Do THIS When You Get Stuck
Punch the Bully in the Nose
Here I sit after a few weeks of feeling paralyzed, recalling the ups and downs from my School for Superheroes story. Since 2015, there have been more successes and knock-downs.
I can see the difference in myself from then to now. I have been able to expand my stamina to be vulnerable and to take risks. My resilience has grown stronger to taking hits like these.
Most importantly, I have learned what to do when I get stuck.
I sweep in on a wave of adrenaline, like a 2nd grader who strides over and punches a bully in the nose. I felt bold. The plan looked great on paper. Yay me! But once the punch was thrown... , my nervous system did what nervous systems have done for millennia: beyond my control, I froze.
Not fight. Not flee. FROZE.
Willpower is Overrated
I knew I was in trouble. Alarm bells were firing off in my head. “Now, without saying anything, look in your partner’s eyes. When I start the music, I want you to keep eye contact and dance toward each other in slow motion.” Locking eyes with my partner Tonya Cornelisse for two straight minutes, being vulnerable AND on a stage, snapped me back to the least confident version of myself. Fighting to keep eye contact, I turned into the shy 10-year-old I used to be.
Definition of Insanity
Life lasts longer than a 90 day sprint. In real life, despite our best efforts, we gain all the weight back. It makes you wonder why you bother at all. In fact, relying on just your willpower is worse than doing nothing because each failure chips away at your confidence. Why go to all the effort to create a new life that you hate?
If You Can't Love Yourself…
I brush myself off and get back up again, only to make the same mistake from high school, but in the opposite direction! I see that life is longer than a sprint so I take a longer view. I decide, “Life isn’t a sprint. It’s really a marathon!” Spreading my willpower over 90 days instead of 30, I commit the same mental error, same result.
You Can't Buy It
It doesn’t matter how confident I feel on the outside. There is always an internal voice, working overtime to steer me away from things that might cause me harm. And apparently that inner guide sometimes takes me back to middle school! Is he really just trying to keep me safe?…or is he just traumatized by past crises?
Could Your Daughter Run for President?
Until you solve it, every challenge looks like a locked door with no handle. Your bad day can be a good story that helps someone else. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for our hard-earned experience. We certainly don’t recognize it as Wisdom.
This Might Not Work
One day, your daughter, or niece, may want to run for president. Will she be able to turn to a network that supports her to reach her goal to get elected? A team of women who have been there and know how to guide her? What do we need to start building now to support her run in 2040?
Where Are the Wonder MEN?
Over the last six years, each step I took outside of my comfort zone felt like trying to cross a room with no light to guide me. My first blog post, walking into my first improv class, signing a lease for my own office. Each step felt like inching out into the darkness with caution, waiting to bang my head against something I can’t anticipate.
Always Fall to the Right
Every speaker and every sign at the Women’s March made it clear what women need to do: step up, speak up, be counted. But when I got home, I thought long and hard: What can an advocate for gender equity, who happens to be a man, do?
Your Big-Ass Permission Slip
“At the beginning I couldn't even move. I was completely paralyzed. Then I rode around in the cul-de-sac. I immediately fell. And I fall to the left. I can’t help my instinct is to go that way. I always fall to the left which is kind of scary because when you're on a road you should really try to fall away from the cars which would be to the right.”
How Big is Your Purse?
Every single force in the world (schools, experts, Pinterest, your relatives) are in on the scam to make you feel like you are doing too little. That is a recipe for stressed-out parents AND stressed-out kids. You CAN do less. I am pulling out a post-it and scribbling you a BIG ASS PERMISSION SLIP… to back. the f*ck. off.
The Year She Leapt
It’s an old joke that a mom is better prepared than an Eagle Scout for the next act of God, toothache, or head injury. But I don't believe that we can afford to joke about this anymore.
The working mom is THE ENGINE that powers your family every day from dawn to dusk, then cleans it all up and starts again.
Dear Dad-who-could-do (a-little) more,
What is Stacy’s greatest superpower? Creativity.
“I don’t think of myself as a creative person, naturally. I think of creativity as a practice. It’s a skill! It has to be developed. Even if you can only do it a couple minutes a day, just keep doing it. There’s a path there for you if you follow that passion. Eventually, it will all make sense.”
Watching ‘Wonder Woman’ with my daughter
I handed that baby back to her when she got home and breathed a sigh of relief. Mentally, I went off duty. And like most of her life as a mother and a wife, she went back on 24/7 duty. Where do you think she is finding time “for herself”? She isn’t.
She thought my invitation was a transparent effort to show her an example of a powerful woman. It wasn't. I was already sitting next to a powerful woman.