Consistency is harder when no one is clapping for you.
Clap for yourself during those times.
Be your biggest fan and trust the process.
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Consistency is harder when no one is clapping for you.
Clap for yourself during those times.
Be your biggest fan and trust the process.
Communicating effectively is essential for success in all aspects of life, including marriage, business, and even tattoos. My friend’s daughter Emma was recently finalizing a design for a new tattoo and asked my daughter for her opinion.
My 16-year-old daughter has studied Japanese culture extensively and is fluent in the Japanese language. Emma was planning to get a Japanese “kanji” tattoo, so she had the good sense to check with an expert before getting permanently inked. A tattoo acquired at the age of 20 will be with you for quite some time, so getting the translation right is a good idea! The intended meaning of her tattoo was “change,” specifically, a transformation in the girl’s life.
My daughter started laughing, because the direct translation of the kanji the tattoo artist choose for “life change” in Japanese translated to “menopause.”
Not exactly the “life change” symbol 20 year old Emma was wanting to express.
While accuracy in communication can be pretty important, how you communicate is an essential element as well. This is an area I struggled with for a very long time. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I really found my “voice,” and finally became a truly effective influencer. This has applied not only to public speaking, but also to many other areas of my life such as parenting, leading my business team, coaching sports, and even influencing the homeowners association. If you’ve ever been a part of an HOA, then you know the latter is probably the most difficult of all. By sharing my discoveries with you, you will have the tools to become a more influential and impactful communicator, too.
Before you start on your journey to become an influential communicator, I’ll share my journey with you, so you can see how I reached this point. The path to great communication isn’t always smooth sailing.
The Beginning of It All
For me, the importance of communication and its effects on influence were clear early on in life — in fact, it all started on one particular day. The year was 1978, and I was a 6-year-old girl who stuttered and desperately wanted to be part of a team. Being dyslexic, I wasn’t a very strong student, so sports seemed like a promising way for me to find my “tribe.” Already being an only child, I didn't want to play an individual sport; my heart longed to contribute to a team effort. I wasn’t looking to be a star player, or even a leader; I was simply looking to belong somewhere.
Like many of us as children, I wanted so badly to “fit in.”
You see, not only was I a poor student, but I didn’t see myself as a cute little girl at that time. I was an awkward tomboy. I even looked like a boy. After the 1976 Olympics, a U.S. figure skater named Dorothy Hamill emerged and dominated pop culture after she took home the gold medal. She was an adorably feminine, short-haired, young woman. My mom assumed Dorothy’s hair cut would also be just as adorable on me, so she cut my very thick and cowlick-filled hair like Dorothy’s. What was totally cute on the world-class skater resembled something more like a thick, blonde guinea pig sitting on my little head.
It wasn’t even the “bad haircut gone wrong” kind of cute. It was just bad.
In my 6-year-old mind, belonging to a team would fix all of my social problems. I chose soccer for three reasons. Firstly, my parents grew up in Belize. In Central America, playing soccer is a natural childhood ritual, so of course, my dad wanted me to play the sport closest to his heart.
Secondly, that summer, our country was captivated and inspired by the excitement of the 11th World Cup and watching a passionate Argentina win the championship over the Netherlands.
Lastly, growing up in Florida, we watched and attended several Rowdies games, as they were our local professional U.S. soccer team.
Soccer was an obvious choice for me. Not only was soccer in my blood, but my family could also afford it. My parents were in their early 20s, and like many young couples, they didn’t have a lot of disposable income. Compared to other sports, soccer equipment was affordable (at least it was then before the modern day “club” circuit took over!). Hey, all I needed was a ball, shin guards, and cleats.
Over the next few weeks, my mom managed to scrape together a few dollars, and we bought my first pair of cleats. I was so excited to “suit up” in my gear. Lacing up my shoes made me feel like I was part of a team, without even attending my first practice. I wore my cleats around the house until my mom told me they were causing dents in the wood floor. I had so much excitement and anticipation built up inside over the first practice that I couldn't even sleep! I lay in bed thinking about being a member of the team and being appreciated for my contributions. But, what was supposed to be the debut of my childhood dream ended up sending me home—heartbroken and in tears.
What wasn't obvious to me was that girls in the 1970s traditionally didn’t play soccer. Soccer was considered a world-class sport played primarily by boys and men. I showed up on that sunny south Florida day, and instead of getting a warm team welcome, I felt like I annoyed the current players with my presence on their field.
To add to my alienation, I didn’t realize that those bargain cleats my mom bought and I was wearing so proudly were actually softball cleats.
White softball cleats.
They were not even close to resembling the black leather cleats my male counterparts were sporting on their feet. At an age where most 6-year-old girls would have dreamed of having sparkling princess shoes, in that moment all I wished for was black leather cleats.
There I stood in those bright white shoes with no choice but to suck it up and continue. I lined up single file for my very first drill. The coach asked me to go first and handed me the ball. He instructed me to dribble the ball to the cone and back. I only knew “dribbling” as a basketball term. Although it seemed an odd request, I obeyed and awkwardly basketball-dribbled the ball down the grass field. Hearing the uncontrollable laughter of my teammates turned my face beet-red with embarrassment.
“Why didn't he just tell me to run and kick the ball?” I thought, seething in anger. Now I also feel like a moron for not knowing the right terminology.
After that first practice, I went home crying, hurt by the ridiculing, mocking and alienation I had endured. What was supposed to be a glorious debut was instead a day I wished I could have erase from my memory forever.
Needless to say, I was ready to quit after what was then the worst two hours of my life. I was 100 percent certain that I would never play again. I would've walked away from the sport forever had it not been for two very different conversations that night with my parents.
My mom, of course, wanted to protect my feelings and immediately offered great solutions: “We can find you another activity,” she said. “You can play an instrument, be a cheerleader, or take ballet. I can work an extra few shifts at the hospital and we can get you soccer shoes if you still want to play. I will help you fit in, Sweetie. I can go to the library and get a soccer book that will help you with soccer terms and rules.” All of these were great solutions and alternatives, yet none of them motivated me to ever step back on that field with those boys again.
My dad waited for my mom to finish, which was rare for his excitable nature. But this time, he did. “How do you feel right now?” he asked.
“Kinda mortified. Horribly humiliated and embarrassed,” I replied.
“Do you want to feel that way forever?”
I wasn’t sure where he was going with his question.
He then enthusiastically insisted that I was born to play on a team. He told me I deserved to be on not only that field, but on any field just like everyone else. He reinforced my belief that I could be a leading scorer and my team would be missing out if I were not a part of it. He told me that winning wasn't about the type or size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
And if I didn’t want to feel embarrassed for the rest of my life over this, I had to do something about it. I had to change the trajectory. “Seay, this is not about the color of your shoes, the lack of experience or knowledge, or that you are a girl. This is about YOU and what you are made of. They win if you quit. Don’t quit without a fight. Prove them wrong.”
He went on to remind me of the passion I had before the practice. He reminded me of the promising thoughts I had stirring in my head the night before. He reminded me what it would have meant for my life to belong. “Do you really want to give all that up over trivial things?”
His words didn't fully resonate with me that evening, but even though nothing had changed in my physical environment, I saw that his words had the capacity to change my mental situation. He wasn’t quite finished yet though. He said, “You still have a choice to make.”
I also didn't know it at the time, but how I processed this advice would propel me down a road of future choices that I would continue to follow for the rest of my life.
He put it this way: "You can spend your time staying safe on the sidelines of life while cheering for someone else's accomplishments, or you can be out there on the field of life taking risks while others are cheering for your accomplishments. The choice is yours. On which side do you see yourself, Seay?”
There was no question of what I was going to do or where I saw myself. With my white plastic softball cleats and the humiliation and rejection of being a girl in a boy’s sport, I chose to be the “dog” with passion in her heart on a mission to prove them all wrong. In that moment, I choose to own my place on that darn team.
I’m certain they were all shocked when I returned to the field that next practice. But this time, I wasn’t going down without a fight; I wasn't going to give them that power.
Yes, I was scared I was going to be rejected again. There were even moments when I let my sale-priced plastic shoes define my worth on that field. And yes, I was terrified that despite all of my commitment and passion, I would still end up being a lousy soccer player. But when I returned for my second practice, my head was high and I was once again ready to play and be a part of the team.
Two weeks later, I had earned a striker position from my coach. My job was to score goals, and although I didn't have much in the way of ball skills at the time, I had tremendous speed and intuitive timing. We won our first match of the season with a 2-0 victory as a result of two goals that I scored!
After the game, my dad was jumping, cheering, and sprinting onto the field. He resembled a circus clown debuting in the big top!
He yanked that white cleat off my right foot and held it up high for the entire team to see. “Let’s agree that everyone was able to clearly see Seay's two fabulous winning goals because of these glorious bright white shoes! No one could have missed her moves!" he boasted with fatherly pride.
Wouldn’t you know, by the end of the season I was the leading scorer on the team, and I was one of the star players in the entire league. Over the course of the season, no one cared that I was the only girl in the league or that on my first day I had dribbled the ball with my hands.
As for those white softball shoes, not only did my teammates stop making fun of them, but they started buying white cleats themselves! Those white shoes actually started a little trend in Ft. Lauderdale, FL that season. Suddenly, they were no longer plastic softball cleats; they were beautiful, proper, white leather soccer cleats.
My father's words at the most crucial time changed my life forever. While my mom offered great “solutions,” my dad’s words instilled a “belief” in me that I could fulfill my passion. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I also learned a valuable lesson in communication that would prove to be critical at a later time in my life, which is what I’m going to share with you.
I continued to play soccer throughout my childhood. I played varsity soccer as a freshman in high school, was named All County player of the year, was voted the player with “Most Inspiration and Leadership” in my senior year, was captain of my team, earned a spot on the “Florida All State” soccer team, and earned an athletic scholarship to a college in North Carolina. There, I was the third-leading scorer in the nation, NCAA Division II, and I was again voted the player with the “Most Inspiration and Leadership.”
Each of those soccer accolades, all of those amazing experiences, and even a college scholarship could have been completely lost due to one lousy, miserable day of soccer practice. Yet all was salvaged due to one successful conversation… I’m thankful for my parents and the conversations they had with me that fall night back in 1978.
I’m aware today that both of my parents spoke to me using completely different “languages.”
That speaking style changed the course of my entire life. And by defining and sharing it with you, that when you are in a position of influence, as a parent, a sports coach, a leader, a politician, teacher or a business owner that it will change yours.
⭐️For better or worse- Be totally AUTHENTIC.
🙈 Ha- if you know me, you know I suck at conformity. Even as a kid, I'd dance my own dance, even if it wasn't not popular. I have always preferred doing things by my own terms and inspiration.
Being in a leadership role for the majority of my life, through sports, careers and projects, I understand the importance of leading with one's strengths. I enjoy helping you discover your strengths so you that you develop those.
🏆 I WANT to see you embrace your unique thoughts and intellect, because I know those will EMPOWER you. I want to support you while failing forward and help grow into your own confident leader.
🏆 I want to hear what you have to say, not what you THINK I want to hear.
🏆 Insecurity is bred when you are not authentic and lack of originality stops you from SOARING. My intent is for you to become a more REFINED and stronger version of YOURSELF.
🏆 I want you to create a VISION for your life, and choose friends that fuel your soul, regardless of rank, profession, looks, popularity or financial worth. Know that- if someone wants you to be like them, do as they say and have you do things their way, IT WILL HOLD YOU BACK.
🏆 Give yourself credit to the value you can add to others, when you believe in and TRUST your own thoughts. There is little else that gives me greater reward than seeing you embrace your unique God-given strengths and applying them to achieve your OWN greatness.
🏆 Leadership isn't about doing it one way, being popular, or being agreeable, its about helping you discover and trusting YOUR VOICE so you can achieve your own VISION of GREATNESS.
👉🏼 Be the VOICE, not the Echo.
😶 Do you feel you've lost your voice somewhere along the way in life or maybe that your voice hasn't been fully discovered because no one has BELIEVED in you.
🏆 My vision of leadership is not just about you growing a business and having freedom, it's more about GROWING YOU as a PERSON. Because, let's face it, the business grows---> when YOU DO.
👉🏼 I'm looking to mentor people that are DONE with sitting on the bleacher's and are ready to do the work and BE IN THE GAME.
SOCIAL VIBE SUNDAY
Let's talk TRUST shall we? Relationships are these funny things. We let people get closer to us based on small tests of "trust" we give the relationship. Test's are sort of a "brumbcrumb" to relationship intimacy.
Can we trust this person with our heart? ♥️
Our emotions? 😟
To have our back? 💪
Their intentions? 😏
To want the best for us? 🏆
To listen and empathize? 🤔
Do their actions match their words? 🙈🙉🙊
Think about all the little things as your relationship progresses between new friends and partners that move the friendship TOWARDS or AWAY from TRUST.
I actually think someone can be totally trustworthy with one person, and hardly at all with another. I think it depends on the dynamics of the relationship and the level of value and respect it holds between the two people.
My point is, evaluate a relationship based on those trust checks and balances WITH YOU. Not with how they are with others.
Trust is the #1 foundation of any relationship. The more trust, the more it will sustain. And vice versa.
Those small breaks of trust, start as little cracks and later become sinkholes. Even though those holes can be repaired, they will never ever be the same. So just don't break them to begin with....
Be the kind of person YOU'D trust and invest in the people that continue to BUILD yours ❤️❤️❤️
This thought is about friendship. 💕
There are those you think to call IMMEDIATELY because they will truly be happy for you when you share news.
I look around me and feel so blessed to have the company I do. But it's not come easy.
People come and go in our lives and one thing I have learned is that it's very hard to find the kind of people who's "oars run DEEP", as my mom would say.
This week I feel especially grateful for my circle of friends. The kind of friends that want the best for you, take the time to listen to you, that ask about you, that reciprocate, that make your life bigger and better and most of all, would be there for you regardless of title, status, convenience and what you can do FOR THEM.
Because yes- I've had "friends" that were mostly always about them, pretty crappy with integrity, were disrespectful and poor listeners which makes me appreciate finding quality ones that much more.
Right now, I look around at the people in our lives and can truly feel the KINDNESS in their hearts. ❤️
To you, deep friends, I say thank you, I love you and am truly grateful to have you in my life.
May we all be and find the kind of people who's OARS RUN DEEP🙏🏼- if that's what is important to you. ❤️
One of the biggest MYTHS I see people believe is that if their circumstances are DIFFERENT, then they will finally achieve the outcome they desire.
👈🏼👉🏼They blame OTHERS for their failures, mistakes and circumstances. They can't own their mistakes. It's always someone or something else. 🙄
I see it more often in business, but also in relationships.
👈🏼👉🏼When you give away your power by blaming others, you also give away the very opportunity to GROW in your own life. It may feel easier to do short term, but is more damaging to your growth in the long run.
You stay a victim and you will stay POWERLESS.😞
Feeling powerless will keep you STUCK and ANGRY.😡
And you take that internal angry victim mentality right along with you to the next business or relationship. The people and platform may change, but YOU haven't. 👈🏼
You and your SAME issues will eventually, resurface when the honeymoon is over.
😡😡😡 Surrounding yourself with others also stuck in that same powerless anger doesn't validate yours nor does it justify you.
🌟YOU validate, you.🌟
🌹Guess what- there will always be stuff that happens in life. We are always being given opportunities to mature. We ALL have insecure thoughts that get in our head, and we all have triggers that can make us defensive.
🤔 It's how well you can take ownership in them and GROW from them that will ultimately determine your happiness, mental freedom and long term quality of life.😊😊😊
🌷The grass is not only greener where you water it, but it also flourishes with the quality of fertilizer you FEED it. 🌹
INTERVIEW SOMEONE YOU LOVE ABOUT LIFE
Questions from Brendon Burchard
1. What comes to mind when you think about growing up in [hometown]?
2. What did you love to do as a kid, before high school?
3. What did you love to do in high school?
4. What do remember most about your teenage years?
5. What do you remember most about your mom (grandma)?
6. What was most important to her?
7. What do you remember most about your dad (grandpa)?
8. What was most important to him?
9. If grandma and grandpa had a message to you and their grandchildren, what do you think it is?
10. How did you meet [spouse] and know (s)he was the one?
11. How did you choose your career and what was your favorite part about it?
12. What made you successful at work?
13. What did you believe about yourself that helped you become successful and deal with hard times?
14. What times in your life truly “tested your mettle,” and what did you learn about yourself by dealing (or not dealing) with them?
15. What three events most shaped your life?
16. What do you remember about when each of us was born?
17. Were you ever scared to be a parent?
18. What three words would you say represented your approach to parenting and why?
19. When you think about [sibling] how would you describe him?
20. What message do you have for [sibling] that you want him to always keep in mind?
[Do the last two questions above for each sibling in your family]
21. When you think about [spouse], how would you describe her/him?
22. What message do you have for [spouse] that you want her/him to always keep in mind?
23. What three words would you say best describe who you tried to be in life and how you want to be remembered?
24. When they think about their careers, what do you want your children to focus on?
25. What have you learned about other people in life? (trustworthy, kind or not and mean)?
26. What do you think the world needs more of right now?
27. What do you believe people want the most in life?
28. What were the three best decisions you’ve ever made?
29. What are you most proud of in life?
30. What were five of the most positive moments of your life?
31. What message would you like to share with your family?
32. What are you most thankful for?