“Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.”
– Alan Watts
“Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.”
– Alan Watts
A person’s tongue can give you the taste of his heart.
7 Tips to Maintain Class and Control Through Any Life Challenge
7 Tips to Maintain Class and Control Through Any Life Challenge
Sherrie Campbell, PhD
We all have moments where we don’t love how we responded to a situation or with how we acted. When you are grounded in who you are, you have a certain essence where people can feel that not much can shake you. To be elegant essentially means that you know who you are and are grounded and comfortable in that person. Many of us are emotionally out of control, lacking presence of mind, allowing life to take us on an emotional roller coaster where we feel crazy and at the mercy of our life situations, people, and emotions.
7 Steps to the Development of Your Inner Elegance:
1. Mindfulness: In order to find and express your inner elegance, you first have to envision yourself as an elegant person. To start this change, you have to begin thinking of yourself in the way in which you wish to be perceived. Once you start this thought process, everything else will fall into place.
2. Grace: When you think about displaying an inner elegance, gracefulness is one of qualities to express this. When you are graceful you move slowly, have a positive but quiet confidence about your aura and you think and speak with poise, charm, dignity, and beauty. You are deliberate in who you are without being pushy.
3. Self Control: Do not have tantrums or play emotional games. You do not need to manipulate to get what you want. Being in control and owning who you are is what draws love and opportunities to you. When you show you have self control and are emotionally intelligent, you are viewed as smart, and smart is sexy.
4. Classy-Sexy Style: An elegant woman does not show all her assets. Dress in a way that provides some sex appeal by provoking curiosity and professionalism. Your style should exude sophistication. Do not overtly use your appearance to be noticed. Become more by being less. Elegance is not conservative. It is refined, sexy and tasteful.
5. Inventive: Use your intelligence and be dynamic in your speech, neatness, and in your complicated simplicity. As a woman, use all the intricacies of your personality. You are clever, which brings out your charm, intelligence, innocence and cuteness.
6. Be Clear: Do be not afraid to be yourself. Give little thought to what others think of you. A big ego is not part of your plan and nor do you need to court attention and this is exactly why you will get it. When you are clear about whom you are, your inner elegance shines through. Demonstrate you have high standards and will not accept less than the treatment you deserve.
7. Self-Sufficient: Do not expect anyone to take care of you emotionally, physically, or financially. You must have the confidence, courage, and motivation to be self-sufficient. To truly possess this quality and not have it be an act, you have to walk your talk. You have to be passionate about your life, your independence, and also your ability to love. When you embody this you can give yourself to relationships without losing your own ground, your passion for your life and the achievement of your dreams. You come first and everyone else comes second. You know that if you love yourself, you can better love others.
As you focus on yourself, you learn to love yourself. When you love yourself you become that elegant, confident, graceful, desirable woman who commands the right kind of attention and praise. Why? Because people can feel you have it together inside and out.
Sherapy Advice: Handle your emotions like a business, rather than like a little girl who needs nurturing and reassurance.
About the Author:
Dr. Sherrie Campbell is the author of Loving Yourself, and a licensed Psychologist with more than nineteen years of clinical training and experience. Receive free insights from Sherrie and to be involved in her Facebook community of others looking to improve their relationship. For more information visit http://www.sherriecampbellphd.com.
7 Steps to Inner Fulfillment
7 Steps to Inner Fulfillment
Sherrie Campbell, PhD
Many women feel overworked and under-appreciated. The simple life doesn’t exist for us as we enter the work force, raise our children, commit to our partners and make our own way. However, this doesn’t have to be experienced as exhausting or somehow unfair. Embrace all of this opportunity It is amazing how much stronger and capable we are then we ever knew. Look at the fact that no matter what struggles we come across, we keep going, because we have the will and strength to overcome it all. All of our greatest accomplishments, we once thought we may never achieve, we have because we kept on pushing through each challenge we faced. No matter what has felt beyond our control, nothing has ever made us less. Our resilience makes us more fulfilled and self-trusting.
7 Steps to Inner Fulfillment:
1. Self-loving: Fulfilled women do not count on others for their worth or self-satisfaction. They love themselves first, are able to self-soothe when life gets hard and continue to operate with a sense of composure. Life can be painful and challenging but because they are fulfilled and accept who they are flaws and all, they are able to tap into their own inner strength and continue forward with an attitude of faith that all things will work out in their favor.
2. Independent: Powerful women are driven, confident and in control of their emotions. They are not needy or desperate and have an “I don’t care” attitude because they put themselves first in a healthy way. They do not depend upon others for their resources, are passionate about their lives and live out their defined purpose with commitment and fortitude, not letting outside influences take them away from what drives them deep within their soul. Fulfilled women have the confidence to go for it. They are not afraid of failure. They are not afraid of success. They are not afraid of the results of their efforts. Fulfillment allows them to take joy in the journey.
3. Discerning: Powerful women are selective about the company they keep. They are aware that negativity is contagious and drama producing, and therefore, are careful about who they spend their time with. They are committed to being in mutually beneficial relationships, love to give but can also receive and release those who do not have their best interest at heart.
4. Classy: Authentically happy women understand the concept of less is more. They know that intelligence, beauty, style and posture are their ways to communicate their worth. The take good care to be well-spoken, elegant, graceful, flirtatious and playful. When powerful women are present, their understated qualities are what make them stand out and shine. Confidence doesn’t need for attention, it draws attention.
5. Nurturing: Women who are internally fulfilled do whatever it takes to get up in the morning to feed and nurture their children, their partner, their career, their passions, and most importantly themselves. No matter the challenges in their lives they continue to love and nurture those who depend upon them. This is essential to them, as mothering, whether they have children or not, is a part of who they are at their core.
6. Resilient: Genuinely happy women are focused, determined and they keep their efforts on their goal regardless of the distance it will take to fulfill it. Reinventing themselves is part of their DNA. They know they can pull it from where they don’t have it when they are put on the line. They cry when they need to but because fulfillment is vital to their existence they never give up.
7. Other-oriented: Powerful women see the good in others. They see and value the beauty other people bring to their life and they find them interesting and people they can learn and grow from. They do not need all the attention for themselves because they enjoy celebrating the accomplishments of others as much as they love their own successes. They are aware that in life there is always enough for everyone. There is enough love, money, success and passion and so they do not engage in the wastefulness of jealousy. Women who are comfortable in themselves compliment often and love to make others feel valuable.
A woman who is fulfilled loves herself. She makes sure she fills her cup first because she is aware to give and receive in this world she has to be full and come from a place of knowing her worth. She is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her tears flow just as abundantly as her laughter. A strong woman is both soft and powerful. She is both practical and spiritual. A woman who is fulfilled and comfortable in her own essence is a gift to the world.
Sherapy Advice: If you put yourself last fulfillment will never come. When you put yourself first you are an endless well of love and fulfillment for yourself and others. Love yourself.
14 Badass Lessons From Kirsten Gillibrand’s Off The Sidelines
Kirsten Gillibrand is a cool chick.
As a 28-year-old Manhattan lawyer watching Hillary Clinton declare “women’s rights are human rights” on the world stage, Gillibrand was moved to shift her course towards public service. She entered the House of Representatives after winning a hard-fought race against a four-term Republican incumbent in 2006. Just two years later, she received a surprise promotion when she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat as her idol-turned-mentor became the secretary of state. At 42, Kirsten Gillibrand was youngest senator in Congress.
In the Senate, Gillibrand ensured health care for 9/11 first responders and stood on the front lines of the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She held the first Senate hearing on sexual assault in the military in nearly a decade, challenging the military’s ability to prosecute crimes against women committed by those in their own ranks. This summer, she introduced a bipartisan bill to more effectively prosecute sexual assault on college campuses and penalize those that fail to do so.
Senator Gillibrand addresses all this and more in her new memoir Off The Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World. Her impressive record on women’s issues goes deeper (OK, a bit shallower) than politics: She lists “girl crush” Tina Fey next to the president as someone she’s nervous to talk to, speaks candidly about her “fat jeans,” knows the utility of a well-timed F-bomb and is pretty tired of dudes talking about what she looks like.
Frank in matters of female friendship and family leave alike, Gillibrand offers some blunt prescriptions for a women’s movement she worries is “on life support.” From combatting a general lack of sympathy for sore breasts to institutionalized apathy towards victims of sexual assault, Gillibrand shows just how critical it is for women to occupy decision-making roles, and offers a few guidelines for getting there:
1. Always stand up for yourself. And your boobs.
Gillibrand shares an anecdote that perfectly illustrates how the day-to-day realities of women’s lives can fall on deaf ears among a male-dominated congressional staff. When assigned a shift to preside over the often-empty Senate chamber:
The time slot I was given could not have been worse: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I tried to explain to the young male Senate staffer who issued my orders that these hours were impossible: I had an infant whom I need to nurse during that time, and if I didn’t feed him, I’d be extremely uncomfortable. (Any more detail than that would have fallen into the category of too much information.) The staffer didn’t care.
When a woman who is nursing misses a feeding, her breasts get sore. Believe it or not, this doesn’t factor in to the administrative planning of an institution that has never been less than 80 percent male. But sore boobs just will not do. So Gillibrand called upon a few fellow senators to switch slots until she found a sympathetic ear in Senator Mark Udall.
2. There is power in showing emotion.
When Gillibrand was appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in 2008, she inherited Clinton’s health care bill for 9/11 first responders. Understandably, speaking about the men and women who ran into the towers on that day, and the illnesses they suffer today as a result, didn’t make for stoic debate.
“I really didn’t want to cry on the Senate floor; that seemed like a total breach in decorum. I contained it, sort of, and continued reading… I left the podium feeling pretty insecure,” Gillibrand writes. It turned out, showing emotion doesn’t signal defeat, but makes a persuasive case for victory:
Then a Senate page … approached me and said ‘Thank you so much, that was such a powerful speech.’ No one had done this to me before, nor has anyone since… To be clear: I did nothing brilliant. I didn’t deliver my address with great oratorical style. I didn’t even speak in my own words. I just read a letter and allowed myself to feel the pain contained in it and show that pain to the world. In my mind, that will always be the moment I learned my most powerful moment about advocacy.
The bill passed unanimously.
3. Get angry.
In her fight against the Department of Defense on how the military handles sexual assault, Gillibrand confronted some truly enraging defenses of the status quo:
… When generals sat before me in a row and started saying that same ridiculous line, that we needed to keep decision-making about whether to prosecute sexual assault in the chain of command for the sake of “good order and discipline,” I lost it, for real… I’d had it with their bullshit and condescension… People often remark that it’s hard for women to get angry and public and still be taken seriously. On that day, and on many days after it, I didn’t care.
Fighting with men, about an issue that largely perpetrated by men, which “would have been a no-brainer” if more women served in Congress, is definitely worth getting angry about.
4. Ambition does not come at the expense of femininity.
As a newly-appointed member of the Senate Gillibrand was “nicknamed Tracy Flick, the aggressive, comical, and somewhat unhinged blonde high school student in the movie ‘Election,'” she writes. “I liked the film well enough, but this was not a compliment. It was a put-down to me and other ambitious women, meant to keep us in our place. Yes, I’m competitive. I fight for what I believe in, and I drive hard toward my goals. Does that make me ruthless or crazed? No.”
Her advice? Carry on, proving your ambition is not in spite of your womanhood, but because of it:
Do not fall for the lie that ambition is counter to femininity. What creature is stronger and more motivated than a mother protecting her children? Use that feminine strength. It’s a huge asset … Trust yourself… Confidence is infectious and builds momentum. Share your faith in yourself. You’ll be surprised how quickly others will come to have faith in it.
5. We need to rethink the idea of “Having It All.”
A woman after our own heart, Gillibrand calls the discussion about whether women can “have it all” an “absurd frame.” “For almost all mothers, earning money is a necessity, not a choice. We need to stop pretending that work is optional for all but the most financially secure American women,” she writes. “That we have come to a place where women seeking work and family can be seen as overreaching, even selfish, is inane.”
6. We should shift our thinking to “doing” it all.
“Having it all” not only “demeans women who do stay at home with their children, by implying their lives are less than full,” Gillibrand writes, but frames work as something women can choose to “have.” Most American women — who make up 62 percent of minimum wage earners — don’t get to pick and choose how much of “it all” they can “have.”
Gillibrand offers an alternative way to talk about work/life balance for women: “So, please, let’s stop talking about ‘having it all’ and start talking about the very real challenges of ‘doing it all.'”
7. Female friendships are invaluable at every stage of life.
For Gillibrand — who lists college travel buddy Connie Britton and former colleague former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as close pals — friends are often “the people we seek out to make us feel whole in a way that sometimes not even family can”:
Women talk a lot about juggling work and family, and it’s a crucial conversation. But for me, the third leg of the stool, the one that keeps my life from toppling over, is friendship. It’s a choice, not a responsibility. It’s my respite from demands, the place I go to recharge myself so I have energy for all the rest: raising my children, nurturing my marriage, serving my constituents to the best of my ability, and caring for my extended family.
8. Speaking up is stressful. Do it anyway.
At one point or another, we’ve all had to fight for our boss’s attention. Gillibrand’s boss happens to be the president of the United States. Speaking up to authority figures can be stressful — especially for women — but preparation and conviction lighten the load, writes Gillibrand:
I always know my ask, and I always raise my hand when the president comes to our caucus meetings. There are plenty of times I’d rather blend into the crowd and not add a mountain of stress to my life, but I know how much speaking up matters.
9. Competition is different for women. (And brings out a lot more bullsh*t.)
Gillibrand writes about her contentious 2006 congressional race against four-term Republican incumbent John E. Sweeney. She quickly discovered that men will compete with women in a different way than they compete with each other:
On the one hand, my opponent referred to me as “Just a pretty face!” And on the other, he used in his mailers the ugliest photographs he could find and even tinted my face green. Combined with the witchy skin tone, I presented the perfect embodiment of what many people feared: the crazed, power-hungry woman. I let this roll off me, certain it would backfire, and it did.
When it comes to general bullsh*t, Gillibrand subscribes to the brush-it-off philosophy: “Sweeney hurled everything he had at the race, including a bunch of ridiculous lies. My attitude was “F**k ’em.'” Preach.
10. It doesn’t matter how you look: If you’re a woman, it will be noticed and remarked upon.
While her opponent’s sexist barbs didn’t impress voters, the campaign “made me realize that in politics, beautiful and ugly are two sides of the same coin,” she writes. In Off the Sidelines Gillibrand recalls the unsolicited remarks on her appearance that followed her from the campaign trail into the halls Congress. More specifically, into the congressional gym… while working out… pregnant…
Many of my older male colleagues didn’t know what to say but still compelled to offer advice, such as this gem: “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” Thanks, asshole… The prize comment came from a Southern congressman who said, as he held my arm, walking me down the center aisle of the House chamber, “You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty wen you’re fat.” I believed his intentions were sweet, even if he was being an idiot. I wanted to put out a bulletin saying, “Please keep your thoughts about my pregnant body to yourself.”
11. Struggles with appearance are a universal “tricky balance.”
Gillibrand writes openly about weight and body image. “Appearance and how much to think about it is a never-ending question in most women’s minds. I haven’t put it to rest myself, not by a long shot,” she admits in Off The Sidelines.
Challenging the focus on women’s appearance is a “tricky balance” the senator knows all too well. “To win this election, you need to be beautiful again,” she recalls a labor leader telling her, when a campaign threatened to arrive before every pound of baby weight left. “It took every bit of my self-control not to react visibly. I wanted to tell the guy to go screw himself, then leave the table and go home and cry… I was worn down and depressed by the superficiality of it all, the endless discussions of what I looked like instead of what I thought.”
As much as we need to call out “undercutting remarks” that “belittle women professionally,” Gillibrand writes, “We also have to find a way to navigate the current reality… Having more women in leadership roles will certainly help.”
12. There are ways to talk about appearance constructively.
Gillibrand writes of re-committing to health for its own sake, and when a more lithe New York senator emerged, the media noticed. “Much to my surprise, reporters started asking me about it,” she writes. Asking a U.S. Senator to do a “diet story” sounds our sexism-alarms, but discussing an issue so many Americans struggle with, Gillibrand writes, could be a positive step:
People want and deserve to know who represents them … Talking about weight loss, like talking about baseball or parenting, builds a simple bridge. Hey, I have fat jeans, too! People want to know that you share their struggle and goals.
13. Stop going for the wrong guy (or gal).
Ever find yourself thinking “I should have known better” at the end of a bad relationship? So do members of Congress. “It’s amazing how many strong, self-empowered women get caught up in bad relationships,” Gillibrand writes, detailing her own disappointing dating history.
Throughout my twenties and early thirties, I was always looking for a guy that I considered a catch … My relationships tended to last four or five years and end in either disappointment or disaster. Some of the men I dated undermined my sense of self-worth, convincing me that I wasn’t smart, attractive, or interesting enough… Breaking my bad relationship patterns became a a priority.
She met her now-husband Jonathan on a blind date, and offers readers this wisdom: “I know you all know this, but believe me: You really do want to go for the nice guy, not the hot, flashy, or cool one.”
14. Don’t conceal your unique perspectives — they are an asset to your workplace.
Since 81 percent of Congress is male, not many people in Congress come back to work recently having given birth. But in 2008, Kirsten Gillibrand had. Instead of pretending that she hadn’t just birthed a child, she introduced new baby Henry on the floor of the House of Representatives:
The moment meant a tremendous amount to me personally, but I knew that it mattered symbolically. I was standing before 434 of our nation’s legislators sending a very clear message: “See? This is what a young mother in Congress looks like. I have a baby, who I will be caring for, and I will also be doing my job. What everyone says is true: The personal is political. I wanted my colleagues to take notice that I was going to represent my district and serve my country from the perspective of a new and working parent. I would view the world differently than most of my co-workers, and I felt very strongly that that difference was essential and good.
8 Non-Cliché Secrets To Success From Powerful Women
It’s not often you get to see a senator, the editors of TIME and Real Simple, a TODAY Show anchor, the former CEO of WWE and the writer of “Frozen” hit “Let It Go” together in one room. But last night, that’s what happened, and these women had a lot to say about one big topic: success.
On Oct. 1 Real Simple and TIME hosted a joint event focusing on success — specifically what being successful means for women, and how we can get there. TIME editor Nancy Gibbs interviewed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Real Simple editor Kristin van Ogtrop led a panel discussion with anchor Tamron Hall, songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez and WWE former CEO Linda McMahon.
Here are eight lessons we picked up watching — and listening — to these inspiring women:
Talking about “having it all” doesn’t help anyone.
“The having it all debate pits women against each other. ‘All’ implies that a woman staying home with her kids is somehow living a life half-full. What we’re really talking about is doing it all. How do we help women do all the things they want to do?” -Kirsten Gillibrand
Failure is a process…
“There were 7 1/2 songs cut from Frozen. Even ‘Do You Want to Make a Snowman’ was out, then it was in, then it was out, then it was in, we had to deal with the failure of ‘ooh that wasn’t executed just right’… Think of failure as process, not as a label.” -Kristen Anderson-Lopez
…And it is often a stepping stone to success later on.
“Everything I thought I wanted that I didn’t get, it’s been revealed to me why and I got something better.” -Tamron Hall
Dreaming is great, but doing is better.
“I’ve been often asked, did you never dream you would be where you are today? And I say no, because you were too busy building, doing, step by step…” -Linda McMahon
Find a mentor if you can — and be one.
“There’s always one woman who you could give the right piece of advice [to] that transforms her.” -Kirsten Gillibrand
Stop obsessing about what you don’t have.
“When I look back in my 20s, I was so obsessed with success. I used to call it ‘my ticket out of hell,’ I used to think ‘If I got this thing, that one thing, then I would be successful.’ … And if it was my ‘ticket out of hell’ I wouldn’t get it, because I approached it with so much anxiety.” -Kristen Anderson-Lopez
You are special — just don’t be a jackass about it.
“Life, in itself, keeps you from feeling entitled, unless you’re just a jackass. I think it’s OK that your parents tell you you’re special, because there are enough people who will tell you you’re not… Life, as we all know, will tear you down. Thank God someone told me I was special, because you should see what people say to me on Twitter.” -Tamron Hall
Having women at the table really, really matters.
“If Congress was 51 percent women we wouldn’t waste a day arguing over affordable contraception.” -Kirsten Gillibrand
How To Deal With Criticism At Work, Even When It Feels Personal
By Caitlin Moscatello, Glamour
According to a new study for Fortune.com, women are more likely than men to be criticized at work, and the majority of the feedback is focused on personality traits rather than workplace performance. Equally frustrating? The study found that both male and female managers are more likely to give men suggestions on how to improve, while women are told to stop being so abrasive or overbearing but not given constructive feedback on how to develop. Out of the 248 reviews included in the study, 71 percent of women received negative comments from their employers, compared with just 2 percent of men. And while 81 percent of men received constructive feedback, only 23 percent of women could say the same. In short, women are criticized more, and, yes, it can feel personal.
And how could it not? Just compare these two quotes included on reviews, the first for a male employee, the second for a female employee:
“Hone your strategies for guiding your team and developing their skills. It is important to set proper guidance around priorities and to help as needed in designs and product decisions.”
“You can come across as abrasive sometimes. I know you don’t meant to, but you need to pay attention to your tone.”
The difference is pretty jarring. But, as Tara Mohr, author of the forthcoming book Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message writes in The New York Times, there’s a reason that those comments can feel so…prickly. She argues that, from childhood, “women have been socialized to not rock the boat, to be, above all else, likable.” And while pop culture plays a role in this perception that we, as women, need approval from others, so do deeply ingrained fears of being left unprotected. “For centuries, women couldn’t protect their own safety through physical, legal, or financial means…” writes Mohr. “Being likable, or at least acceptable to stronger, more powerful others, was one of our primary available survival strategies. For many women around the world, this is still the reality, but all women inherit the psychological legacy of that history. Disapproval, criticism, and the withdrawal of others’ approval can feel so petrifying for us at times–life-threatening even–because for millenniums, it was.”
While it’s unrealistic to simply grow a thicker skin overnight, there could be some benefit to accepting criticism instead of internalizing it (and obsessing over it, and, let’s be honest, who hasn’t done that?). Mohr states that “substantive work” should come with both criticism and praise and that “innovative thinking and controversial decisions garner supporters and critics, especially for women. We need to retrain our minds to expect and accept this.” A few of Mohr’s suggestions on putting this into practice:
Imagine how a woman you admire would handle the criticism you received, and use that to help model your own response.
Read online reviews of your favorite authors for a little perspective. (See? Everyone is subjected to criticism.)
Think of any feedback, positive or negative, as information that you can use to your advantage–not a personal jab. What did your boss or client like? What didn’t she like? By focusing on the comments themselves and not how they reflect on you, you’ll be able to sharpen your presentation or performance for next time and be even more of a rock star at work.
Another step I’d like to see: Training for managers on how to give feedback, clearly and fairly, for all employees. It hardly seems right that female workers bear the whole burden of change in this case, don’t you think?
Have you been criticized at work in a way that felt personal? How did you deal?