Thank you BB&T for sponsoring this post.
As a busy work-at-home mom, I am always trying to improve myself by focusing on things like productivity, wealth, happiness, and balance. Today, I’m sharing my best tips for finding a life that’s filled with passion and purpose. Speaking of self-improvement, did you know that the BB&T Leadership Series shares insights on leadership topics from some of today’s best and brightest thought leaders?
I’m really excited about this series for many reasons. As a female chemical engineer, I faced obstacles both in school and in the workplace. People assumed I was just another pretty face and couldn’t possibly have the knowledge to compete in the rigorously technical world of designing chemical reactors and balancing oxidation-reduction reactions. However, the dismissive attitude I faced from my peers and colleagues pushed me to study longer and work harder – and my efforts eventually paid off! I graduated summa cum laude from my undergraduate program and went on to study chemical engineering at the graduate level at an Ivy League university. The experience has taught me a number of life lessons that I proudly carry with me to this day, the most important of which is not to let naysayers dissuade me from pursuing my dreams and goals.
I took the hardship of the gender stereotype and flipped it around to be a driving force in my career and life! This is the same attitude held by John O’Leary. He survived a near-fatal house fire at the tender age of nine, which severely burned 100% of his body. After months in the hospital, ten finger amputations, and dozens of surgeries, he finally made it home. Despite this traumatic childhood experience, he is now a popular inspirational speaker that encourages successful people worldwide to pursue their passions and strive for greatness. Furthermore, he is the author of the famous book On Fire, which has received acclaimed reviews from many.
So how can you be the best version of yourself? Here are my top five tips!
1. Ignore the naysayers!
Whether you are a corporate professional, struggling student, an entrepreneur working from home, or anything in-between, there will always be people that try to push you down. Never let those naysayers dictate your future. When I had fellow students (and even one or two professors) who made comments implying that I would not be able to compete in this industry, I kept on studying to prove them wrong. Eventually, my hard work resulted in A grades and a full-tuition scholarship to graduate school!
2. Embrace challenges!
No life is unfettered by obstacles and hardships, but it’s the way we handle these obstacles that dictate our future. If we panic at the thought of adversity, we will be unable to best navigate the tricky waters. Instead, if we embrace the challenges, we will use the opportunity to learn and move forward. For example, John O’Leary used his traumatic fire experience to inspire others to live their best life! Instead of letting the fire dictate a future of pain and fear, he used it as an opportunity to get stronger and teach others that it’s possible to triumph past horrific experiences.
3. Set realistic goals!
Setting goals are important for growth and reaching new milestones in our professional and personal lives. However, our goals need to be specific and realistic. Always be sure to set up a timeline for how you intend to tackle the various small-scale tasks required to meet the large-scale goals.
4. Find balance!
A requirement for being the best version of myself is to find balance in life. As a work-at-home mom, I can easily work from sunrise to sunset every single day. However, I set limits and try to balance my work life with the other spheres of my life. I am always striving to split my time and resources among mental, physical, social, and spiritual goals. One of the most rejuvenating activities for me is spending time with the kids, and since ice cream is my guilty pleasure, I am ecstatic when I can combine the two! 🙂
5. Stop the negative self-talk!
Many of us are guilty of this mistake: telling ourselves we are not good enough, we will never get that promotion, we won’t look good in that outfit, and so on. Although it’s normal to have a bit of self-doubt here and there, make sure it’s not constant or irrational. The truth is that most of the time, the story we tell ourselves in our head is much worse than the actual story happening around us. One of the best ways to clear my mind and reset my psyche is to relax in the garden with an iced tea and a digital magazine.
I hope these tips have inspired you to live your best life this year! If you are ready to overcome your challenges and celebrate the everyday moment with passion and optimism, be sure to check out John O’Leary’s work. Each year, he partners with hundreds of companies to transform today’s challenges into tomorrow’s successes. John has truly mastered one of the best skills around: realizing that we can choose to live a bolder, brighter life!
Don’t forget to also check out the BB&T Leadership Series, which was created to support BB&T’s commitment to leadership development. This series of interviews with today’s top leaders inspire others to embrace leadership and overcome hardships. They focus on personal motivation and how it relates to leadership in one’s personal and professional life. Watch the video below for a peek into the BB&T Leadership Series where today’s best and brightest thought leaders share their insights on leadership.
Don’t forget to learn more about John O’Leary and his connection to BB&T. Have you overcome any challenges? How do you strive to be the best version of yourself?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.