE IT OUT for themselves.

So here is my advice to folks in the next coming months;

1. Pacey will show up here, probably just as much as Davis may or may not (that is still to be determined)

2. If you can’t handle it then stop reading, it won’t hurt my feelings.

3. This space will be funny, enlightening, deep, and will always leave you with a smile (even when it’s sad)

4. I will swear (A LOT)

5. Just be respectful, because respecting others means you respect yourself.

6. If you want a great reference about people, how to deal with people, how to be successful within so many different areas of dealing and assisting then here is where you want to  be.

If we can all remember those things, I think this will be just fine. I want to get to that place where EVERYONE thinks I should be, but I have to get there on my own, I can’t get there any faster that I am supposed to. So as my mom says if you can’t take the HEAT then get out of the KITCHEN. Because its gonna be a billon degrees up in here. I will get through it when I get through it but I won’t bury these feelings like I did the last. Your feelings for a person can supersede how they treated you, because the mind has a way of protecting you by nature only allowing you to remember the really great things to protect your heart. I am starting to remember the bad, but its my inquisitive mind that needs to understand and assign a reason to it. And that is with everything I do in my life. WHY is it this way and taking the time to understand the WHY. Its my process.

So welcome to a place where we are honest, open, funny and up front. Where we are going to learn how to manage our lives so that we can manage the lives of others and keep our livelihood safe. The Distant Assistant isn’t just about being a personal assistant, its about assisting (insert whatever here) and making it better, bold and beautiful. Supporting yourself and others. Stepping back and observing all to be able to understand the finite. To be the very best.

 

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