Throwback Thursday: Strike a Pose

We talked a lot on Tuesday about Power Posing and I hope it got you thinking as much as it got me thinking.

This week I’ve seen people responding differently to what my non-verbal cues are saying. As a result, I’ve found myself more aware of everyone else’s weak shrunken bodies or confident upright gorilla-statures. I can smell that confidence from a mile away and my oh my isn’t. it. sexy.

Consciously standing tall and sitting upright to convince others what to think of me has caused me to reflect on what I think about myself.

I’ve always had a certain showmanship about me and am not afraid of being the center of attention. I don’t mind taking the lead, I don’t mind making a public fool of myself and as an athlete I grew to crave the spotlight. 

That person I just described is me when I’m in a large crowd, in an anonymous setting or when it really counts for making an impression.

When things get a little more personal, that picture can change… for the worse.

Let’s share a few experiences from my youth:

  • I wrote notes to teachers and emails to my parents rather than having real conversations.
  • My boyfriend from 5th to 6th grade and I only talked on AIM while at school I’d have my FRIENDS pass notes to him.
  • I couldn’t order my own food at a restaurant
  • Through my adult years, I still had anxiety ordering food at a drive-thru window.
  • I couldn’t find the courage to speak up for myself, approach new people or make new friends until they invited me to the conversation.

What it was about these closer interactions that scared me is still a mystery and what continues to give me anxiety about personal interactions remains unanswered.

Just this past Monday I led a difficult conversation at the office in the morning, then that same evening I found myself introverted and timid walking into an Apple store for a Genius Bar appointment about my iPhone camera not working. (to which Dan shakes his head and helps me through it, but can’t see what I’m so worried about)

What causes me to shine in the difficult situation and crumble in the ordinary everyday conversation? Ego I suppose.

Using the power of positive self-reinforcement through body language and visualization will really help me overcome these fears in my personal life while allowing improvement for the proud, confident and composed Jessi many see everyday.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a little girl who’s always had a little swagger in her walk and knew the right time to turn up the lights and let ’em shine.

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TED Tuesday: The Power of Grit

Welcome back to the work week! I hope everyone’s weekend was relaxing and re-energizing.

The topic of today’s TED Talk is Grit. What is it?

Grit is “passion and perseverance”. Grit is continually setting goals for yourself, being self motivated, having stamina through long term goals and sticking to your future.

Talent doesn’t make you gritty, wealth doesn’t make you gritty, education doesn’t make you gritty.

What does?

Hard work, courage, confidence and trust in yourself.

I’m fortunate to have parents who instilled the idea of grit into my mind at a young age. They were entrepreneurs who worked harder than anyone I know to make a future for our family. That mindset has guided me through life and has yet to fail me.

In school I wasn’t always the most intelligent of my class but worked hard to get exceptional grades. In my final four years of softball I was challenged mentally more than I’ve ever been in my life and came out of it with a hard shell and a resilience that can’t be taught. In my current job I wasn’t ready for the pressure that would come my way, but through focus, stamina and my can’t-fail attitude I’m happier than ever.

The man I have fallen in love with has grit. When he was diagnosed with Cancer in 2008 after he’d moved to Portland he found the strength within himself to not give up, to see himself through his treatments and to continue his life as if nothing had happened. I’m proud of him and it proves his ability to face any future adversity that may come our way.

Enough about me, observe the confidence of Angela Lee Duckworth in today’s TED talk. She’s captivating, motivating and hopefully she can encourage you to find the grit somewhere deep within yourself. 

TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

heart JE

TED Tuesday: 30 is Not the New 20

Twenties – the “developmental sweet spot”.

Turning 25.5 last week + Brooke’s link to a great TED Talk = Hello Jessi, you’re growing up.

In today’s TED Talk share, clinical psychologist Meg Jay draws from the memories and cases of her patients who were shuffling through their twenties without aim, because they didn’t feel like they had to. It’s become a social norm to extend our youth through our twenties, travel while we’re young, accept not having a ‘real job’ yet and dating to just ‘experiment’ while waiting to find the one.

There are a cited 50 million other 20-somethings living in the United States (hey bloggers!) who are going along this ride at the same time as me, at the same time as you or learning all of the same things you yourself learned when you were in your twenties if you’re already out of them. My twenties so far for me have been where I’ve established myself as a contributing member of society, where my career has blossomed, where my personality has changed, where my priorities are set toward building my future, where I’d rather have a handful of quality friendships than pages of Facebook friends.

I love who I’ve become in the first half, and can’t wait to fulfill the vision of myself I’ve always had.

Growing up when I daydreamed about the woman I would become, the perfect version of myself was a tall, confident beauty in her late twenties. She had her life figured out, she was happily in love and was paving a career path that would set her up for her professional prowess. She spoke with confidence, walked with grace and aimed to never hurt another’s feelings. And I still like the sound of that.

Watch this video and make your own pledge to claim your 20’s, or 30’s, 40’s, 50’s – just claim you!

TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

heart JE

Under The Bridge

When I was in high school and finally old enough to drive, I remember playing two different songs on my drive home after softball games depending on the outcome.

I had either my “Winning song” or my “Losing song” to look forward to and can’t honestly tell you which one I enjoyed more. I know I loved winning, but the losing song is arguably my all-time favorite and always gently lifted my spirits and brought me back from the ashes.

The reason I’m telling you this is that yesterday when I got in my car to head for home at 8pm, I felt like I’d just lost a big game.

The first three days of the month are a crazy time for my team and this was especially hectic with two new teammates who are still learning the ropes from me, who is still trying to find the ropes to toss them a line. I spent 14 hours at my desk and did my best to teach, educate, encourage and demonstrate – but found myself running out of time to do my own work which as you can imagine would cause stress for anyone.

Listen – I didn’t even have time to even eat the lunch I’d packed. Where on earth is it okay for there not to be time for lunch?

The past two days I’ve been at the mercy of this work schedule and have brought back home an un-opened gym bag for both of them. Spending dawn to dusk at my desk (6am-8pm) has really put me down in the dumps and I’m looking forward to this weekend already. One more day of this crazy schedule, then back to the normal flow – but at least I’m in the clear until the start of May to be expected to put in all the hours it takes to get the job done.

All it took yesterday on the drive home was to crank on my losing song. It cleared my mind of worries and gently lifted me off the ground to prepare for a new day.

Under The Bridge

Fun Fact: at 0:43 you’ll see the Portland skyline!

Wish me luck today!

heart JE

When Opportunity Knocks

We’ve all faced challenges in our lives.

Some challenges haunt you, some challenges you welcome with wild ambition and some push you past a point you’ve never explored and didn’t expect to reach toward until you were the older, more poised and confident version of yourself.

All of these challenges, successes and failures, have shaped the exact person who stares back at you in the mirror each morning.

Is this an impossible climb or a rush of adrenaline?

I’d like to think that I’ve climbed some pretty big mountains in my past and each time that I have it’s given me strength and energy to climb the next with confidence and purpose.

In my life I’ve been doubted, I’ve been envied, I’ve been turned down, I’ve been encouraged, I’ve been betrayed, I’ve been loved, I’ve been fooled, I’ve been trusted.

Memories of triumphant moments give me hope and strength, but the scars left in the wake of my failures are what nightmares are made of.

In the past few days I’ve been digesting some news coming up on the horizon in my career that has tested every emotion in my body. Fear, excitement, giggles, tears, headaches, ambition, acceptance, courage, defeat, desire. Even more than last week, I feel like my world has been turned upside-down.

I feel empowered yet inadequate.

I feel opportunity through ambiguity.

I feel a tremendous weight on my shoulders.

I feel enveloped in support.

I feel ready, hungry, eager.

This is what I’ve worked toward and this is what I’ve earned.

(via)

❤ JE

My 25th Year

Today, November 16th is my 25th Birthday. A quarter of a century old and perfectly placed into my mid-twenties.

^ Here’s the photo my sister posted on my Facebook last year ^

^ And here’s my 24.5 Birthday! ^

I was born in the early hours of the morning on a Monday in 1987. One of my favorite traditions each year is being woken up by a phone call from my mom and dad at 3:10 in the morning to hear their sweet voices singing me Happy Birthday. Sometimes they even included banging pots and pans in the background.

My birthday is always an incredibly special day and this year will be no different. Things I’m seriously looking forward to are:

  • A week day off from work.
  • A serious sweat session from 6:15-7:15 in the morning.
  • A manicure.
  • A 90 minute massage from Miracle-worker Maggie.
  • A mom-daughter coffee date in the afternoon.
  • Family Dinner at Montage (+ Dan).
  • Birthday cake and presents that my mom and dad weren’t supposed to get me because they helped me for my summer Europe trip.
  • Watching Bailey eat cupcakes!

This will be a fun-filled extended weekend as I’m taking today through November 26th off from work for the holiday, my mom’s birthday (the 18th!) and while my Brother is in town.

This week I asked my mom a very important question to start out on the right foot for my 25th year.

Q: What advice would you give your 25 year old self?

A: That’s a hard one… At 25 I’d encourage myself to become what I dreamed for myself.

Knowing what I know now, I’d tell myself to stop worrying and judging myself and be kind to myself.

Seriously great advice.

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes today – I sure do feel special!

❤ JE