Enough, YES YOU ARE!!
I remember when I applied for my current position as the Assistant Director nearly four years ago like it was yesterday. With nearly fourteen years of experience working my way through the ranks, I knew I was ready for this position but self-doubt showed its ugly face. I recognize the majority of the women on my floor were administrative assistance essentially secretaries and the majority of executive directors were men. So of course, there was quite a bit of tension when I was chosen for the position. I can recall my supervisor telling me a secretary saw him in the hallway and commented I was not worthy of the pay or the position. And here’s why? In certain positions, once you given them your dreams come and go of becoming something better because often times you do not feel as if you are worthy of better. So, I listen to him and took what he said as a challenge instead of the end of the world. Following the comment, my immediate supervisor had the long discussion about dressing the part, acting the part, and re-developing myself for the position.
So of course, I embraced the constructive criticism and begin evolving into the Assistant Director. I learned the job, in addition exactly what the position required. A new job required a new me. New level of commitment, sacrifices, and you know it long hours. My rest day was on Saturday, but Sundays I was in the office right after church and next stop the gym. The most interesting part about my dedication to the job was I still didn’t believe I deserve the position because the seed of doubt was already planted. So, I started taking courses to perfect my craft starting with Executive Leadership and Marketing Strategies certification on-line through Cornell University. Followed by Food System Leadership Network training and other course such as Tennessee Valley Leadership Colloquium for professional development purposes. In addition, I begin carving my niche in grant writing, one-on-one consultation with farmers, grants and grant writing for farmers, and government programs available for farmer. Finally, I became more comfortable being myself and becoming my own G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time.) I begin to work closely with people I admired and even to this day I continue to listen to their wisdom and words of encouragement. Over the years, I learned “leadership is taken not necessary given” and needless to say I earned every position by becoming a better leader.
Four years later as Assistant Director and (17) years on the job, there are days I still feel I am inadequate and just not enough. I had to realize a bad day does not constitute a bad life or inadequate Lisa. Listening to the webinar Organizational Wellness and Resiliency by Christina Garza reminds me of the power of daily positive affirmation and re-enforcing the power of self-care. Protecting my thoughts with ‘”OH how fabulous I am” is just as important as eating healthy and working out. There are definitely days I know I’m ENOUGH, but on the other days positive affirmation always bring me back to my core replying YES YOU ARE.