“I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.” ― Shonda Rhimes
Is this quotation making you feel queasy? Has it got you reposting with a resounding YASSS QUEEN!? Either way, if you work hard for what’s important to you, this post is for you. Come on in.
I recently devoured Shonda Rhimes’ book “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” in a weekend. Hat tip to work colleagues who suggested it – needless to say it lived up to all expectations. I’m a huge fan of the TV juggernauts that are Shonda Rhimes’ gift to the world. The number of times Meredith Grey has shone a light on how and why feelings happen the way they do is, well, numberless.
But this isn’t a book review, so let’s get to it.
Cast your mind back to a showreel of times you succeeded. Childhood is a good one, but any sort of micro-win at work, or a pancake flipping first time will do too.
Hit play. Watch yourself do the thing. Then scroll through until you find someone’s reaction. Maybe you’re relaying the story the next day, maybe someone is there with you, maybe you call someone to tell them the good news (if you do this when you flip a pancake first time you are my kind of person and I salute you).
What is their reaction?
If their reaction does not include a recognition and praise for your hard work, dedication, focus and sacrifice then take a wee moment to reprogramme a bit of praise into your system.
The reason that the quotation up top makes some of us uneasy is because we sort of recognise it but we don’t believe it. We haven’t been given permission to.
Here is a simple quiz to see if you are badass:
1) Do my goals cause positive change or harm?
(If you answer harm, sorry you’re out of the game)
2) Am I doing work to honour those goals?
(If you answer no, have a think about your goals, have a tinker, and try again – hard but worth it)
And – lights down in the studio please – the final question:
3) Am I showing up for myself every day?
Notice that this question is not “Am I kicking ass to the best of my potential every single day?”. That, young Jedi, is not a right, but rather a result of showing up for ourselves while the wind blows in the right direction.
What did you score?
I think there is a big lesson here. If we show up for ourselves we can tap into whether we want to say yes or no (or a big YASSS QUEEN – don’t let me stifle your zjuzj). It doesn’t mean we can always be as brave or shiny or eloquent as we know we can be. But we intend to do our best, and that’s all we can do.
I don’t mean to sound defeatist. Pay this labour of love in day after day and you will be surprised at what you achieve. It might mean getting your head down and not sharing everything as a perfectly perky insta post. It might mean not nailing every meeting. It might mean taking rest days from the gym.
Badass takes hard work. Hard work is hard. Go hard, and give yourself the credit and the reward (and the rest and recuperation – which can be the hardest part!).
Then, have copies of Shonda’s delicious quote handy the next time someone tells you you got what you deserved because you were lucky, you gorgeous badass.
Claire Eadington geeks out on workflow management, performance and wellbeing.