While other coaches keep pushing us all to press forward through the end of the year, my mind, body, and spirit are like, “girl go sit down somewhere”. Not only have I given so much of myself all year and I’m physically tired, but I also just want to end the year with quiet, and peace, and intention. I want to take the month of December off so that I can rest – mentally, physically, and emotionally – and launch into the new year refreshed, rejuvenated, and receptive to the wonders that await me.
December is a time of self-reflection for me. I don’t just use the month to think back over the current year, I think back over my life. One thing I have been reflecting on throughout this year is how I have been protected, supported, and encouraged throughout my life. I had a great childhood where I felt seen, heard, and encouraged though at times I also felt misunderstood, fearful, and even confused. I’ve had hard times and dark moments in my life, but I am not defined by them. I’ve learned from my mistakes, betrayals, and missed opportunities, but I have been shaped more by love, potential, and accomplishment.
I went into social work because I love helping people, but I am not a fan of ‘Oppression Olympics’ or ‘Struggle Sessions’ where people compete to see who has suffered the most trauma. I am inspired by and celebrate anyone who has overcome great odds, but I don’t want an invitation to a pity party. I am grateful that I don’t have the traditional struggle story – abuse, extreme poverty, bullying, illness, academic challenges, etc. – and will not pretend that I do to validate my success. Child of divorce, first-generation college student, single parent are titles that I use only to help me turn my tests into a relatable testimony to help others, not badges of honor that I use to prove my expertise. My challenges have made me stronger, but a lack of certain challenges does not make me weaker (though sometimes I feel that society sees it that way).
As I reflect on my career, the truth is that everything that I have ever wanted or needed professionally has come to me quickly and easily. My God-given gifts have always made room for me. None of the average statistics about job hunting and entrepreneurship have been true for me. My needs have always been exceeded. ALWAYS! My gratitude is overflowing.
Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a Career and Empowerment Strategist who helps high-performing women of color in management go from overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated to energized, well paid, and appreciated. Through Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, she also helps businesses recruit, hire, train, and retain great employees. Nicki has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and 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 she loves. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.
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