- I didn’t start wearing make-up on a regular basis until about five years ago. I never thought it was worth the time, until I realized how amazing foundation is, and how much prettier my eyes look with color and mascara!
- I have never broken a bone (knock on wood). Although I did sprain my knee while thinking I could swing dance with a friend at her 16th birthday party.
- If I could vacation anywhere, I would go to Sitka, Alaska. It is never supposed to get below 35 degrees there and the views are breath-taking.
- I used to hunt for my Christmas presents as a kid and didn’t give up this habit until recently (okay, I’m still curious, but don’t devote the energy I used to). Tony even hid a new bicycle for me one year early on in our marriage at his parents because he knew how I was.
- There were at least two years in a row that I dressed up as a punk rocker with my good friend, Theresa, when we were younger. We put colored spray in our hair, wore funky clothes, and seriously thought we were the shit. (I’m the one on the back left in the picture below).
- I wrote a book of poetry when I was younger (never published). Many of them are so silly, but looking back, I see how good a handful of them really were.
- My husband and I got all our deposits back from wedding planning and went and got married on the beach instead. Our families were on opposite ends of the spectrum regarding religion and it wasn’t worth the battle to us to have that traditional wedding.
- I used to call myself an anti-vegetarian, but have gotten a lot better over the years (thanks to my personal chef/husband).
- 2013 and 2015 were the 2 most difficult years I have faced yet – but I survived them.
- The best compliment I ever received as a professor is a guy that emailed me after the end of the semester (and grades were submitted) to let me know how much he learned in my class and appreciated that I was someone with a higher degree that was down-to-earth and didn’t let my education go to my head.
How many times in the last week have you mentally beat yourself up? Maybe you have said you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or you will never get out of the situation you have currently found yourself, or something to that tune.
Let me tell you something, my friend, you are not alone!
There were several coincidences in the last couple weeks that sparked the idea for this post. The first of which was a conversation I had with a friend while her daughter was in the midst of her thesis defense. She had the opportunity to listen to her daughter’s defense via phone, and she and I chatted through instant messages. As I was messaging back and forth with her and hearing what was going on, it took me back to the moment of my dissertation defense. During that defense, I remember feeling an almost out-of-body experience in talking about my research. I was shocked that the thoughts and words of an impressive and smart person were coming out of my mouth. Have you ever experienced a moment where you said something or wrote something and surprisingly thought, “Damn, I really am smart!” That was my defense experience.
Colleen Georges, a faculty member at Rutgers University, and friend, shared her Tedx Rutgers talk recently, where she talked about the stories we tell ourselves and how we need to shift those thoughts to live a more positive life. For many years prior to my dissertation defense, I had such self-doubt as to my abilities and a fear that everyone would eventually figure me out. Thankfully, with the increased encouragement and motivation of my dissertation mentor, classmates, and friends and family, I was able to shift that mindset to be more positive and appreciative of my abilities. We are often our own worst critic. We are really much smarter than we often give ourselves credit.
What are some helpful thoughts, sayings, or actions individuals can take to replace the negative self-talk?
Published on LinkedIn Publisher, written by Tracy Shroyer on May 18, 2016
Accountability. It is something that many people feel they can do on their own, but the truth is that, a majority of the time, you need some external form of support. When I was working on my dissertation, I found the process to be an emotional roller coaster. On top of life happening around me, I was doing my best to dedicate myself to researching and writing my dissertation.
There was a period of time when I thought I would not be able to make the finish line.
I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and unable to think straight was where I took up residence.
That was, until a classmate of mine, Sandy, and I talked. We talked through the struggles I was facing as well as opportunities I had to help get me out of that funk and get focused again. She advised that she would be my accountability partner, and we agreed upon how that relationship would work. For an unknown period of days, I would focus on doing something related to my research for a minimum of 15 minutes each day. It could be writing, editing, or researching, but I had to spend that minimum amount of time being focused on dissertation-related work. At the end of each day, I would e-mail Sandy and let her know what I did during my 15 minutes that day, as well as what I was planning to do the next day.
I admit that the first week was difficult, as I was feeling at the bottom of that roller coaster, exhausted and frustrated, filled with self-doubt about my abilities to do what I needed to do.
During that first week, those 15-minutes each day was a bit of a struggle.
As I got into the process of being held accountable, and planning ahead, my 15 minutes turned into 30 minutes, and then an hour or longer. Yes, there were still some days where 15 minutes was the maximum due to other obligations (e.g., my full-time job). What I noticed though is that I was able to get back on track and get interested in my work again.
During that few months that Sandy accepted my daily e-mails, there were two occasions where I did nothing and failed to send my evening update. I don’t remember why I missed those two days, but I know I didn’t send those e-mails on purpose. I was worried because I had not kept my end of the bargain. I felt like I was not only disappointing myself, but also my accountability partner. She was great and called me out on it, but in a delicate way to ask what was going on and how she could help.
Do you need a formal accountability partner set-up all the time? No. Throughout my life, the times when I went looking for an accountability partner, through a friend, co-worker, or life/career coach, was when I needed support, encouragement, and a bit of a kick in the butt to get moving. I needed to hear what I may not have wanted to hear, and for someone to challenge me to do what I knew I could do, but some fear was holding me back from doing it. In each of those instances, I learned something about myself and made significant strides in my life.
When have you secured an accountability partner? What was the outcome?
Published on LinkedIn Publisher by Tracy Shroyer on April 28, 2106
Tomorrow evening the #leadwithgiants community will be chatting about success and happiness. I read an article almost a year ago that compared success and happiness to the chicken and the egg question.
My personal feeling is that you need happiness to breed success. While success can bring happiness, it will be difficult to find and maintain unless you already have a good foundation of positivity.
What are your thoughts?
For many years, I have heard over and again that writing down your goals helps to solidify them and keeps you more accountable. Earlier this year, I wrote down what I was committed to doing in 2013, but I admit to not having done a good job at working towards them – maybe in part because I did not print and keep them in sight as a reminder! I took some time this weekend to revise them and am posting them here and printing a few copies to post/keep around me. Including them in this blog post will allow you to keep me accountable as well!
- Complete my Ph.D. program
Status: Completed in January, 2013 and celebrated at graduation in Long Beach in March!
- Read 10 books
Status: Read 2 books and started #3 this week!
- Lay out and get some sun this summer
Status: Maybe I can take those books out on the deck to enjoy? I am taking a week off work in July, and for the first time I will not need to be worried about heavy writing and research for my dissertation!
- Learn how to use the new camera
- Run a half-marathon
Status: Looked at a few training plans, added 10/20 to my calendar for Columbus Half Marathon. Need to register soon, decide and begin training plan by the end of June.
- Write and submit an article for publishing consideration
Status: Bought 2 books about publishing and began looking through those (not counting them in my book count though since I’m not reading these from front to back). Sent a post out of Twitter to see if there are any thoughts from my PhD friends regarding which journals may be good. Need to begin searching on journals and identifying topics and submission time frames. Also need to schedule time for writing. Need to look at databases available to alumni on Capella site
- Apply for additional adjunct teaching positions
Status: Applied for 2 on-line adjunct business professor positions in May and 2 more already this month! E-mailed Columbus State inquiring on additional courses I could prepare to teach, and to add me back to the fall teaching roster (I had taken time off this year to ensure I finished my PhD program)
- Spend more time with family and friends
Status: This is something that has been lacking over the years due to all of the studying and work towards those milestones! I plan to attend more family functions, and work towards spending more time with friends and family moving forward.
Please feel free to ask me about how I am doing on any particular item throughout the remainder of the year. As I worked through my dissertation the last few years, I was often more motivated to get to the finish line when others asked about my progress. As a friend of mine recently posted her fitness goals to get assistance with accountability, and I am hoping to do the same with this blog post!