Archives for the month of: January, 2015

Good news, readers! Heidi and I are working to create a new look for this blog. We want to spice up the look and feel of it, and decide what direction we want to take in the future. We’ve both enjoyed writing for Unveil Your Brilliance and now we want to create something that is more us. We want to generate more honest conversation about topics that interest us and our readers, and we want to find more ways to reach out to every one of you!

Please check back soon for a new look, new topics, and new discussions! And thanks to everyone who reads this blog–we love to know that anything we’ve written has made an impact, no matter how small it might be.

staytuned
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Photo courtesy of Julian Carvajal on Flickr creative commons. (http://bit.ly/1zspR7J)

Photo courtesy of Julian Carvajal on Flickr creative commons. (http://bit.ly/1zspR7J)\

I just got off the phone with my mom’s friend. I have never met her but she lived and worked in Philadelphia for basically her whole career. I wanted to find out more about it firsthand. It’s amazing how nervous I can be to interact with another human being. But once I do, it is the most natural and comfortable thing to do.
What is it I am afraid of though? Will I be judged? I think that that might be the thing that nags me beforehand– putting myself out there and hoping that the other person will not only understand me but be compassionate towards that understanding. Maybe the key is being comfortable with yourself even when others aren’t. If someone isn’t responding to you with compassionate understanding of who you are, give yourself that compassion you deserve. When I approach a situation knowing I am going to get compassion and empathy no matter what, I approach it without as much fear of being judged or misunderstood.
I want to remember mentality for interviews, parties, and even when I’m on the coffee line.  Because, hey, I’m worth it.

My first self-evaluation for my job is due this Friday. The email from my supervisor was sitting in my inbox last Thursday morning and, before I even opened it, I started to feel nervous and unsure of myself. Have I been doing my best? How can I improve? All negative, self-deprecating thoughts. Once I clicked on the evaluation and saw how it is laid out, I felt much more confident. It is a series of specific questions and ways to rate my performance in various areas of my job. And specific, I can do. As I’m sure many of you can tell from my previous posts on this blog, I sometimes suffer from lack of confidence. I think part of that is because I’m still fairly new to the working world and to this job, but I also think another part of it is because that’s just the way I’m wired. I’ve always had to fight with myself to let myself shine, even a little bit. It’s still something that I struggle with every day.

This self-evaluation, like I said, is not as bad as I first thought it would be. This time last year, my performance was reviewed by my supervisor and my manager, since I still was not yet here for a year. I remember waiting for that evaluation meeting and feeling slightly terrified–I didn’t want to have to face all the mistakes I had made since I started work here. I also remember leaving the meeting and feeling great. They didn’t drag me through the mud, not at all–they pointed out where I did things right and, when I had made a mistake, they gave me guided instructions so that I wouldn’t make the same mistake again. And they did this all in a very constructive way. Job evaluations are supposed to be professional. They are used so that you and management are all on the same page in regards to the work that is expected of you and the work that you are actually doing. They are meant to help get those two things as close together as possible.

This time around I’m going to take an hour or two to fill out my self-evaluation. I’m going to really think about how I’ve grown since I first started here a year and four months ago and what steps I’ve taken to do so. I’m also going to think about the areas in which I still can improve, because I know I can sit back and objectively look at my performance. It’s nothing to be afraid of and I’m going to stop scaring myself with the voices I sometimes allow to run rampant in my head. This is an opportunity for me to show management what I have done and what I can still do, and a chance to improve myself for the future. Let’s do it!

self-evaluation
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Written by third grade me.

Written by third grade me.

My mom found a folder of my third grade art and homework projects. I looked through it all last night.  Among the glued construction paper and the funny writing prompts, I found a worksheet called “I’m nuts about me!”.  It’s a sheet filled with acorn-looking outlines and directions to write in each one coordinating with it’s description.  For example, one nut says, “Your full name” and another says, “My favorite foods”.  Most of the nuts were unremarkable.

The nut that caught my eye; however, was the one that said, “The best things about me.”  What I wrote surprised me.  It said: “That I am proud of myself.”  I was surprised for a couple of reasons.  One, because I chose to write about something intangible, rather than something like, “my hair is pretty” or “my teeth are really straight.”  It gives me some more insight on how I became so introspective as I grew up.  But it also surprised me because I don’t think I would write something like that if I was asked the same question today.  I would still write something intangible, but it would probably be some singular part of myself that I approve of, for example, my creativity.  I think I could benefit from believing that I am proud of my whole self again.  I think a lot of us could.

Thinking about what the best things about you are is not just a third grade activity.  It’s a lifelong activity– I would argue that it’s a darn healthy one at that.  What are the best things about you?

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