I Showed Up…For Myself



You know our theme for February 2022 is self-love and since you also know that integrity is one of my core values, I want to share this experience with you. I would never ask you to do something that I would not do myself.

I never liked to take pictures. I would take pictures on very special occasions but for the most part, I’ve always shied away from the camera and the spotlight. I can’t remember if I shared with you that a few years ago one of my relatives even told me if I passed away, they wouldn’t have enough pictures for my obituary. Although I don’t think it was that bad and she was being dramatic, something in me shifted. I began to take more photos with family and friends, but I had only had two professional photoshoots since my daughter was a baby – and that is because I am an entrepreneur. I began to post regular livestreams and videos on social media because it’s pretty hard to run a business without showing your face these days – especially when working with clients virtually. I don’t like it, but I’m used to it, comfortable with it, and it’s now just a part of what I do as a business owner.

I have been avoiding taking new photos for years and the coronavirus pandemic added to my angst. I was uncomfortable being around a photographer without a mask and definitely unwilling to do an indoor photo shoot. My coach recommended a photography company months ago and I procrastinated and procrastinated. In January I remembered that my word for the year is elevation, and I scheduled a photoshoot outside (because Covid-19 has not left the building).

When February rolled around, I thought of every reason to cancel – weight gain, no time for shopping for a new outfit or time to get my hair, make-up, and nails done, it was freezing outside, and I know I already mentioned it, but lawd these pandemic pounds. I didn’t tell anyone I scheduled the photo shoot and location until I was en route (for safety reasons) and I held myself accountable. More important to me than how the photos turned out is that I didn’t cancel the shoot. I practiced self-love. I SHOWED UP…FOR MYSELF! And the photos are pretty good – especially since I didn’t have a vision in mind when I arrived.

I’m even planning to do a ‘proper’ CEO photo shoot when the weather warms up in a couple of months. Stay tuned…



Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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