This past weekend, I was chosen to be one of 45 women to attend the Maxx You Project Workshop. This workshop aims to help women at every age and every life stage, maximize herself and her potential. The event was presented by T.J. Maxx. Laura Berman Fortgang worked diligently alongside T.J. Maxx to design and teach the workshop sessions, and guest speaker and local celebrity Mattie James shared some amazing tips about authenticity as an influencer.
In all honesty, my expectations were exceeded with this workshop. It was tailored to personal and professional development, gave the attendees real tools and information that could be incorporated into their lives asap, and it was so much fun!
3 Takeaways that stuck with me after the event are:
1. Unfilter Yourself
"Research shows more than half of women (51%) filter themselves to succeed"
As we went around the room and evaluated ourselves, I found that every woman in the room filtered themselves in some way. We shared what those filters were and gave each other tips for removing the filters, and even symbolically removed our filters during the workshop.
A filter that I admitted to having is that sometimes I bite my tongue instead of speaking up. I have had some negative experiences in the past where standing my ground and speaking up for myself has caused me to miss some opportunities, which has poured over into my present day life. I now realize that things have to feel right to me and if they don't then I have to speak up and I cannot be afraid because the opportunities that are for me will stick.
Most times we think things are happening to us, but in reality they are happening for us. Speaking up has also recently granted me a much better opportunity. So while I felt like I lost some, it was only to prepare me for much bigger opportunities.
In moments where you have set boundaries and are caught between the decision of whether to be polite or honest. Always chose to be honest. Monitor your tone, be clear and concise, and think about how you would want to be approached before addressing someone.
2. Manage your Shecosystem
"Research shows 3 out of 4 women say that when they're surrounded by women who are themselves, they're inspired to do the same."
Your shecosystem is symbolic for the group of women you are connected to that pour into you and build you up, and in return you also pour into them and help to build them up. Similar to an ecosystem. The women you surround yourself with and are plugged into plays a major part in your growth or in your complacency.
Evaluate every woman in your shecosystem - how does each woman make you feel when you are with them, what is your energy like right after you depart from them. We also mapped out the ways in which we can better use our shecosystems to embrace our individuality.
It is important to communicate with people around you to let them know what you need from them and maybe even more important tat you ask them what they need from you and really listen so that you can support them in the way that need to be supported.
3. Define your ripple effect
"Research shows: when a woman has the support of the community, she's more likely to be her best self. And when she's herself, she passes that inspiration on to others."
Your ripple effect is the impact you have on your community. What do people normally come to you for advice about? How can your ripple effect have a wider reach? Most of us have an impact in our family, at work, with our friends, etc. but what can be done to share this effect with a much larger audience?