I recently attended a conference and part of that conference was a pre-conference the day before. It was full of amazing African American women. When I signed up for it I did so with expectations of uniting with women that looked like me. I was excited!!
However, the conference started and we were instructed to go around the room and introduce ourselves. OH LORD! I thought. I’m an introvert and the very last thing I want to do was stand in front of a room full of women introducing myself.. and certainly not with a microphone!!! As the mic went around the room, these fabulous women introduced themselves as doctor this, director that, Vice President such and such. I thought, “what am I doing in this room of all these accomplished successful women!” The old insecure me tried to burst in the room like “HEY I’M HERE! Let’s feel bad about ourself.” I immediately recognized it and told her buh-bye.
The first portion of the session got underway and I was completely bored. I mean to the point of being ready to walk out! But I owed it to myself and my company to stay.
The second portion of the session was great. Mainly because the next presenter presented in a way that spoke to the everyday woman. Take care of yourself, you don’t owe anyone anything, you can do everything YOU desire! I thought YES!!!
The next segment was a group session. There were a series of questions we were asked for a study that was being conducted. The questions that stuck out for me were “what thing (s) at work make you feel successful” and “what personally makes you feel successful”. My answers were simple. At work it’s when my “babies” or student aides tell me their struggles and I talk to them from the heart, encourage them, hug them, or wipe away their tears. Then once the dust settles they come to me and say “Tara I did it! I got an A” or “I passed” or “simply thank you for listening”. In my personal life, I explained how it’s similar. My kids are happy and healthy. They say “mom you were mean while we were little but I see why. You wouldn’t believe the stories I hear my friends say about how they were treated” or the best, I mean the absolute best is simply when they hug me and say I love you.
You see success doesn’t mean degrees, lavish living etc, it’s what makes you smile, what makes you feel good. For me it’s relationships. If I’ve helped someone feel better whether it’s my birth babies, my pseudo babies, coworkers, family, friends or some stranger on the street, I’m successful. Mission accomplished.
So, ladies and gents, what makes you feel like you’ve succeeded? Please write me and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
Until then... say cheese!!!