Do you wake up on days when you doubt yourself? Days when you wonder if your wonder woman cape has lost some inches on its wings? Moments, when you ask yourself if you can really accomplish everything on your to-do list? Or if all the hype around you being productive - is just another flash in the pan? Do you wonder if you have to diminish some of your super powers for other qualities to shine? Or do you have to decide which part of you wins and which one loses?
Giving Up One For The Other
If there is a question I get asked a lot, lately. Its something similar to the question, one of Ugandan’s finest hosts, Daudi Mugabi asked me recently on his podcast Business Mic (here), he wanted to know - how I’m able to manage all my creative endeavors and remain sane. I told him the truth “I don’t know how I do it, Daudi - I just show up and get things done...”. Okay, you know I’m a talker - so I kind of went in to explain a little bit about the passion of doing the things you love, things that you are made for and turning, even your weaknesses to strength.
I also had a different conversation with power host and super woman Sandra Beck, of Powered Up Talk Radio in Los Angeles. I shared on her show HERE, about how we women have to switch hats several times a day. In my case, the Actress might wrap up for the day, but the Talk Radio Host in me gets to work, or the Speaker in me might take a rest after a great speaking session, but the Mummy side of me still has to show up. And for that reason, I’m on call 24/7.
Even on a slow day like today - I try to remind myself that I am Bold, Brave and Ballsy for attempting to do some of the things I do. In fact, I am a triple threat, the quintessential BBB. But I’m not only a BBB - I am also a triple S. Yes, I am Smart, Sensible and Sultry. He he he...What’s that? No, you can’t tell me that I can’t be a triple S - because I’m already a triple B. Ha Ha...It’s like saying - I can’t be an Actress, because I’m already a Mom. No wayyyy, You can’t tell me that. Nope! I want them both.
A Long To-Do List For Wonder Woman
Like many powerful women multi-tasking and juggling several balls - I’ve got my hands really full, and almost spilling over. See, I’m counting down the days to the launch of a Global Campaign - which I’m putting together with my co- mastermind Frankie Picasso and 19 other unstoppable women who are also co-authors for the Anthology - I BARED MY CHEST( find out more about them here). And as expected, we are also counting down the days to the book release, but that’s not all. This week, I’m launching the release of my inaugural edition of a magazine digest called, BRAG and I’m so excited to have the beautiful powerhouse speaker, award winning author and life strategist - SharRon Jamison on the front cover, as influencer of the month - Yes, I’m excited but I’m also losing my mind, as my assistant editor has been away for weeks. Yup! My new digital Bundle STRIPPED DOWN SUCCESS For Creatives is out and I’m putting together a small giveaway contest on behalf of famed Nollywood Actor & Transformational leader, Chidi Mokeme who has purchased five of my bundles for five lucky creatives.
With an endless list of things to do, I still get to be one of the 11 Industry Experts, speaking at Amy Walker’s Give Gratitude Summit. and to be honest I’m just grateful for the platform & opportunity to share my expertise, all the way from Africa. So you can imagine how much of a huge undertaken, it all is for me - of course today, I’m questioning myself. Can I do everything? Can I be everything? Can I continue to break boundaries from inside Africa?
A Feeling of Deja Vu
The frustration of overwhelm reminds me of the time - I walked off a MOVIE set last year, after being held back Five days longer than our original contractual agreement. I had a number of UNATTENDED commitments dangling in the air... meetings, loads of emails, articles to write, a blog to manage, a radio show to produce, guests to schedule, podcasts to record, coaching clients, clarity callers to take, promotional banners to make and oh - the big one - A six year old to tend to.
And while a few of my co-stars appealed to me to stay back and FINISH the remaining two scenes in the film...I declined, not only because the director was being extremely RUDE, but because I had enough of his insolence...DAMMIT...Movie making is a 'symbiotic' relationship between an actor and a production crew. So why does the average 'director' feel so arrogant, like they are God's gift to an Actors career? Forgetting a director will be nothing 'spectacular' without Actors to actually direct...as Actors will be without them too.
Okay, If I invite someone or I’m invited to collaborate or partner on a project. I want to make it easy and seamless for the other person. I want to honor their time. I want to honor the opportunity. And of course it pisses me the hell off, when others don’t honor my time or my commitment.
Making A Decision Based On Principle
The director was presumptuous in assuming, that just because I wasn't initially throwing a DIVA TANTRUM like some other Actresses (or women in general), I didn't know what was right... especially when I remember how much time was wasted four consecutive days in a row - I had sat on set, fully made up, dressed for my scenes, script read, lines ready and yet didn't shoot a wink. That's right!!! (Yet they didn't understand, that my decision to finally walk away and attend an important meeting, was based on my PRINCIPLE as a professional). The argument was that I could have stayed back and finished the job.
My argument was that, I had already made myself 500% available - way past the plan. Yes plans change, but I already had a commitment - that I wasn't going to let another commitment BREAK, especially after I gave the production five EXTRA days of my very precious time to prove to them, that I am a team player and I wanted the production to succeed...even at the DETRIMENT of my other responsibilities as a PARENT and as Creative Entrepreneur....
Sometimes, when you are a woman who strives to make others happy, people think you are foolish - but there's also a LIMIT to my own foolishness. I have made it a personal rule not to care anymore, what others say behind my back, especially if I know that I’m doing the right thing based on my own principle!
Having Powerful Instincts You Trust
In the meeting I left for, I made five hundred percent (500%) times the money I was paid pre-advance, than what I was paid to stay locked up on that movie project (A job I would have missed if I didn't listen to that stubborn 'intuitive' voice inside of me, telling me to get the hell up and move).
A voice I have recently learned to TRUST in business. And let's be honest, playing the sweet nice Alex 100% of the time isn't going to put food in my son's belly or pay my bills. And as a GROWN woman who makes her own rules...I am the one who decides for myself, what I am willing to sacrifice, because I am the boss lady in charge of my own VISION.
The Value Of Who You Are
Severally, I have been told, that I'm too bold, too strong, too tough a woman...and I sometimes wondered if that “too” was a terrible thing - especially since I also know that I am KIND, LOVING, GENEROUS and Beautiful in my own way.
Maybe it's the strength I exude, when I handle my disappointments, the way I TACKLE my challenges, the PASSION in which I present my opinions, the unfiltered HONESTY in which I share my thoughts, the weird CHOICES I make or the fact that I rarely waiver from my deep CONVICTIONS. A strategy that has so far helped me survive this world we live in - especially when on a daily basis, there are people out there constantly trying to impress on you their own standards, views, beliefs, culture and values. I have learned to be unshakable - so that I don’t become a confused woman who keeps changing her direction every time someone has a different view or opinion.
But those who have permitted themselves to UNDERSTAND who I am and how I operate, know that these traits are complementary to my other 'softer' virtues (I'm extremely TOLERANT, open minded, always grateful and small kind gestures make me so emotional)...still all of these qualities - combined have been the bane of my VALUES both as an ACHIEVER and as a person.
Demystifying Societal Labels About You
Don't let anyone tell you that a woman isn't meant to be BOLD or strong...or that you can’t be sexy because you are spiritual, or that you lose your SEX appeal if you are Intelligent. That KIND people, aren't tough or principled. Or that you can't be an Actress anymore because you are now a Radio Host, that Stay-at-Home Mothers are not supposed to be ATTRACTIVE or because you aren't a shrewd woman, you won't make a great BUSINESS mind, that you can't have flesh on your tummy and still be considered downright SEXY or that you need to be in a relationship to feel complete.
Do not let society bend you to conform to their mediocre standards or expectations .
STAND OUT Gracefully. And pay attention to these beautiful words by Alicia Keys....
You are allowed to be Smart
You are allowed to be Beautiful
You are allowed to be Radical and have 'strong thoughts' that others might not AGREE with
You are allowed to be Tough
You are allowed to be Sexy
You are allowed to be Bold
You are allowed to be Shapely
You are allowed to be Kind
You are allowed to be YOURSELF"
You can be all of these AMAZING things and more...ALL at the same time.
One doesn't have to be ABSENT for the others to be present. Even though you aren't PERFECT. Know that a woman can BE everything she wants...For as long as she remembers to be herself.
And even today, as I question ALL the load I’m carrying. I am REMINDED of how far I have come - because I am a woman who is capable of accomplishing everything I set for myself.
So what kind of woman are you? What kind of woman do you aspire to be? Or better still what kind of women do you know or surround yourself with? Feel free to EXPRESS your thoughts!
Stay Authentic & Keep Winning!
NOTE: A Version of this article was initially published on the Authors official blog HERE and currently “re-purposed” for her HUFFINGTON NAKED SERIES (HNS).
P.S : Join Me In My Effort To Change The World With My Empowering Thoughts. If You Like Today’s ‘NAKED SERIES’....Don’t Forget To Leave a Comment and Share This Article With Those You Love (Or Even Like A Lot).
Got A Question? Feel Free To #AskAlexHERE. Alex Okoroji is also a Multi Platform Ambassador for Self Empowerment & Transformation, a Reinvention Activist & Thought Leader. Simply Connect on Twitter: @AlexOkoroji or at her website: www.AlexOkoroji.me.