“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Apple
Your palms are sweating. Your armpits feel like a faucet and you’re trying to remember if you brushed your teeth. You’re in a room full of new people and it feels like everyone in there knows each other. You’re wondering if people care that you’re there and you don’t know what you’re going to say should one of them walk up and actually talk to you! If only you could just calm your nerves, maybe…just maybe, you could let the real you shine through.
I know that feeling. I used to feel that way often attending networking events, going to college parties or even walking into the cafeteria on campus. I wasn’t really shy but large crowds just made me nervous and my body language, facial expressions, everything sure reflected it! I would literally stand to myself and wait for other people to come up and approach me and if they didn’t I would just leave thinking that the event was a flop when in fact it was me just having a hard time juggling my emotions.
However in all my time standing alone I noticed that the most popular people are those that have lively personalities and pleasant faces and body language. They look approachable and kind. Trust me, inside you may feel like you’re playing it cool but your face is doing something totally different and it’s making people walk far away from you!
If you’re attending any type of function and you’re very nervous or just need help relaxing in a new environment, try these simple tips!
1. Know what you’re there for. If it’s a networking event are you there to meet new people, pass out business cards, make business connections or connections for a future job opportunity? If it’s a party are you looking for friends, someone to date, meet new DJs? If it’s an educational event on your campus is it for class, personal interest, a college aspiration? If you can get very clear on your main reason for being there you’ll make sure that that purpose happens before you leave.
2. Smile. Everyone looks friendly when they smile and you look more approachable. If you want to continue with the deer in headlights looks expect to stand by yourself the entire time. If not, smile!
3. Laugh. Smiling and laughing go hand in hand. It brightens your face and look. (Don’t just stand there laughing by yourself though, that will make you look like you need to be in psych ward)
4. Walk up to another person who appears to be standing alone and introduce yourself. I know this is a major step for someone who is shy but it’s a proactive step towards meeting new people and it makes you look very confident.
5. Use these five questions to strike up a conversation. What’s your name? What do you do for a living (or what grade are you in)? What brought you here today? Big plans this weekend? Wow, the (something that happened earlier that day) was interesting, what’d you think? People love to talk about themselves and these questions are a good segway into a basic conversation. If the person seems to not want to be bothered just grab your phone and say “Ooh gotta take this call. Nice meeting you!”, step away and find another person in the room and try again.
6. Have an amazing story to tell. The most interesting people I’ve found are the ones who have great stories to tell. There is something so engaging as you stand in anticipation to hear the entire story. If you do choose this route make sure it’s not some crazy story about someone who just died or a story that’s extremely long. Go for the wow factor!
7. Wear comfortable shoes. There is nothing worse than having to stand in an outfit or shoes that you feel uncomfortable in. Dress in breathable clothing (that means not skin tight and a loose fabric like cotton). That way your body language also reflects your comfort level.
8. Have some water. Think of your water cleansing out the butterflies in your stomach. Just take a sip and take a deep breath and repeat.
Question: What techniques have you tried to cure your nervousness?
Not only is KeKe an amazing singer, actress, and now talk show host, she is also a perfect example of what a true leader exemplifies. She understands and leverages her leadership skills to becoming the successful young lady she is today. KeKe was quoted for saying ” I always try to set a positive example for my generation and promote confidence.” That’s right, the essence of leadership! So grab a seat, a cup of coffee and let me introduce you to The KeKe Palmer School of Leadership!
1. KeKe is relatable, and every leader needs to relate to her audience. KeKe is the kind of girl you want to have as a friend and one you’d be willing to take sound advice from. The amazing thing about her is that she interacts with her fans. They have questions and problems and she gets right into the conversation with them and answers them! That’s what a leader does.
Leadership Lesson Takeaway: Look for ways that you can solve small problems around you and find ways to add value to your peers, soon they’ll begin to realize that your are a valuable resourceful leader.
So as most of you already know Zendaya was set to play Aaliyah in the upcoming Lifetime biopic movie: Aaliyah: One In A Million. However a few haters took to Twitter to rant about how the singer should not play Aaliyah because she looks Latina and Aaliyah was clearly African American. Zendaya who has an African American father and Caucasian mother is clearly not Latina. Now after backlash she is no longer affiliated with the project and for that I’m upset.
Zendaya posted on her Twitter account: “She’s (Aaliyah) has been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent shines brighter than ever, all I wanna do is honor her…there will never be another Aaliyah, I just hope to share her beautiful story, and make her proud up in heaven.”
Now, someone who shares sentiments like that is a clear fan of Aaliyah and is looking to expand beyond her Disney repertoire and gain experience acting in various types of roles. She has ambitions of not just being another “kid” star but maturing into new more challenging roles. Her story taught me a lot about how to handle haters.
I’m upset because I feel like Zedaya allowed her haters to get the best of her (a no no in my book). She took to the BET Awards red carpet and said that she is no longer apart of the project because she felt like they were rushing the project and she wanted to do it right and not rush for someone she honors so much.
It could be that the family had some back lash about the project and for the Director and Producer did not consult them and maybe she didn’t want to be in the midst of that drama. But I’m willing to bet that it had something to do with the backlash from her haters (cough, cough) I mean “fans”.
When you have a dream and it’s something you feel passionately about don’t let NOBODY…excuse me….ANYBODY tear you away from it. When you know WHO you are, WHAT you’re doing it for, and WHY it’s important to you and your life, everything else can take a backseat. (Especially a hater!)
I think it’s borderline bullying when people feel “If enough of us gang up on her then we can change her mind”. How about you band together and use your words for good or to create positive change?
Haters will always have something to say, and 9 times out of 10 it’s incorrect. Zendaya is mixed but in an ignorant person’s eyes and mind she gets labeled “Latina”. (First of all learn your cultures…)
Haters aren’t pursuing their own dreams so they’d rather spend all their time tearing you away from yours. Get a hobby, connect with a higher power and find your purpose in life…as a matter of fact, sign up for my mentoring program and I’ll work with you ;-). I will always remind you that there is power in your tongue! Use your words to uplift and encourage others.
Haters won’t say half of what they want to say to you in person, so they’re just computer thuggin’. You heard me right! Just typing their little pointless lives away behind a screen because they are insecure with who they are and unsure what they have to offer the world. And this poor child is out here trying to be an example and positive role model…..
All in all I said all this to say:
Let your haters make you greater.
When you hear what haters say, laugh because you will prevail and stand proud, and all they can do is stand and look silly when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.
Don’t change who you are because of what someone has to say about you. For every one person who hates you there’s a million more who will love you, and that’s the God honest truth!
Keep on pushing because your perseverance will cause you to be prosperous!
Everybody who is somebody had a “somebody” who was’t for them. Stand firm in YOU because at the end of the day, YOU are responsible for your own happiness.
Put this post on Replay..(A little Zendaya humor)
Question: How do you handle haters?
Question: What’s one habit you’re going to try to closer to your 4.0?
1. You have to go seek opportunities, they won’t come for you. College is the land of opportunity if you look at it that way. Never again will you have access to so many individuals from all over the world and with so many different backgrounds all living and gathering in the same place. College is intended to not only gain an education but to gain wisdom. This is why it’s important to go to college with a set of goals, things you want to accomplish in your life over the next 5 years. Once you have that in mind you can look at your experiences with opportunistic eyes. Are you looking to start a business? Where are your clients? In a certain department? In a certain dorm? Are you looking for a mentor? Whose on your campus that’s doing what you plan to do in the upcoming years? You have to reach out and get what you want and deserve for your life. Nobody is going to be knocking on your dorm door offering everything to you because you’re cute or smart. It’s the same later on in life, so get used to it!
) and keep it near your desk area. Do the same with papers from work. Keep meticulous records, even of your bills. Having these systems in place now will save you plenty headaches later on in life.
Question: What life lesson has college taught you?
I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.
On the last week of school there were four teenage boys tossing a tennis ball to each other. They were walking kind of “Sex In The City” style all in a row just laughing and smiling. Everyone’s heart started racing and I saw teachers putting themselves in front of their small students, once they spotted the boys headed their way. Soon the conversations teacher were having with each other came to screaching halt and everyone’s eyes were on the boys. One teacher who was leading Car Rider duty got on his megaphone and yelled “Go On Boys. This is an elementary school you can’t be here.” The boys kept walking. He said again “I said you can’t be here. Can I help you with something?!”. The boys kept walking. Some other teachers started to walk towards the boys before they got too close to the students who were sitting outside waiting on their parents to pick them up. Once the boys finally got close enough to be heard one boy said, “I’m just here to pick up my little sister”. His little sister cheerfully jumped up hugged her brother and waved goodbye to her friends. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. (Wipes brow) “Wheew, they weren’t thugs”!
Really?! Is this the story of our young black men? With all the craziness we hear on the news everyday about teens killing each other, shooters in schools, fights, and the like, where does it leave our young black men?
In this true story no one knew anything about these boys who inoccently were just playing catch. His mother entrusted him to protect the life of his little young sister and get her home. But because he had the look “ear length dreads, white t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers”, everyone was on edge. Everyone was waiting in anticipation for him to do something wrong. Everyone sat back and was ready to be reactive to what they felt was about to be “a situation”.
How often do we fail our young black men for being themselves; reactive rather than proactive? We wait for them to determine who they’re going to be. We wait for them to let society define them. We wait for them to determine what they are going to be. We wait for them to fall into the cracks. We wait for them to try to dig themselves back out and we sit and watch and shake our heads and say “Mmm, mmm, mmm, why does it always have to be us” by us meaning black.
Every black boy is NOT a thug. Every black boy has the ability to lead, to be strong, to be great. Every black boy has the ability to be consistent, determined, and successful. We have to train them. We have to get involved. We have to not be afraid to walk up to them and speak and to pour into their lives. This is our responsibility and no one else’s.
Let’s reclaim our boys. Let’s remember what we value and TEACH them. Let’s be honest about the world we live in. Let’s help them to be resilient against people who judge them based on a cultural appearance.
Let’s raise the bar.