The Call to Courage
As most of you know, Amy Scripts is my side-hustle.
Just like anyone, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, yet; but I honestly think I will be at my company for a long time. People always ask me if I want to quit and take my scripting full-time, and on the bad days at work, of course I've considered that, but there's so much more that my day job gives me than just a salary.
I am in sales. Do I want to be in sales forever? No - it's exhausting. Being in your role vs. being at a company are two completely different things, though, and there are just some days that you really get inspired and remember how good you have it.
Yesterday was one of those days.
I'm really involved in my office outside of just the day to day basics. I've always had the kind of personality that I had to be involved in anything/everything I could. If there is an opportunity in front of me, I dive in head first without hesitation. I like to contribute to planning events. coordinating philanthropic efforts, helping make decisions, hiring, training, anything etc. (you get it...)
Being busy and having something to do at all times is what motivates me, keeps me on track with my day, makes it go faster, and honestly prevents me from putting things off and procrastinating. The reason I share that is because I lead a 'small group' of women in my office's women's ERG (employee resource group). I've been leading a small group and helping to coordinate the ERG since I started and it's something I love doing.
For those who might not have ERG's in your job/office or know what they are, they're employee-lead groups that are meant to foster growth, development, diversity, etc. in your career. They've developed and formed around like-minded individuals and are totally voluntary. Our company at the corporate level has 5:
- women's ERG: to support women in the workplace
- pride ERG: to support the LGBTQ community and allies
- parents ERG: to support working parents and families
- multicultural ERG: to support all individuals of different backgrounds/promote diversity in the workplace
- honor ERG: to support active military, veterans, and families of military/veterans
These are the 5 biggest, but each field office across the country (100+) forms their own and they're all a little different, depending what those individuals in the office need or want to grow.
So, with our women's ERG we do bigger all-office events (bring in speakers, lead team building events, do clothing drives, etc.) and also break into small groups once a quarter to talk with each other on a more intimate level.
Last month, as an entire ERG, we decided to watch the Netflix special: The Call to Courage with Brené Brown (if you haven't watched/listened to it yet, highly recommend).
We each watched the special on our own time, and then talked about it as a group in the office and how some of the themes apply to our office, individual careers, etc. We put a specific focus on how we, as women, can support each other to have courage and hold each other accountable to doing things that scare us, how it compares to how men in the office handle different things, and so on.
It was a super productive conversation and we decided to continue the theme into our small group discussions this month. We each took home the question: "What is one thing you have been holding yourself back from doing because you are either too worried about the outcome or you are lacking the courage and confidence to do it?” and then shared it with our small groups over dinner and how we could help each other have courage.
They made me go first.
My answer was not work related.
& I'm the leader...
so that was awkward,
it is what it is.
My answer to "What is one thing you have been holding yourself back from doing because you are either too worried about the outcome or you are lacking the courage and confidence to do it?” is sharing more of my personal life and being more vulnerable through Amy Scripts outlets (i.e. blog, Instagram stories, social media feed, etc.)
I 'joined' Instagram via my personal account in 2013, and didn't post my first 'selfie' until 2017. Even since then, I've only ever posted 3 and all 3 were after I got my hair done/colored differently. I've never (to this day) ever even talked on my stories. And I'm not taking front face camera on me, I mean talked even over a piece of work I'm doing. Like what?! EVERYONE TALKS ON THEIR STORIES!!!! I share that because even on my personal account, I get hesitant to post things about just me, myself. I share things that I do with friends, me and Will, my dog, family events, etc. never just me.
When I made the leap and started doing calligraphy and started Amy Scripts, I made the decision to keep my personal and calligraphy accounts separate. It was a choice I made for branding purposes, yes, but also because I didn't think people who followed me cared or wanted to see calligraphy when I first started. It was a personal hobby first and seemed (in my head) that people wouldn't care so I shouldn't post that; if they wanted to know how my new hobby was progressing, they could follow along with my journey @AmyScripts.
In the 2 years since starting and since doing research and really growing my brand, I've learned first hand/experienced it, heard it at conferences, on podcasts, by other influencers and real professionals in the industry, that branding is all about personality and adding in personal touches. A brand that works is authentic, real, and makes people feel something/relate. So why do I always second guess those elements and stray from what I know works?
One of the biggest takeaways from Brené Brown on this topic was only about 10-15 minutes into her talk and it has to do with fear and shame. She says feeling shame is like walking out of a room filled with everyone you know and care about and they all start saying hurtful things about you and that shame is the feeling that you can never walk back into that room again or face them again. She gave a speech that was published online and once started reading the comments that were posted on her research and gives some examples of the things people said... "less research, more Botox", etc. and I really related to that because I know that I am not sharing or building a more personal brand because of that exact fear.
Brené then quotes a speech by Theodore Roosevelt (1910) in a really amazing way and says that it's not the critic who counts. She said there is her life before that quote and her life after that quote and that if you're brave with your life and choose to be in the arena, you're going to get your ass kicked. You're going to fail. Its a choice you have to make every day - to choose courage over comfort and to be brave and take chances and grow from the failure.
"Vulnerability isn't about winning or losing, it's about showing up even when you know you can't control the outcome."
I got some amazing encouragement and advice from my girls last night, and will be making more of a conscious effort to really try to share more of my life throughout my calligraphy account. I need to have more courage, to be all in, to be scared, to fail, and to do it anyway.
I've written about this before and I have made small steps to sharing more about me, but it's always been very calculated and purposeful of exactly what I want to share, how much, and when. I really do try to be authentic and nothing I post is 'fake' or not me, but I do know there is something missing and it is more of the personal element and taking the filter off sometimes...
not literally, I still want a consistent feed ;)