Transparency – See me now?
Transparency – See me now? According to Wikipedia – Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in other social contexts, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. It has been defined simply as “the perceived quality of intentionally shared information from a sender”. For example, a cashier making change after a point of sale transaction by offering a record of the items purchased (e.g., a receipt) as well as counting out the customer’s change on the counter demonstrates transparency.
I issued my own challenge to open up
I am challenging myself to get out of my own comfort zone and openly share my own life experiences, struggles and challenges and to allow myself to be vulnerable to my audience. I tend to put up walls and keep my distance and I find that I really crave connecting with people so this is my own personally issued challenge to myself as a coach. I also tend to not talk about myself or toot my own horn but I think it’s time I just open up and share with hopes that my challenges and struggles will inspire and encourage others.
Living with HS – Hidradenitis Supprativa
I was officially diagnosed with Hidradenitis Supprativa when I was 24. It’s been a roller coaster ride ever since but I believe that my attitude about my illness has helped me keep a good head on my shoulders. Images of this illness can be graphic and shocking so I will link the images to the disease above but I won’t exactly shock everyone with it.
It hasn’t been easy to live with a disability and constant pain and it’s even harder to hold down a job with HS. It’s not completely visible to employers and colleagues so they tend to think I was “faking it” when I called out of work using my FMLA. But honestly, when I have a lesion that is on my labia in my groin, in the fold where I sit, and it’s swollen, inflamed and painful, how can anyone expect me to sit on it for 8 hours straight at my desk? Or walk without looking as though I might give birth at any moment? Yes – I am not exaggerating at the degree of how debilitating this disease can be!
I caught so much $hit and felt so frustrated at times because my bosses wouldn’t take the time to research the disease even though I was nice enough to explain, write it out on a sticky note and describe my issue so I just decided to be the better person and “suck it up.” If you are facing a similar issue just be sure and get your FMLA paperwork and stay on top of it when it comes time to renew it each year. You don’t want to let the coverage lapse otherwise you give your boss leverage to find a way to terminate your employment.
It’s ironic because these are the same people who complain about people bleeding out government funds with disability when they can in fact work to some extent, albeit in limited or sometimes very limited capacity. These are the same folks who bitch and moan when I call out of work because I am temporarily out of capacity to fulfill my duties and with good reason. It’s a catch-22 and I always refused to apply for disability benefits because I was always able to do some type work in some capacity but the hassle of listening to unreasonable bosses and doing jobs that I hated led me to work from home. Well that, and the rising cost of childcare. I couldn’t afford childcare if I continued to work so it’s actually cheaper for me to work from home! How ironic, right?
Keep in mind that you don’t have to disclose any information about your disease or disability to your employer because it’s your right to privacy and if you need more reassurance about that just ask your doctor when they examine you to determine if you are eligible. I worked in healthcare for 5 years and it was my job to fully know and understand patient privacy so trust me when I tell you that your boss has no right to know anything you don’t want to disclose and honestly – it’s none of their GD business because all they need to know is what is told to them by the company that handles the FMLA paperwork for your employer. Don’t worry, I’ll be writing more about this in the future as I feel the need to create awareness and vent out my frustrations with how disabled employees are really treated from my own experiences!
The great thing about working from home is that I can write when I am able to and I won’t get harassed by my boss because I am my own boss and I won’t abuse myself that way! I also have a tablet so if I need to not sit at my desk then I can still write and post while lying down! I love modern technology!
Follow your gut when making decisions
The perfect example of this happened to me just recently. I knew I wanted to write about everything I was passionate about when I began The Korean Couponer blog but I took what I thought was a shortcut and detour and some bad advice and now I am regrouping. I have since kicked myself in the hiney a time or two because I started out wanting to write about more than just couponing but I convinced myself that writing coupon deals would be a good idea even though I knew it would literally suck the time out of my life completely.
I also knew a year ago that I wanted to create online coaching courses to help those who had an interest in making changes to their lives but I allowed fear to stop me back then and I went down that ugly spiral of coupon deals. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with writing up coupon deals. Those who write them are awesome writers and they put together some kick a$$ deals that save us all some serious cash. I personally hated writing up deal posts because I always wanted to share more in the post, especially when it comes to coaching, and most people just wanted the short, simple and to the point version of the deal. I can’t blame them as I tend to be long-winded but I quickly started to realize that this niche of blogging wasn’t for me.
I am still trying to find my writing voice and style and I am always trying new things to see what sticks and what falls to the floor. I wrote all of that to say that you should definitely follow your gut because deep down, we all know what it is we truly want and need but sometimes we are our own worst enemies and talk ourselves out of following our bliss.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) was right!
When I first began my blog last June, I was following The Pioneer Woman and other big bloggers that shared my passions and I read her post Ten Important Things I’ve Learned About Blogging and they really resonated with me numerous times. I followed some bad advice from peers, non-blogging professionals and others and I have found that I have become very unhappy in putting myself in a small corner of the world and I am not being true to who I am.
I am loud, I am assertive, I have a big personality that is magnetic and I’ve been trying to fit into everyone else’s idea of who I should be and what I should do. I have since decided to strip off all that crap and just be myself. Love me or hate me, but at least appreciate and respect me in that I am being my entire “true” self. So now I decided to write in my own voice, as if we’re having a face to face conversation. And I use strong language to really drive home my point at times so I decided to include my colorful words, despite my husband advising against it because he says it seems a little unpolished, because it’s how I talk in real life. I am done fitting everyone else’s mold of who I should be and I am just simply going to “be” me!
Finding inspiration from those who have gone before me
I really admire Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman and Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom blog and I hope to one day grow up to be bloggers just like them because they have written all about their passions, unapologetically. I recently read Crystal’s post 5 Questions to Ask When You Feel Like Quitting Your Blog (or anything in life) and it hit home for me because she was so transparent and I really appreciated how she refused to gloss over the real struggle.
It’s incredibly difficult to blog and it’s even harder for me when I still haven’t figured out how to generate a steady income from blogging other than selling my soul to coupon deal posts but I already discussed that earlier and I refuse to go that route again. It’s also difficult when no one posts a comment about your content. The only way bloggers know that you are actually reading their content is when you respond to what’s posted. Lurking quietly in the background is fine but it makes it hard for us to gauge what you like and dislike. I like knowing what my audience likes and dislikes and reading a comment from an appreciative reader really makes my day!
Reading about Crystal’s struggles and seeing how she continues to dig in, smile with her head up high and keep her focus is really inspiring! On top of that, I saw a replay of her first Periscope video and she was a trooper! Some unhappy troll decided to become an internet bully and was posting some awful comments and Crystal held her composure like a champ! Talk about inspiring! It also helps that she had strong support from her followers and they were actually defending her to the rude person. Believe it or not, we really do need the support of our readers and fans because as humans, we cannot stand alone and bloggers cannot survive without a strong community to back them up.
I am not going to apologize anymore!
I am long-winded because sharing information is who I am. No really, it’s what makes me tick and it’s part of my quirky personality. I took this personality test and many others like it and it all boils down to the same conclusion – INTJ. I have a super rare personality type – only 3% of the entire population of the world has this personality type and even more rare is that of that tiny 3% – only 1% of this group is women! I am literally a drop in the bucket of personality types! I always felt like a crazy weirdo growing up because I found it hard to relate well to others but knowing this valuable tid-bit of information really transformed my view of life!
I spent most of my life being told by extroverts to stop hiding and come out of my shell and I honestly had to listen to a ton of criticism for simply being me – a diehard outgoing introvert with high openness. Now that I am 38 years old I have finally found myself and I stopped following the advice of others who think they know me better than I know myself! If you are struggling with this same issue then take my advice, take some time to fully discover who you are with your personality and then learn to love yourself, flaws and all and those who can easily relate to you will be your biggest supporters and those who aren’t so crazy about your quirks will soon depart from your life! This is a great way to declutter your mind and cut stress out of your life!
I don’t know how to ask for help
I don’t know how to ask for help or express myself at times and I get really, really, really frustrated. It’s just a part of my personality because I am always seeking solutions and methods to make things run smoother and more efficiently so I can get a bit “stuck” when I can’t solve my own problems. Luckily my husband is fully aware of this and will jump in and take over to help “push me over the hump” when I am struggling to move forward. It also helps that my husband is also a life coach and knows how to coach me!!
I use a lot of analogies and I talk about abstract ideas all the time! Just another one of my quirky traits! I also state the obvious quite a bit….see how I did that? Haha!
I am asking for your help now. Please help me to achieve my goal of coaching people to a better life. Everything I have done up to this point in my life is to help others whether it’s too achieve financial goals or financial freedom, to encourage someone to pursue their dreams or to come along and help someone who is struggling to move forward. I will continue to write and share but please help me in commenting and sharing your story with me too. Communication is not a one-sided street but I hope that I’ve opened up a door that will invite you all in to start a dialogue with me.
I don’t have it all together all of the time and I will never try to convey that idea to my readers. I have real struggles and challenges that I must overcome just like everyone else. My house is always a mess but it’s a home (we have 3 kids!) and I nourish my family with good food and lots of love and affection. I hate doing laundry and I love to read. My husband is my best friend and has never once criticized me or put me down and he is the happiest when I am the happiest. I want to know that my contribution in life matters, that my work is not in vain and that others believe in what I am doing too.
I felt the best way to convey this message was to make myself completely transparent, well – as transparent as I can be for the moment, this is all new for me! I would love to read your thoughts so please feel free to share your comments with me! Thank you to all of my readers for your love and support! I look forward to the next chapter of life and I hope to see you there with me!