How to gain confidence

Learning to SPEAK UP and voice your opinion at school, in meetings, or  at work is a vital skill that only comes with practice. You have to practice sounding confident until you actually start believing in it.

The video below reminds me of a great quote by the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 Company, Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO or Xerox, she said:

ursula-burns-quote Read More





Hey Ladies Stop Apologizing, THE WORKBOOK now available!!!!

The companion to the original book Hey Ladies, Stop Apologizing…and other career mistakes women make (Sept 2016) is now published and available on Amazon, Chapters, Rock’s Mills Press.

You’ll find the  Workbook on Amazon

or Rock’s Mills Press

or Chapters/Indigo

This workbook will help you:

  • Rid yourself of the disease of perfectionism
  • Break your obsession with being “nice”
  • Banish your procrastination and avoidance habits
  • Improve your communication skills
  • Learn the importance of self-promotion
  • Challenge that shitty committee in your mind
  • Force you out of your damn comfort zone

Leadership Summit for Women -Prof. Maja is key note speaker

I’ll be speaking at the upcoming Leadership Summit for Women on Saturday November 12th, 2016 at 2:30 pm in Hamilton, Ontario. The title of my talk is “Hey Ladies, Stop Apologizing” and I’ll discuss  the ways our internal barriers of fear, confidence and mindset negatively impact women’s careers.

Among the problems women face:

  • We’re perfectionists.
  • We apologize. ALL. THE. TIME
  • We’re over thinkers (especially when we make mistakes!).
  • We don’t self-promote.
  • We’re obsessed with being nice.

This is a half-day conference with the goal of  developing leadership skills and facilitating conversations about meaningful change within our organizations, communities and society at large.

This is a community-wide event that brings together women, trans individuals, and allies from the McMaster and Hamilton communities. This event provides the skills, space, and support for all participants to reach their full potential.

The event takes place at the David Braley Health Sciences Centre (100 Main St. West) 

Admission is free! 

https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/main/map_to_david_braley_health_sciences_centre.html

Please see the link below for the agenda of events. 

Leadership Summit for Women | November 12, 2016

Hope to see you there!


Black Lives Matter – Jesse Williams Speech

Jesse Williams was honored for his activism around Black Lives Matter at the BET Awards 2016 last night.

His powerful speech about justice, equality and cultural appropriation is below: If the video doesn’t play…please see below for the FULL TRANSCRIPT OF HIS AMAZING SPEECH.

 

“Peace. Peace. Thank you Debra. Thank you, Nate Parker. Thank you, Harry and Debbie Allen, for participating in that. Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight — I just want to thank them for being here and teaching me to focus on comprehension over career. They made sure I learned what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also, thank you to my amazing wife for changing my life.

“Now, this award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. All right? It’s kind of basic mathematics. The more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

“Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

“Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function in ours.

“Now, [standing ovation] I got more, y’all.

“Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday. So, I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich.
“Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012, than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Darrien Hunt.

“Now, the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money that alone isn’t going to stop this. All right? Now dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back. To put someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies and now we pray to get paid with brands for our bodies. There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There’s no tax they haven’t levied against us. And we pay all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. You’re free, they keep telling us, but she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so free.

“Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter but, you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now. And let’s get a couple of things straight here, just a little sidenote. The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job. All right, stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo. And we’re done watching, and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us. Burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil — black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them. Gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is, though, the thing is, that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real. Thank you.”

 


You need a f*ck budget

Sarah Knight 4

You can’t go around giving a f*ck about everyone and everything and other people’s dramas, pet projects, new kale smoothie recipes or what your in-laws said.

It’s called mental decluttering and Sarah Knight wrote a kick-ass book about it entitled: “the life-changing magic of NOT GIVING A F*CK: how to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do.”

We’re overwhelmed with demands on our time and obligations, feeling anxious and  guilty as we’re being pulled in ten different directions.  We go around say “yes” to everyone else’s demands but our own.  –But there’s something we can do about it.
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Never lead with the negative

pisstified.jpg

I ran into a colleague of mine at Starbucks last week and this was our conversation:

Her: Oh my gosh, hi Maja, I didn’t think I’d run into anyone. Ugh, I look like friggin’ shit. I haven’t even had a shower yet.

Me: [looks at watch, it’s 2:00pm?!?!] —Hi, how’s it going?

Her: Ugh, sorry I look like such total crap, I honestly was just going to pop in for a latte before going home to shower. I was running errands and then I was going to exercise this morning and then obviously shower,  but then I didn’t finish my work from last night, had a conference call….and then…….BLAH. BLAH. BLAH.

Oh. My. Goodness. What’s wrong with this conversation??

She led with the negative!!! NEVER, EVER, LEAD WITH THE NEGATIVE. 

smiley 4smiley 3simley 1

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Fat Talk, Body Talk, Diet Talk

fat talk.jpg

What is fat talk? It’s any disparaging dialogue about your body or weight. These can either be nega­tive comments (“I hate my stomach”) or positive ones (“Ugh, thank goodness I lost weight so now I can fit into my skinny jeans!”)[i]

Fat talk is a contagious type of conversation that most girls and women engage in. If we’re not directly disparaging our bodies, then we listen to other women do it. We participate in conversations that focus solely on our bodies, not our minds. Read More


Toddlers learn fat shaming from their moms

fat shaming

A new study published in The Journal of Experimental Child Psychology last month showed that toddlers displayed fat-shaming attitudes, learned from their mothers.

Researchers in New Zealand showed toddlers various pictures of thin and fat people, with their faces obscured. “The 11 month-old infants preferred to look at the obese people, whereas the toddler group (around 32 months) preferred to look at average-sized figures.” Read More


You Can’t Save the World

You cannot save the world. You cannot fix everyone. You can’t be the solution to everyone else’s problems. If you keep trying to be the “fixer” you’ll quickly teach others how they can treat you. —Meaning that you’ll be teaching others that your time is dispensable and your needs aren’t important.

You are not responsible for the drama and chaos that is other people’s lives.

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Control the conversation

interrupting

As women we need to take the lead during conversations, because more often than not, someone is interrupting us, ignoring our input or worse, taking our ideas. Damn, can I have my microphone back?

Take the lead. When you get interrupted, don’t back down. When you get heckled or sneered at, keep going, don’t get frazzled (think like a comedienne. What would Amy Schumer do if heckled? She sure as hell wouldn’t freeze up and run off the stage). Read More



Books I LOVE – “I can’t believe it’s not better” – By Monica Heisey

Can't believe it's not better

OK, I have to stop reading other people’s books and finish my own! BUT, I needed some comedic relief and picked up “I can’t believe it’s not better: a woman’s guide to coping with life”, by writer and comedian Monica Heisey. Originally a Torontonian, she’s now a New Yorker…so both sides of the border love her.

Holy. Crap. I laughed so hard during her chapter entitled “The Yogurt Women,”  that I just had to post this. Like, I was crying, literally crying from laughing so hard. This was way beyond LOL stuff. Read More