May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
All I can say is… Whew!!!
Metal health awareness is critical in these changing and challenging times. For now, unemployment rates are still rising, and many businesses are closed. As we re-open this country there are many concerns in the world of work.
Whether you are a business owner or using your gifts and talents to elevate your work while helping your employer succeed, times have changed. Maintaining a clear focus during a pandemic is challenging to say the least.
Strong Mental Health Is A Must.
As if COVID was not enough, I found myself in great pain and immensely disturbed by recent events in the news as racism sent many of us swirling. The pain of watching a white woman in Central Park attempting to use a black man’s skin color against him, because he reminded her that she was not following the rules, was astonishing.
And then there was the heart-breaking “knee on the neck” murder of a black man who (allegedly) died in the streets of Minneapolis at the hands of their police officers. This was almost unbearable.
I wanted to look away and be quiet because it was so painful. But I couldn’t. I know that closing my eyes and remaining silent will never end racism.
Yes, I know some people may believe differently than I do, but that is not my concern today. You see, I know what it is like to walk around the world in this beautiful brown skin. I know what it is like to be treated unfairly because of it.
I know what it is like to walk into businesses, job interviews, meetings, conferences, and speaking engagements and see strange looks of surprise because some people were not expecting ME.
These looks (among other things) used to rattle me to my core. I NEVER wanted to look different. I just wanted to be included and heard. I wanted to be valued for the gifts and talents I willingly brought to the table to share.
As a leader, it has always been important for me to be fair to my teams and provide everyone with the same opportunity to succeed. I knew what it was like not to have equal access to success, but thankfully I succeeded anyway.
This is not about gloom and doom, it’s just the opposite.
When people think less of you, no matter the reason, you must walk boldly into your best self and be determined to win. Not because you have something to prove to them, but because you know what you are made of — because you know what you were made for.
You are here to have a positive impact on this world. If you are not doing that, I suggest you get to it. Life can change in an instant, so soak it all in. Do Your Dream. Accomplish Your Goals
The most powerful thoughts we have are the ones we think about ourselves. Those are the thoughts we will eventually live out. It may be with struggle or discomfort but live it anyway. Rise above negativity, even if it is your own. You. Can. Do. This.
I will never be able to fully understand why some people mistreat, kill, accuse, or lie on others. But what I do know is that it takes all of us to chase hate away and dare it to return.
It will take all of us to shackle and handcuff hate, so we can hold it down until we kill it and not each other.
I kept hearing “We Are All In This Together” when discussing COVID. My prayer is that one day the same thing will be true for racism and hate.
In the meantime, I will keep moving forward. I will keep helping people (all people) win at work. I will keep supporting businesses that believe it is important to see all people thrive. I will keep making room for change.
Strong Mental Health Is A Must.
Here’s To Your Success!