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Confidently Speaking

by Wendy Gladney on 05/25/20

I am going to be blunt and bold and just ask, how is your confidence factor doing these days?  It is okay if it is not where you would like it to be right now.  We are all in the same storm.  We may be in different boats, but we are all navigating the same storm.  We are in uncertain times and no matter how much life we may have lived or how much experience we think we have under our belt, none of us knew this crisis called COVID-19 was coming and how hard we would be hit.  Even if you still have your job or if you have a few pennies in the bank, the future may look a bit rocky.  With the right tools and information, we can get back up and stand straight with the confidence we need and desire.

We are now in the third month of having to deal with the Coronavirus fallout.  I realize that things will never go back to the way they were, but that does not mean we cannot confidently walk into whatever the new normal looks like with self-assurance. Confidence is about trust.  It is about walking boldly in our abilities and qualities. I have put together the following acronym that can help us reach our goal together.

C = Courage.  Like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz we all could use a little courage.  Truth be told we already have it in us. It is up to us to find it. Courage helps us do what we do not think is possible.

O = Optimistic. No matter what you may be going through right now it is important to keep your attitude positive and optimistic. Look at the glass as half full not half empty. I believe the best is yet to come.  

N = Now.  Now more than ever is the time to believe in yourself, your gifts, your talents, and your abilities.

F = Forgive yourself and others.  Sometimes holding onto unforgiveness can hold us back from walking in our true confidence in life. It is time to let some things go.

I = Intentional.  Success does not happen by accident and we will not walk in confidence unless we are intentional about what we do and how we see ourselves.

D = Dream Big.  It is good to dream about your goals, where you want to go and how you want to see yourself.  Dreaming is the first step to achieving your goals.

E = Energy.  If you are going to feel good about yourself it is important for you to take care of your whole self: mind, body, and soul.  This will provide you with the energy you need to do what must be done and get you where you want to go.

N = Negative.  No more negative thoughts and self-talk.  Also, do not talk negatively about others.  We do not have to put others down to build our own selves up.

C = Commit.  Commit to yourself and to your goals.  Completing projects will help build up your confidence.

E = Enjoy.  Now that you have put into place all these steps, it is time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Positive self-esteem and true confidence are your reward.

Lucille Ball once said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”  I could not agree with her more.  When we stop comparing ourselves with others (especially what we see in any form of the media) and realize we were all created on purpose and for a purpose, I believe we will be gushing with confidence that has the power to change the world.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Is It Time For You To Do A Spirit Check?

by Wendy Gladney on 05/18/20

My daughter and I have been together during the “Stay at Home” order due to COVID-19.  The other day she suggested that we watch the Michelle Obama documentary, “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama” on Netflix and my spirit came alive. I was crying and smiling throughout the entire film.  I remember when her book came out and how we all ran to the bookstores to purchase it and when she began to do her national tour we hoped to be one of the lucky people that would be selected through the lottery system to purchase a ticket.  For some of us, she will forever be our First Lady.  Her spirit gives us hope and I still can hear her say, “When they go low, we go high.”

Stephen Colbert was one of the moderators on Ms. Obama’s “Becoming” tour and he was featured in the documentary.  One of the comments he shared was how he misses “having someone in the White House that talks about hope.”  I think in today’s current circumstances we could all use a little hope right now.  The definition of hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. What are you hoping for?  What are you expecting during this pandemic?  We know this is a reality and we are smack dab in the middle of it all.  What will lift your spirit? Our spirit is the part of us that ignites our emotions and character.  Some even see our spirit as part of our soul.  Our spirit feeds into our very core and character.  

We are going through times where we are seeing the best and the worst in people.  Are we going to focus on the positive or the negative?  What feeds your spirit?  People are often willing to sacrifice essentials if there is something that nurtures them and feeds their soul (spirit).  Do you know what that “something” is for you?  There are many examples that prove this case.  The mini-series, “The English Game,” tells the story of the invention of football in England.  The story shows how poor struggling people were willing to give their hard-earned money for the hope of the game and to see the team they were rooting for stay in the game and compete. Can you think of anything you have sacrificed or given up because whatever you invested in gave you hope? Hope feeds our spirit and it helps us avoid focusing on things that do not really matter. It helps us focus on what we (mankind)  have in common versus our differences.

I consider myself an upbeat person.  I wake up just about everyday with a positive attitude and I look forward to seeing what the day will bring.  For me, the glass is always half full versus half empty, but this quarantine has forced me to check my spirit. Although I have not experienced being depressed through this quarantine, I do know people who have; and I understand.  It is said there are different stages of grief and many of us have been grieving in one way or another. In checking my spirit, I do have to remind myself where my hope lies, and I remember that God is still in control.

Take some time to think about what feeds your soul.  How is your spirit these days?  What ignites you and gives you hope, especially during these tough times?  If you are not sure, then think about what makes you get excited and gives you energy.  What are you willing to sacrifice for because you know it feeds you, sustains you and even gives you joy?  Now is the perfect time to do a little introspection. It may even start from watching a movie, reading a book or a conversation with someone who adds wind to your sail. #coachwendy #seasonofgreatness #spirit 

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Ahmaud Arbery We Speak Your Name!

by Wendy Gladney on 05/11/20

We all have our personal lanes we travel, but there comes a time when we all must cross over and merge into oncoming traffic if we want things to change.  I am grateful to my various colleagues and community partners that allow me to share my thoughts and opinions that will hopefully reach people that follow my work.  By now we have all heard about the 25-year-old African American man, Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot down in cold blood by two white men while he was innocently jogging in Georgia. I am crossing out of my conventional lane to speak up and speak out against such injustices. We must all take a stand.

It is sad that Mr. Arbery was minding his own business, not bothering anyone and his rights were instantly taken from him as well as his life. Two white men saw him, and, in my opinion, they made it their mission to go after him and ultimately kill him.  I also feel their act was racially motivated. Racism is alive and well in America. Ahmaud did not have a gun and he was not a threat of any kind and yet they persisted at attacking him.  Ironically, the elder McMichael is a recent retired police officer, so we continue to see police brutality being served on our men. The McMichael’s have finally been arrested, but their trial is still ahead of us. We know if this had been two black men going after a young white man, they would have been arrested and tried as soon as it occurred. Or possibly even killed.  We all stand waiting for justice to be served.   

The McMichael’s used the excuse that they thought Arbery was a burglar.  Really? He was a good man and was not even a suspect for anything. He was a former high school football player who was liked and appreciated by many.  If he had been a young white man and they thought he was a burglar, would they have gunned him down in the street? We know the answer is no.  We cannot stop people from doing whatever they plan to do; however, we can make sure that if they commit cold blooded murder they are held accountable, tried and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 

The situation with Ahmaud Arbery hurt my heart.  I am the mother of a handsome, intelligent and productive African-American son, I have a beautiful two year old African-American grandson; and a host of nephews, cousins and friends that could experience the same fate if something isn’t done. It scares me that each day they walk out the door they may not return home. We know this is not a new phenomenon.  Men of color have been killed because of the color of their skin, because of racism, and for any reason a white man would want to kill them for generations. Institutional Racism has to be eradicated. We must all make our voices heard and do our part in our specific lanes.

I asked myself what can I do since I live in California?  After doing some research and looking at what was posted on social media, I found a press release where the NAACP, the National Urban League and National Action Network among others came together to release a joint statement.  I decided to put my money where my mouth was and re-join each of these national organizations to show my support. They can inflict pressure in ways that individuals cannot do making sure the McMichael’s are held accountable for their actions and that a full independent investigation is launched. We all need to use our lanes to make a difference and help with justice and healing.  Ahmaud Arbery, we speak your name!

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Time to Invest, Divest & Harvest

by Wendy Gladney on 05/04/20

We are in changing times. Over the past couple of months experiencing COVID-19, days of isolation, and orders to stay at home have caused us to ponder what does the future really looks like? I have talked to friends, family, and colleagues and we are all coping with this reality in different ways. For some it has felt like death (whether literal or because of the loss of a job, etc.) and they are grieving; for others, they’ve used their time as therapy and they are cleaning out everything they can put their hands on; and then there are those that are trying to figure out how to be as productive as possible to come out stronger and wiser on the other side. I do not believe there are any right or wrong answers, and everyone has to cope the best way they know-how.

As I thought about where I fit into the various scenarios, I realized I am probably experiencing all three. We all have things we use to process our thoughts and I realized there are three things that are part of my toolbox that can help us all overcome this pandemic as well as post-pandemic. It is always a good idea to think through and develop processes that will help us not only get through situations in life but to come out as better people. Three things that I have begun to put into place are how to Invest, Divest, and Harvest.

The word invest means to provide or endow someone or something with a specific quality or attribute. Most of the time when we think of this word and what it means to invest in something we think of money, people, or time. Each of these are resources and some you can never get back. Think about where you are investing your most valuable resources. I live my life by lists, and I accomplish a lot in a day; however, if I am honest with myself, I know I waste a lot of time majoring in the minors. I know that sometimes I do not dig as deep on some things that could bring me a higher return. This season is causing me to look a little deeper on what I invest my time and resources in so that I am more productive with the possibility of a higher yield (and I don’t mean just financially).

To divest means to rid oneself of something that one no longer wants or requires, such as a business interest or investment. Once we have spent the necessary time reviewing what we have been spending our valuable resources (time, money, and people) on, we can then begin to figure out what is really important. We can learn to not major in the minors. We can make the main thing the main thing. There comes a time that we must ask ourselves why am I here? What am I doing? Am I doing what I really want to do, need to do, or was born to do? Well, now is the time to divest yourself of everything that no longer feeds your soul and is a waste of time and this includes people. Think about the people that take up most of your time. If they are not the wind in your sail, then they are a weight on your tail, and it may be time to cut them loose. How much money do you waste on things that really have no return or value? Something to think about.

The word harvest means to gather. It means to bring in. If you want to receive a harvest you must plant seeds. To receive a rich harvest you must plant, water and sow. We live in a time when so many want instant anything and everything. We use microwaves more than ovens and we prefer using fewer words by tweeting than a full sentence in a letter. We must put in the time now while we can if we want better results later. Invest in yourself and others, divest yourself of things that no longer matter, and watch your harvest begin to blossom. Remember, we reap what we sow.

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.Seasonofgreatness.com to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Social Intelligence

by Wendy Gladney on 04/27/20

Children are taught social skills on how to get along with others, be kind and play fairly. Nowhere in our psyches are we prepared to learn how to distance ourselves from each other (except if we feel we are experiencing inappropriate behavior).  We are created to live together and exist within community. Growing up with my grandmother, I remember our household being made up of extended relatives from various generations. We never thought it strange for all of us to live together under the same roof. Home is where we all get our first lessons on how to understand ourselves and others.

Professionally many of us are familiar with what is known as Emotional Intelligence, which is the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Many believe that Emotional Intelligence is the key to professional and personal success. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves wrote the bestselling book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” in which they state that Emotional Intelligence, or “Emotional Quotient” (EQ), is a skill and a tool. The book was designed to provide a step-by-step program for increasing one’s emotional intelligence using four core EQ skills (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management). Some believe EQ and Social Intelligence have similarities.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a science that has been on the rise for quite some time. Artificial Intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Trying to understand the science and study of AI can be difficult. AI is not based on humans, but rather human input. It is different than EQ mentioned above, and Social Intelligence discussed below because it is just as its name states, artificial. However, there may be some things we can learn from the study of AI to help us with developing better Social Intelligence skills.

As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, we are forced to practice social distancing and develop new skills to move forward. We must gain a better understanding of Social Intelligence. Social Intelligence is the capacity to know oneself and to know others. It is believed that Social Intelligence is a combination of self and social awareness. We must all learn how to navigate and manage social change. Some people even think of Social Intelligence as “common sense.” How many of us have heard the saying that common sense is not always so common?

In relation to the times in which we are currently living, it can be argued that some people are not using common sense. How do we begin to teach and share the importance of Social Intelligence now and practice it in our day-to-day lives and also make it a regular practice in the future? What steps and practices can we create to help provide a healthier and safer environment and keep the connections we have all been accustomed to? Humans are very adaptable, but we need to learn what we do not know.

Brigitte Nicole said, “sometimes in life, your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn the lesson.”  What lessons are we all supposed to be learning now during this crisis? Something we should all think about is what cautions need to be put in place so that we do not just go through this period, but rather grow through this time. We would hate for this tragedy to repeat itself because we weren’t using common sense.

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.Seasonofgreatness.com to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.