About a six weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to start a blog. I made a post or two and then I waited…and waited…and waited. I waited for everything to be perfect…the right subject, the right photos, the right…everything. I followed other bloggers, content creators, and organizations on Twitter and started thinking about honing my brand, deciding on what topics to blog about, monetizing the blog, working with sponsors, and the list goes on and on…
But I came across two things that spoke to my core. The first was a comment by Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) from the BlogHer Conference (check out the full text here) in Los Angeles where she said, “Don’t be afraid to tell the truth.” The second was a post on Skirtingtherules.com by Robyn Moreno. She’s quoted as saying, “I believe the most powerful feminine strength that helps women get ahead is our ability to build communities. To succeed, you need to find your tribe: a group of women or a board of advisors.”
So I decided it’s time for some honesty. I have been living in a bit of a fog for the last several months and while there is still a bit of a haze, I am making decisions on moving my life forward. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. It is a chronic condition that I treat with medication and therapy. Most of the time, I am able to function. However, four months ago, I was so severely depressed and anxious that I attempted suicide. Fortunately, I was able to get treatment and am now focusing on my mental health and well-being.
This is a complete 180° from the way I have functioned almost my entire life. For the first time, I am making decisions based on what is best for me. I never realized how many decisions I made based on what other people wanted (family, friends, bosses, co-workers, Facebook). I am still coming to terms with what this means for my relationships with all the people in my life. I had become accustomed to ignoring the signs that I was taking on too much…ignoring the flashing red light when I was reaching my limits, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Now, I listen to my body more. I pay attention to when I’m tired. I say no…and mean it. I am taking the time to decide what I really want to do with the rest of my life…what it means for me to be happy, satisfied and successful…on my terms.
Which leads me to the second comment. Robyn Moreno used the words “tribe”, “board of advisors”, and “dream team” to describe people who can help someone achieve their dream. Before simply assuming I was clear on the definitions of each word, I took the time to gather the appropriate definitions. A tribe is a group of people with strong common interests. A board of advisors is a group of people who provide strategic business counsel. A dream team is a group of people of the highest ability working together towards one goal. So what does all of this mean? Well, Robyn Moreno suggests these five individuals could be a mentor, a friend, a connector, an idol, and a caretaker.
I spent some time thinking about who these people are in my life. Do I have them? If I don’t, how would I get them? Are they available when I need them? Do we have quarterly meetings? Okay, perhaps too much time. But I came up with a roadmap to help create my dream team. I need a mentor who I respect, a friend who gives sage advice, a connector (or two) to put me in touch with the right people and a caretaker for when I get overwhelmed. My dream team may not look like your dream team…and that’s okay! For me, an idol and a mentor are very similar so I’m combining that person and plan to add an additional connector because I have two different groups that I want to reach. Remember, nothing is one-size-fits-all. (Trust me, I have thrown away many undergarments labeled such that DO NOT fit!). Instead, tailor this idea to what works for you. Maybe your dream team is three or four. Maybe it’s eight or nine. Maybe you have a mentor, an idol and a guru. Maybe your friend is also your caretaker. It’s up to you.
So tell me…Who is on your #SkirtedDreamTeam?