“You Is Kind, You Is Smart…”

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and “You Is important.”  Words to live by.  Everyone needs encouragement. We all wish we had someone like Aibileen in our life as in “The Help” to point out our qualities. You may not have been given much encouragement or confidence growing up but there are ways you can find it in yourself.  Maybe you were told you needed to excel in sports, or taught to compete with your siblings or maybe even learned how to compete with yourself.  Maybe the bar was always too high for you to reach and you thought the only way to the get ahead was to go around and not straight to the top.  This may have shaped how you handled your career choices over the years as well.  But when you can’t believe in yourself, don’t necessarily think someone else will have an easy time believing in you.

When your career is careening out of control and you need some confidence to build up your self-esteem, remember this little phrase and see if it carries you even a few steps in the right direction.

“You Is Kind”  … Maybe your child hood was a little rough and you were picked on for being too sensitive.  So maybe you don’t always volunteer at the homeless shelter the way you would like or adopt the first stray dog or cat you see on the street.  You don’t have to be Mother Theresa or St. Francis of Assisi to be kind. The first question you need to ask yourself is “Are you kind to yourself?”  If the answer is “not really” then you know where you need to start.  Being kind to others may come easy to you or not, but the real challenge is learning how to be kind to yourself.  I don’t mean indulging your habits with food, drink, drugs or shopping no matter how tempting that may sound.  I mean being kind to you as a loving, caring mother or father would to its child.  Nurturing yourself, being kind and loving to who you are and what you believe is the first step in being loving and kind to others.  If you can’t love yourself, who else will?  Loving yourself offers you the confidence you need to take on any challenge whether that be finding a new job, changing an old one or just knowing which career path is right for you.

“You Is Smart”  … Well you are! You may not have scored top of your SAT’s or won the school spelling bee each year but you have what it takes to get ahead, survive and make it through this crazy world.  Smart does not always mean intellectual intelligence.  You may have a strong “emotional” intelligence and therefore can relate to others on many levels.  Or, you may be a creative thinker one who can easily put complex concepts together and visualize an idea easily.  Or, you may be an analyzer and readily able to research, think and process ideas and come up with conclusions to difficult problems. You may excel in multi-tasking and able to juggle many things well at one time.  Whatever your style of intelligence, knowing how you process information and finding jobs that encourage that way of thinking and working will help you not only excel in your career but thrive in it as well.

“You Is Important”  … Knowing what you want and what you believe in matters, means you can give yourself the credit you need when you are too busy trying to find acknowledgment from others.  Being important doesn’t mean you need to reach for celebrity status.  It means you value yourself and all that you do and that you know you are working towards a meaningful and important goal.  Your career is important whether you are a producer, writer, actor, or administrator.  Giving yourself meaning in what you do and how well you do it means you are honoring yourself and your talents in the most important way possible.  It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, your career is defined by how well you tackle the task at hand and your ability to rise above the chaos and make even the most menial job an important one.

We all need a little Aibileen, but you can and should learn to be your own cheering committee when your career needs a little boost.  Learning to pat yourself on the back and encourage your efforts no matter how small, keeps you in the moment and taking care of your most important asset, you.

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