T-Transform into the New You
There are certain rigid thoughts that keep us stuck:
I’m a physician, so I ALWAYS be perfect.
I can’t let my guard down ever.
Medicine is all I know how to do!
Whether you say them out loud or not, these thoughts crawl into your brain and begin to live there rent-free unless you take steps to identify them and shoo them out. The last piece of MINDSET equips you to do just that. The “T” – Transformation, will allow you to identify and pursue your joy, regardless of the criticism of others.
To recap the series, we’ve talked about Moving Out of Your Own Way; Identifying Your Overwhlem; Navigating Away From the Naysayers; Discovering Your Authentic Self; Seeking a New Perspective; and Eliciting Hel from Mentors.
Now it’s time to Transform. Begone stagnation, I say! No regrets! Yowza! It’s going to feel amazing.
The T begins with U
Your transformation MUST begin with you! It’s about what you can control: Your thoughts. Your inner visions. Your reactions.
Vision boards aren’t for everybody, but I find they help me understand what I want. On my vision board, I put words, images and pictures of people I admire for walking their talk. There is nothing wrong with becoming a better version of yourself by admiring the positive attributes of another. That person(s) becomes your muse and inspiration for self-improvement.
If vision boards aren’t your thing, use a journal or record a voice memo talking about your aspirations. The important part is to get your goals out of your head and into the world. What does your ideal life look like? What does it feel like? What do you need to prioritize to make it a reality?
Again, you can base this on what you see around you. We live in a great big world where there is very likely someone you identify with who is already living your dream life! During my transformation from burned out physician to speaker/humorist, I observed comedians that I loved. My favorites were Jim Gaffigan and Wanda Sykes. I guess I needed an Ebony in Wanda to Jim’s very pronounced Ivory! I pieced together what I liked in each individual.
I considered myself a clean comic the likes of Jim, but Wanda’s old stuff has some clean aspects to it and honestly, I found that I could imagine her setup/punchline…sanitized. And then I discovered Ken Jeong! I thought “All-righty, being a clean-Black-female-physician comic is not out of my reach.” (If you’re not aware, Ken Jeong is actually Ken Jeong MD!). Watching these three comedians do their thing gave me permission to transform into the funny person I’d always wanted to be. Lynette Charity MD – physician AND comic could live happily in perfect harmony. Mazel Tov!
Your authenticity impacts the world
As my keynote career progresses, the best reward hasn’t been making lots of money or winning awards (although that all feels pretty good). It’s been in connecting with others.
During one contest, I felt I had the winning speech to advance to the World Championship of Public Speaking. I was the last contestant and I was confident that I was going to win. But I didn’t. I was disqualified for making my audience laugh too much! Because you shouldn’t step on laughter, I let the timer run over as the audience reacted to my jokes.
I was devastated when I found out I was disqualified. “Stupid, stupid, stupid! Why didn’t you look at the clock? Stupid! You let everyone down!” As I sat in a corner beating myself up, a member of the audience came up to me later and said “Your story was amazing. Your message. I felt you were speaking right to me. Thank you. Oh – ,” She added, “You should have won!” I realized that connecting to others with my message was more important than winning. But I won’t say you can’t have both. This person pushed me to compete again the next year, which I did, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The title of my winning speech was “I’m Going”. I told the story of walking through the white neighborhood on the first day of attending the recently integrated white high school near me. This was the first time having the contest outside of North America. And there were many foreigners in attendance who had no clue of the segregation and racism of the U.S. in the 1960s.
I won third place in the SemiFinals. More importantly, I was surrounded by non-Americans who wanted to know more. Adversity to Oppression is universal. I felt like a Rock Star! It felt so good to connect.
So, tell me…Are you ready to allow love of self and the joy of just being YOU drive your decisions rather than fear and doubt? Think of all the people you will impact! You may be someone’s Ken Jeong or Wanda Sykes or Jim Gaffigan. The great thing about transforming into the best version of you is that you get to take others along for the ride. And who knows, someday your picture may grace someone’s vision board.