What Are the Greatest Lessons I Learned in 2021?



What Are the Greatest Lessons I Learned in 2021? I’ve been thinking about this for a couple weeks now. December is for self-reflection, and I have put in my time with this annual task. Admittedly, it was a little harder this year. I think that is because the lessons aren’t new, and I had to come to terms with the fact that I repeated lessons in 2021 that I thought I had already learned.


Permission Is Granted

Many smart, experienced, educated, high-performing women are sitting on the side lines waiting for permission to be their authentic, amazing, ambitious selves. Some are aware that they are waiting for permission but quite a few are not. When one woman shows up fully as her brilliant self, she often inadvertently gives us all permission to do the same. The wait is over – we can be who we want to be n do who we want to do without. Permission is granted and the best part is that we grant it to ourselves.


Evaluate Your No

I say no a lot. I have missed out on opportunities and experiences because I have said no. The truth is that I don’t regret saying no to most people, places, or things so the antidote isn’t to say yes more. I am committed to evaluating my no to see if it rooted in fear or discomfort or whether I just really am not that into a thing. I am reserving yes for things that matter, that I enjoy, and that will result in the kind of elevation and expansion that I value.


Be More Specific

I know exactly what I want. The truth is that I always have but I haven’t always been sure that I could have it or that I even deserved it. I’ve always known who I wanted to serve, but I wasn’t always sure she wanted to learn from me. What I realized this year is that I can (and I will) be more specific in my desires, prayers, and requests. No more guesswork. No more getting part of what I want. No more doubting my deservingness and desires. More confidence, more faith, more specificity.


Stop The Foolishness

These are my confessions (in my Usher voice lol): I still ‘negotiate’ with God when things seem ‘too big’. I admit that I am still playing small in some areas – although I am constantly seeking personal and professional growth. Actually, sometimes I’m surprised when the realization that I am still playing small in some areas. Just know that there is much more to me and coming from me in the new year.


Share The Story

I have had so many diverse experiences. I share many experiences when I talk to people in person but not as much online or in my blog articles. I am not going to be the woman who posts every moment or interaction, but I will be more intentional in what I share and how because I know that when I share my story it gives other women permission to do the same. Liberation is the goal.

Although my official vacation doesn’t begin until next week, the wind down has begun. I will be spending less time online during the next two weeks, but I’ll be hitting the ground running in the new year! GET READY!




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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