I recently attended an event in Toronto, dedicated to young individuals who have undergone failures throughout their career but have bounced back and continue to fight any obstacle along the way. The hosts Paula Reid, and Anne Phitsanoukanh organized an evening full of inspirational speakers who, personally, left me thinking about how I can turn my failures into successes.
Shut up, Nobody Cares took place at the Gladstone Hotel on Thursday evening. The title was enough encouragement for me to attend the event because I wanted to understand the meaning behind the podcast. The definition of Shut Up, Nobody Cares revolves around this idea of not being afraid to admit when you make a mistake or have fallen on your face because realistically, nobody cares. Continue to work and succeed without the pressure to be perfect. Your mistakes lead you towards bigger and better opportunities, and by worrying about how many failures you have experienced, then you will never be able to move from those mishaps.
One speaker that really stood out to me was an individual who taught a mini physics lesson on the speed of light. At first, I was completely lost and honestly, uninterested in the topic, but this guy amazed me with how he tied in the theme of, Shut Up, Nobody Cares. After explaining the background on the speed of light, he concluded by pointing out the mistakes and failures that experts experienced when trying to discover the truth of the universe. He says, “Life is full of mistakes and setbacks, but our lives are the same. They make us who we are and we wouldn’t be here without them” this line made me realize the possibilities that are available and that there is no end goal. As young entrepreneurs working towards a career we may have always considered being successful as owning my own company. This speaker provides motivation to always keep going no matter what stage of my success I am at.
The night continued with plenty of individuals who shared their success stories and tips on how they overcame the tragedy of letting fear ruin their chances of success. The one thing I took away from this event was that failure is inevitable, but you should not allow your fear to take away your hope.
After speaking with Paula on why she decided to take Shut Up, Nobody Cares into a public space, she indicated that a lot of podcasts take place in the United States and she wanted to bring that aroma of positivity and encouragement to Toronto.
The event was a complete hit, and I was in awe with everyone’s stories, because they were real and unexpected. I say unexpected because every speaker contributed something different and unique that at least, made me feel like my story is not finished just yet.
School is back, and before you know it the first test is upon us, then midterms, more tests and finals. It can become quickly overwhelming as we try to keep up with class assignments, group projects and prepare for each exam in each class. When studying we have to take into account that we all learn differently. Some of us learn better visually or via auditory. Below I gathered 7 study tips for both types that will help you stay on track this school year.
It’s important to plan out how you will study for the semester. Look at all your course outlines and figure out what is due first and what you will have more difficulty with and plan accordingly to not fall behind. You can knock out the easier tasks first, then allot more time to work that will take more time or that is more difficult. Another good thing is to have a planner and or a calendar to keep track of due dates, times, appointments and will also help you set aside study time.
When you do set time aside to study, it’s a good idea to take a break every 30-45 minutes. Just a small break of 10 minutes to get fresh air or a coffee can help you stay focused and complete more work than going straight for more than 45 minutes.
Write it Out
This is for my visual learners; after class when everything is still fresh in your mind you can try to re-write your notes on a new page. This will help you fill in the blanks of what you might have missed while note taking and also help you remember what you learned in class.
It’s a good idea to quiz yourself on what you’re studying, this way you can figure out what areas you need to focus more on. You can either write out your answers or say them out loud while recording yourself.
Enter the Discussion
This if more so for in class and for my auditory learners, when you are active in the classroom discussion this will not only help you clarify and understand the concepts being discussed, but also help you remember it.
Having a study partner can help make sure that you get the work done. You have someone to hold you accountable and also you can help each other in areas of difficulty. Depending on how you study, you can either have discussions on what was taught or chapters or quiz each other.
It is said that studying before bed can help us memorize. Just don’t bring your notebooks, tablets, laptops or textbooks in the bed. Doing work or using electronics in bed can ruin your sleep pattern. Getting enough rest is also important for studying.
What type of learner are you? What has been the best way for you to study? If you haven’t locked down your study pattern, I say to try different ways until you find something that works for you.
So, you landed your dream job and now you have no idea what to wear? We have all been there, rummaging through your drawers and throwing all your clothes on to the bed hoping to find the perfect outfit. Take a deep breath because destroying your closet will not help. The first day of work is a lot like the first day of school, you want to give a great first impression since you will be seeing these people every day. Although figuring out what to wear may be overwhelming, and people will judge you no matter what, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Looking confident and comfortable is a key aspect to killing it on your first day on the job. Which is why I have listed the Dos and Donts from my personal experiences for your first day on the job.
Dress for YOUR position
When I started my internship at the beginning of summer I was extremely nervous about not fitting in and was not sure what was the appropriate style for this work environment. I dressed professionally with dress pants, a blouse and heels – this was my first time working in a professional setting, and I wanted to look the part, but I did not consider what part I played in this position. What I mean by this is, when I got hired to be an intern, I was 20 – years old, also known as the youngest employee in the company. I did not have to come in wearing pencil skirts and button ups, but I also needed to dress appropriately.
Do take into consideration that every company is different. Working at a branding company that atmosphere was loud and full of creativity and I felt more comfortable dressing professional but chic. Research the company and the people there, to grasp a better understanding about the working environment before you start your first day.
Bring a change of shoes
At my previous part time job as a sales associate for a clothing store I wore heels during my shift and regretted immediately once I sat in my car and had to drive home in pain. I am a petite woman so, wearing heels gave me the lift of confidence while in a work setting, but I would forgetfully not bring a change of comfortable shoes for before and after my shift begun. Lucky, my internship now, requires me to sit at a desk most of the day writing on my computer, which is why I can wear heels to work without getting sore feet, but comfort is important. You want your employers to know you are comfortable where you are and can adjust, you never know what errand or event you have to run off to at work. Bring an extra pair of runners and change into your work shoes before and after work, this is also a good idea if the weather is terrible and you do not want to dirty the office floors.
Don’t try too hard
Remember that the only person you should be impressing is yourself. Forget about the big name executives and clients and wear what makes you feel like a bad ass queen. Do not over do it by layering on the makeup and over spraying your perfume to make a statement. You want to be remembered for your work, not how you look, because you are worth so much more than your appearance.
I spent every day at work worried that I was being judged and criticized when all I wanted was to fit in. Turns out, I was never being judged on how I looked, but on what I can do, and it was not until the internship offered me a job that I realized it was my confidence in my work that helped me succeed. You do not have to wait until someone tells you, you are doing a good job to believe it, if you walk in and show that you are capable of succeeding people will believe it too.
Most of us have deadlines to worry about and if you are like me, you sometimes wait until the last minute to do whatever it is you were assigned. Well, I am here to tell you to stop delaying your responsibilities and plan ahead. Now, I know what you are thinking, why make your day even longer when you can deal with it at another time – trust me I have given myself the same pep talk multiple times, and you know where it has got me? Crying on my bedroom floor at 2 am. I always thought I was incapable of multitasking because I would get easily stressed out and constantly worry that I would fail or disappoint people. Turns out I just never organized my time properly and because I did everything last minute I spent more time focusing on getting it done on time, instead of focusing on the actual task.
By managing your time, you will be able to get a good night rest without stressing about if you did a good enough job because you will know you contributed 100% effort. Time management does not have to be limited to work, but managing your job, family and relationships are important too.
Personally, I am stuck in this limbo of wanting to work hard now but also, drop all responsibilities and sporadically travel the world. Before summer started I was set on traveling and convinced myself that I have all the time in the world to work, and then summer started and my decision changed. I realized that not working seemed delusional because I actually needed money to leave my house. So, I got three jobs hoping I could save up enough money for future travels. I became overwhelmed and spent most of my days complaining, but it did not occur to me that prioritizing my time. For now, I am not traveling the world, but I was able to manage my jobs so that, I was eating dinner with my family, and hanging out with my friends on the weekend. This may not be the greatest example, but my point is that you do not have to sacrifice what you love in order to be successful or happy. Below, I have listed some tips to help you manage your time properly.
1. Don’t be afraid to say “no”
Taking on too much can become overwhelming and although you may want to be helpful, you should work on what you can successfully manage. Working on overdrive will drain you out and you will not only finish on time, but your mental health may also be negatively affected from stress, exhaustion or worse.
2. Start early
The earlier you start the quicker you can finish whatever you are doing and have time to spare for your personal self. Beginning early also allows you to go at your own pace and not stress about finishing on time.
3. Turn tasks into habits
Once you get in to the groove of completing tasks before the assigned deadline then the work becomes second nature to your everyday schedule. Setting up specific times or days
to get your tasks done, or even to making a point to meet up with an old friend once in a while, your mind will acknowledge this as a habit and be your mental planner.
Put away the distractions, silence your phone, close all tabs and commit to the task or responsibility without being tempted to do something else. It takes an average person 23 minutes to refocus – this is valuable time, use it.
Everyone deals with situations and handles workloads differently – work at your own pace and begin by managing your time efficiently.
MEET: Melisha Fletcher
Most people misunderstand mentoring, I certainly did. For the longest time, I thought in order to have a mentor you had to be doing something big in life, have a business, or even being famous. That is, until one of my good friends mentioned this mentorship program called, New Girl On The Block.
Finding a mentor takes time because there are things you need to take into consideration. Like, finding someone you want to be like or admire. Study the person. Get in contact with he/she. Let the relationship evolve organically and don’t check out when you feel challenged.
For about 5 years I’ve been struggling with depression or perhaps it could’ve been longer than that. But, nonetheless I didn’t notice it until 5 years ago. Depression is something that I watched my mother go through and seen that it was something she had no control over. I began to realize that there were times when I had no control over my moods as well. It was like a switch that would turn off and on depending on what I was experiencing at the time or what I was thinking about.
It is normal to experience feelings of sadness and now I understand that. I didn’t know Depression was common. In fact, one in three people will experience a major depressive episode at some stage in their lives.
Through The New Girl On The Block Mentorship program, Pauleanna taught me how to overcome my fears by learning how to love myself again. Through weekly assignments based on self-love practices and weekly check-ins that hold me accountable for my actions, I can now say that I’ve become much more intuitive and very aware about the things I want for my life. I’ve learned that saying “No” is not a selfish act.
We all know the importance of finding other women to serve as our mentors. Having someone to look up to and turn to for advice will help you get anywhere in your personal life and career. It’s not always easy to find that special someone who has the time to serve as your mentor.
Pauleanna has become a true inspiration for me in my life and I’m finally getting back to truly loving and understanding myself again. Having depression took over my life and made it harder for me to be around people. As, Karlyn Pencil says, “checking in and confronting your elephant” is the best thing you can do for yourself. “I am committed to doing the work to unleash the best within me”. Through my weekly personal assignments and my check- ins with Pauleanna it has allowed me to knock down my walls and open up more and I couldn’t have done this without the mentorship program.
MEET: Travisha Rudder
As a Capricorn at heart, crying is naturally not easy for me to do. This year I joined New Girl on The Block to help me focus on what is most important to me. But like anyone else in the world, problems and conflicts always arise. The NGOTB mentor program has helped me overcome my personal issues and focus on myself and my business. But I also struggle with depression and sometimes issues can seem to be above what is really most important to you.
The past two weeks, feelings of depression have been overwhelming me, and naturally I fell back into old habits and did nothing about it. I forgot all about my journal, and all the self-love practices NGOTB has taught me. I then started stressing about things that are out of my control like money, and the fact that I hate my living situation right now. I also sat on my ass during all of my free-time moping about what should be, instead of doing all that I can in that very moment.
As the week carried on, I did begin to uplift myself again, but talking to Pauleanna was really all I needed. She said something to me that I feel will stick with me forever. “Sometimes, all I need is a good cry, a bath, and a nap.” My whole life I have felt like it’s not okay to cry. Even though crying has many benefits like, relieving stress or simply improving your mood. Even while I was talking to Pauleanna my eyes started to water and I was telling myself, “Travisha do not cry right now!” One, because naturally I feel it’s weird to cry in front of people, and two because I wanted to listen to what she was saying because we only had 30 minutes together. But when our conversation ended, I was like why did I feel it wasn’t okay to cry? And I remembered all the times in my child hood when I would repress my feelings. I then felt a rush of sadness and I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t! I realized what I need to do is cry a little bit more often, not for sympathy but just to let out all the emotions that we tend to hold onto, that prevent the hustle of our success.
I came across a wikihow called: How to Cry and Let It All Out. I know Wikipedia is not the most reliable source for information and it does state some pretty “common sense” tips. But sometimes all you really need is for some else to reassure those common sense ideas.
I hope that this blog helps anyone who is dealing with depression, or anyone who is having a hard time dealing with all the shit we got going on in our lives. I know when I go home later tonight, I tend to have myself a good bawl.