The Professional

3 Great Reasons Why It’s Not Only About You

January 18, 2018

There are times in life when we must accept that IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT YOU!  We impact others based on the choices we make, the words that are said and even those left unsaid.  Someone maybe watching, listening and following your footsteps even when you are not aware.   

I was one of 700+ lucky women to attend the 10th Annual BE YOU Women’s Link Leadership Forum hosted by The Home Depot (In prior years, I did not make the cut, but NOT THIS YEAR!!!).  As I prepared for the day, I committed to being present, engaging with someone new and following my instincts.

Lisa Nichols, best selling author and motivational coach, was the keynote speaker (It saddens me to admit that I did not know who she was before this event but she has changed me forever) and she was indeed #blackgirlmagic!  She shared some incredible gems that I must share with you:

  • “Give yourself the freedom to disrupt the environment you’re in.  Once the soil is disrupted you can plant a new seed.  What do you want to grow in your next season?”
  • “In order to get something new you have to do something new.”
  • “Start the journey back to you.  Share the real you with the world; not the you you think they expect you to be.”
  • “Some of your best blessings come wrapped in sand paper.”
  • “Are you willing to stop asking for permission and start giving notice?”

At the conclusion of her talk, I felt compelled to ask a question.  Now that may seem incredibly simple but please recall the room was filled with over 700 women excluding the countless program volunteers and Home Depot executive leaders.  To add to this, the microphones were stationed in the middle of the room and I LOATHE being the center of attention!  But nonetheless, I walked to the mic without knowing what I was going to ask (fortunately there were 4 women ahead of me so it gave me some time to think, I am a procrastinator at heart so pressure usually creates gems).  I told myself that I was doing this for me (this was my something new, why not start doing things differently now) but I ultimately realized that it was not about me at all.

I believe that moment happened to:

  1. Encourage Others – Ask the Question!  Countless women approached me because they had the same question but did not have the courage to ask.  Others still that are members of my team stated they would have never thought that I could have a confidence issue like them given my title and my public/professional persona.  I wore my new favorite cape that day, not knowing that I could be someone else’s hero by simply choosing to speak my truth.
  2. Reinforce Bonds – You are not in this alone!  I had friends, mentors, advocates and sponsors in that room.  They all reminded me of my greatness and most importantly their commitment to my success.  For some reason, I chose to not ask for help from people that have helped me successfully navigate through several periods of disruption in my life.  I needed to be reminded that I have a tribe for a reason, it’s not only about me!
  3. Recognize Others –  The most impactful interaction was an email, 2 days after the conference, which read “I just wanted to let you know how awesome you were – you were courageous and so well spoken!  What an inspiration you are!!”  I wondered, how did she find me (my name is uncommon and I doubt that I could have found me if I wasn’t me)?  How long must that have taken?  What led her to do this?  I quickly realized the profound effect of that simple note.  Which again confirmed that it is not only about me, this was never only about me!  From her simple note, I’ve learned the importance of sharing with others the way in which they impact you.

Life is like weaving delicate fabric.  With each interaction, we have the ability to guide the hand in a way that builds on the pattern which in turn allows you to encourage others, to reinforce your bond with others and to recognize others.  In doing so, I believe, that they too will know that it’s not only about them.

“Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire.” – St Catherine of Sienna

Blog Photos Credited to The Home Depot Women’s Link

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  • Reply Dethra January 18, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    What a great expression of how we should live and think. Take a risk and be authentic because it is not about you,

    • Reply Zenna Wadawu January 28, 2018 at 10:27 PM

      I know how busy you are so it means a lot to me that you took the time to read and share your thoughts!

  • Reply Gerald King January 19, 2018 at 3:31 PM

    I LOVE IT!!!! 😘😘😘😘😘

    • Reply Zenna Wadawu January 28, 2018 at 10:26 PM

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read it!

  • Reply Libryia January 19, 2018 at 7:13 PM

    Great realizations/reminders …when we let our light shine, we unknowingly give others permission to do the same. Also, kudos to you for taking advantage of an opportunity to not only challenge yourself but to find the lessons in these moments, that’s one of the beautiful things about being present.

    • Reply Zenna Wadawu January 28, 2018 at 10:26 PM

      So true! It’s easy for me to internalize messages not so easy to share but here’s to working on a better me!

  • Reply Tresha January 20, 2018 at 8:30 PM

    Proud of you baby love

    • Reply Zenna Wadawu January 28, 2018 at 10:25 PM

      Thanks love! I will do my best to continue to do so!

  • Reply LaTrista January 30, 2018 at 3:49 AM

    The conference sounds life changing! And you vividly took us on the journey with you. God is so in the details that it wasn’t just a work conference. It reignited something! I Love the quote! I’m adding that one to my vision board! Z’Marie will set this world on fire❤️. Proud of you mi hermana.

    • Reply Zenna Wadawu February 20, 2018 at 11:32 PM

      Thanks Trista! Glad that quote resonated with you as well, it’s really great! I’m certainly going to do my best along the way! And I know that you will be right there with me!

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