I'm going to tell you a little secret: There has been one technology thing that I've been struggling with for
y-e-a-r-s, and I haven't been able to make it work.
Don't get me wrong. I am a smart person who is generally technology savvy. Which makes this one thing even more maddening that I can't get it to work. So what have I done about it? Nothing.
What is this THING? Google Calendar.
Laugh if you want, but it has been my nemesis forever. My ex-husband set up a Google Calendar for us to schedule our respective weekends and kid events when they were little (they are 17 & 20 now, and drive themselves where they need to go), and I could not make it work. Well - I should say that there have been two pieces to this struggle:
1. Logging into G-Suites, and actually adding the new calendar to my existing setup.
2. Getting said calendar to integrate with my iPhone.
Couldn't do either. So, So dumb.
This weekend I was talking to my boyfriend and asking him about something we had planned this month, and his comment was "It's on the calendar". Yep - we also have a shared calendar, which I use exclusively to remind him when he's agreed to walk the neighbors dog for me when I can't do it. Which I schedule from my laptop.
So there I was (already having a reeeally rough morning), carefully choosing my words about *#$@*$^ Google Calendar:
"I am not stupid, but something just isn't working right and I can't manage to see the calendar on my phone. And if it's not on my phone, it doesn't exist." I went on to say "I'm trying not to say "I'm bad at it", because that's not true."
I believe his comment was "Semantics."
At which point I looked him right in the eye and said "I HATE GOOGLE CALENDAR. THAT IS THE TRUTH."
I was SO MAD! (At technology - not him! LOL!)
Actually I was really pissed off that I was letting Google Calendar win. Why couldn't I just figure it out?
So I showed my boyfriend the phone, where I had my Google account set up, and that it did reflect that our shared calendar was visible on my phone. And then I went to the calendar app and showed him where the event should be, and was most decidedly not.
And I decided in that moment that I wasn't going to let it go - I was going to figure it out. Which is what I usually do anyway - I'm a figure-outer! <---- Whyyyy had I let this one drag on for so long?
When I got home I looked it up online, and sure enough I had gone through all the right steps. And it wasn't working. So I deleted the account from my phone, and then tried to reinstall it. Didn't work. Turned off the phone, reinstalled it, and SHAZAM! There were the events from our shared calendar.
Not having Google Calendar wasn't actually having a negative impact on my daily life - and I honestly just didn't care which is why I let it fester for so long. But as soon as I could see that it was a problem, (and that someone thought I wasn't applying myself), I was motivated to fix it.
The real thing was that there was a little voice in my head that was saying "I'm not smart enough" - and there are a lot of bigger voices that hide behind those little ones. Which is all the more reason to manage them sooner than later so that they don't turn into a monster of a story and a subsequent meltdown or self-sabotage of all the things you can do.
Do you have one thing that keeps you in that state of doubt & frustration? Even if you don't think about it all the time - is it out there? I urge you to write it down today, and then think about some ways you can power through - even it means asking for help.
It took me 10 years to figure out Google Calendar - I know you can do better.
This is a little story about what can happen when you actually DO something kind of crazy!
Last November my friend Maggie shared on Facebook that her good friend (& fellow Life-Coach) Belinda Smith was offering a three-month 1:1 coaching scholarship. (Valued at $3000!) On a whim, I decided to apply - because why not!? Right?? Back to that whole "If you don't ask the answer is always no" thing.
The first task in the application process was to fill out a GoogleForm with four basic questions - one of which was "What does success mean to you." I was excited to answer because I had recently just re-defined that for myself as . . . :
Success for me is: Doing work I love (Life Coaching, Photography & VA Work - I call it my "3 Legged Stool of Happiness"!), Making enough money to support myself, my kids and to travel quarterly, dine out once a week and see live music/theater once a month. And making the TIME to enjoy the rewards of my hard work. My recent epiphany was this: When I studied art, I learned that the negative space was equally as important as the object or form we were looking at. For me this time where I'm not working, not hustling and constantly being on high alert about my finances? That is equally important to the work itself. Boom!
(Can you tell I was all hopped up about that? :) )
So a few days after I sent that in, I found out that I had made it to the second round of applicants, and was asked to then complete another GoogleForm with another four questions - one of which was "How do you spend your days?" This one was exciting for me too!
I am currently working with a model of "multiple streams of income" - where I work for someone else in addition to having my own business. (Life coaching/Virtual Assistant/Photographer). I also walk dogs. I love this set up because I'm choosing it. I am not at someone else's beck & call or whim - I call the shots. It's awesome.
Seriously - these questions alone were such a gift to be able to look at how I'm doing my life right now and see that it's pretty great. Because sometimes I just go along, doing my thang and forget where I've been and how far I've come.
In fact I'm just going to stop here and say: Please make some time this week to write a list of all the things you've done in the last six months/year/two years/five years - and then take a moment to pat yourself on the back and say "I'm awesome." Thank you.
So back to my story . . .
For the last question in the final round ("Why do you think we'd be a good match?") we were given the opportunity to answer by making a video - just to be a little bit outside of our comfort zones. I am a complete dork on video (especially when I haven't practiced in a while), but again I thought "Hey why not - I have nothing to lose!" I answered the question in writing just in case there was a #videofail, and then promptly went about recording the video because it was the only time before it was due that I would have the house to myself. I recorded it twice. The second time was actually 97% great, so I kept it. But there was one thing that just wasn't OK about it, which was this:
At the end I thanked Belinda for offering this amazing opportunity, and then said "I mean, even if I don't get it . . . blah blah blah". Ummmmm NO. I was even telling my kid about it at dinner and he said "Oh no you can't say that - you're going to win!" Well there wasn't really time to re-record, so I busted out my video editing skills, and this is how things ended up looking:
You know . . . always great to have a slide that says "oops" on it when you're applying for something big. LOL! After which I waved & said "Bye!", and closed with a little wave or high-five emoji (you pick), and called it good. And kind of forgot about it.
About a week later she announced the winner to the candidates who had made it through to the second round, encouraging people to not scroll down to see who won before they read the first part of the email. And honestly I didn't scroll, because I knew it wasn't me.
EXCEPT THAT IT WAS ME!!
I did not see that coming from a hundred miles away, and promptly had a little cry. What an amazing opportunity to have someone coach me for three months as I prepared to do my first ever live event in Mexico. All of a sudden I knew my retreat was going to go from Special to Ah-May-Zing! Squeeeee!
And that my friends, is the magic that happens when you put yourself out there - wherever "there" is for you. Today I'm encouraging you to try new things, apply for jobs you don't think you're qualified for, ask someone out on a date who you think might be "out of your league". . . . whatever it is . . . go for it!
You know I love hearing your stories . . . let me know how it goes by leaving a comment or sending me a note.
Love & Light,
p.s. Need some inspiration? Go watch this video. I'm proud to say this was my very first employer when I moved to Seattle.
p.p.s Since I first published this I have let go of my role as a Virtual Assistant to focus on Life Coaching & Photography since that's what really lights me on fire. Fi-Yah Baby!
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