(Preface: I have an amazing mother who, despite not officially being a therapist, has been mine for the past 21 years.)
When I was in elementary and middle school, my mom used to help me study at night, and one of the ways she helped me memorize material was by creating fun acronyms, where each word stood for some part of whatever I was memorizing.
When I was a teenager, in the midst of one of the frequent, yet treasured, 2 a.m. therapy sessions with my mom, the acronyms made a comeback.
INWIWA (pronunciation “in-wee-wah”): It’s not what I want.
Say it out loud. Go ahead. Give it a shot.
As funny as it sounds, and it does sound ridiculous, this acronym has been one of the most important parts of my life, one of the building blocks creating me (Disclaimer: I’m still under construction.) How long has it taken me to be able to say that with conviction? Too long. But it’s a process. And each time I’ve said it, thought it, or written it has been a step to finally being able to cut through the crap, identify what I want or don’t want, say it, and believe it. No backpedaling or explanation needed.
When I finally said it, it was freeing. I took a deep breath, let it out, and felt proud of myself (another big step).
On this occasion, I said it about taking the next step in a side business I’ve joined called India Hicks. IH is a direct sales company created by British designer India Hicks that offers women the opportunity to empower themselves through their own business of sharing IH’s extraordinary collection of gifts and accessories.
I recently became an independent ambassador and have loved being a part of this company, but I am also still a full-time student and human being who is about to enter the real world, and that’s enough to wrap my head around without all the extracurriculars and other jobs/roles that we all have. So, when I received a corporate lead about someone interested in joining the company, I was thrilled, but immediately felt my chest tighten and my brain kick into high gear.
The anxiety of following up with a woman I’ve never met and professionally welcoming her to IH while trying to get organized for my final year of college and the idea of trying to manage a group of ambassadors while trying to manage my own life and prepare for the real world (and have a little fun, too!) was overwhelming.
Moment of Truth: I don’t need that right now. And that is perfectly okay. It’s a good and positive thing that I was able to identify that. It’s empowering to know that and say it out loud.
(That’s what IH is about, too–allowing women to empower themselves through a personal business that can be as big or as small as they want.)
I want to be a part of the company, I want to have Get Togethers, to use the beautiful product, and to support this community of women, but I don’t want or need to manage and keep up with my own team right now.
My Revelation: That’s okay. It’s not set in stone; it may change in the future. But truthfully, right now, I don’t have time. And there are things right now that are more important to me right now. Things that are my higher priorities. And the time that I do have, I choose to devote to those things.
I am one of those things.
It’s important to give yourself the freedom, permission, and power to set your own priorities, to know your own boundaries, and to say “no.”
And in that way, you can be a little selfish. Allow yourself to be selfish–or call it self-defense, if “selfish” is too negative for you, because it truly is self-defense. You know what you can and can’t do. You know what you want and don’t want to do, too. And you’re the only one who truly knows those things, and who can truly defend them. (More words of wisdom from my mom.)
When you do that, it’s a great feeling–it’s easier said than done–but it’s a great feeling. Trust me.
I told my mom that I had decided that I don’t want to be an IH director right now. You know what she did? She smiled and said, “INWIWA.”
Take care of yourselves, y’all.