My blog is called "I Woke up for This" because I have fought my way back for a second chance at life.
After a very unsexy spontaneous perforation in 2016, I have quite literally woken up for every choice I have made since.
Now, I didn't know it would involve living through a global pandemic, but the funny thing about second chances is that you still don't get to call ALL the shots.
You do, however, get more of a say than ever I realized.
We get a say in what we choose to do, and what we don't.
How we choose to react to things, how we make plans (or don't) and, who we choose to spend our time with.
Life doesn't just happen to us. We happen to it simultaneously.
Still, there are so many constructs that would have us believe otherwise.
When I was young I spent a lot of time worrying about these constructs and all of the expectations surrounding them. I carefully crafted my image well within the lines of conformity. I tried to figure out all of "the rules" so that I could play by them. I wanted to get so good at the rules that I could minimize all possible margins for error.
How do I get an A+ every time?
How can I be sure that others will like me?
What clothes should I be wearing? what bag should I be carrying?
How can I save early enough so I might never encounter debt?
How might I learn from others' mistakes so I don't replicate them.
I wonder now how many hours a day I spent in this unconscious wasteland of worry. It was as if by trying to learn the rules of the game, I forgot to play at all.
Blend in so well that nobody could notice me standing out...
I imagine you have done this too at some point... What form did it take for you?
Did you go to the school your parents wanted you to instead of the one you dreamed of? Did you pursue the career that others would respect before you knew what you even enjoyed?
How about bite your tongue on your real opinion amongst friends because it wasn't worth finding out how they would react when they realized you disagreed?
Disagreeableness has never had a good reputation...but people have always and will always have their own opinions.
What if we spent as much time seeking our own endorsement as we do others.
What might emerge?More Creativity? innovation? bold choices? new trends?
It's one thing to wonder and quite another to find out.
When I woke up on June 12th 2016 I had almost a month to imagine what life could look like for me if I got to walk out of Mt. Sinai.
You may not be surprised to learn that nothing I looked forward to included returning to more coloring in the lines.
So began my commitment to WTFN (Why the f*ck not!)--The response I used to confront hesitation and tackle new and scary things in real time...
What's the worst thing that can happen Stace I would say? This won't kill you!
Fast forward four years and I have WTFN'ed my way into a underplanned tattoo, a serious relationship, and into launching my business full time..... and I still use it everyday.
It helps me to stop choosing safe and start choosing happy.
Now, I bring this to my work with my clients.
Curious how? Here are some of the most common questions I get on the topics of life, career, and love.
It isn't rocket science but I think it works.
1. Should I Send The Message?
That CEO I admire is looking to add to their team! It's my dream role and I know I have a lot to offer....should I just submit online? NO! be bold, be brave and send that LinkedIn message because WTFN! Worst case, your message is ignored. Best, case...you make a powerful and unique connection that leads you down a path toward your next career opportunity.
Lesson: Always stick your neck out there.
2. Is it "too soon" to say I love you?
There are so many implied rules about waiting to call, not texting when you want to for fear of looking over eager, keeping your replies safe and non-comittal. But why? If the moment strikes you..and you are feeling all the hearts WTFN! ...worst case, you scare them away and it wasn't your person, best case they already had the same vibe going you did and they have never been more excited you threw the rules out the window and communicated with wild abandon.
Lesson: Trust Your Instincts
3. I was at a networking event and I wasn't sure how to ask for an introduction to the investor they know...should I have done it?
There are plenty of "one and only chance" moments. Don't miss your shot. Clearly share your goals and the ways that people can be helpful to you in getting there. Would't you want to do the same for them? Don't expect people to read your mind. (Worst case scenario..they say no? Best case...they make an intro and you take it from there).
Lesson: Ask for What you Want
4. I went to college for fine art and I want to pivot into UX/UI...is it too late?
It's never to late to do what you are called to do and choosing one path and deciding you want to do something else doesn't mean you never knew what you wanted...it could simply mean you have changed and you have changed your mind. Embracing the right to shift, change and grow at any point in our journey serves us and the sooner we embrace our goals, the sooner we can set out to build a practical strategy to fill skill gaps, acquire the necessary credentials, and get the needed experience to do it. (Wost case scenario its really hard to make the shift and you spend time unemployed/navigage financial hardship, best case scenario you eventually land a role that feels totally aligned with your passion).
Lesson: You can always change your mind
5. I have the best idea...I want to move to the beach and work remotely! Can I talk to my partner about it?
We don't have to have every detail hammered out before we socialize our ideas. Sometimes sharing the basics with transparency allows us to gather real time data and feedback that could help us improve our plan. No need to keep everything buried inside. Worst case scenario: partner shoots the idea down immediately, best case scenario, partner shares additional ideas, asks meaningful questions or collaborates on possible plans...either way..you don't die and you can figure out next steps without wasting unnecessary time in worry state.)
Lesson: Run with Half Baked Ideas
6. I proposed a big idea in staff meeting and there were crickets. Should I still bring ideas to light at work?
Now, I am not saying you should be relentless at every meeting but well timed contributions that showcase your energy, preparedness and team centered commitment to success requires bouncing back from a no. Just because an idea didn't land once, doesn't mean future ideas wont be a showstopper. (Worst case scenario, you get crickets everytime hereafter and you use it as data that there may be alignment missing, best case scenario one of your future contributions sticks and you feel awesome about showing up committed every time.
Lesson: Eat No For Breakfast (Like VP Kamala Harris)
7. I have been so deflated in quarantine...every day feels the same...is it weird that I have started showering like it's a dance party just to get myself going?
Getting up is a big deal. Starting your day is a big deal. Lighing a candle over dinner and pretending you are at a cafe in pairs is okay! The little things are big things. AND we will remember making them special . Worst case scenario someone else doesn't see our little things as big things....best case scenario...we do anyway! So many people wait their whole lives to talk about the classic milestones they miss the opportunity to create so many other special ones.
Lesson: Celebrate the little things like the big things
Next time you are stuck in that all too familiar place of self doubt, take a moment to ask yourself...what's the worst that can happen? Will it kill me? If the answer is no, then chances are good you might want to consider a good ol WTFN.
They might want to hire you. They might love you back. They might introduce you to the investor of your dreams. You might feel fulfilled. You might have needed to share every idea to get to the best one. You might have a lot of fun along the way.
There are so many what if''s...it's worth renting the idea that your what if could end the way you want it to.