Advice to Myself

It took me a couple months, but I’ve started seeing my coach again this year. One of her first assignments for me is to think about the advice I’d give myself for the rest of this year. I’ve come up with a couple ideas — some of which are perennial problems, while some are problems I’ve only recently started thinking about thanks to therapy and coaching.


Ah yes, focus, my mortal enemy. So illusive and mercurial. What does focus even mean for me? Well, I should definitely allow myself more heads-down design time. Close Slack. Close p2s. Close email. Put “do not disturb” on. I struggle with focus, so giving myself more space to focus by turning off distractions can help.

And if that doesn’t work? Allow myself to do some passive distractions, like washing dishes or some watercolor painting. I often make breakthroughs on a problem while doing something else with my hands.

Lean Out

I have too many commitments. I need to scale back on some of them, especially projects that aren’t directly contributing to my growth. This means leaning out instead of jumping forward at new opportunities. After all, the more I’m doing, the less focus I have for the most important tasks. This is super hard for me! The key to this might be external accountability… or signing out of some volunteer Slack groups when some projects wrap up.

Be Vulnerable

Like most humans, I suck at vulnerability. My coach had me read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, and I need to continuously take her advice to heart.

This means…

  • Don’t be afraid to look stupid
  • Ask more questions
  • Allow myself to talk out problems with other people
  • Ask for, and accept, help
  • Allow myself to take breaks and time off when I feel like I need it

Grow Without Shame

Related to being vulnerable, I should allow myself to be in a constant state of growth. I need to give myself permission to stop comparing myself to other people, and instead, look to them as inspiration — how can I reach that level of skill? I need to embrace a beginner mindset, and get rid of “I should already know this” from my vocabulary.

It’s okay to not know things! I should be aware of what I don’t know, and then let curiosity drive me. I can choose what I want to learn more about. I can on the things I WANT to know more about and improve them with intent. Rather than striving for perfection — which is an impossible task — I should be striving for excellence.

Recognize my Experience

Not only should I not be ashamed to learn and grow new things, but I also shouldn’t be afraid of speaking up and asserting myself when I’m an expert. I’ve gotten way better at this in the last couple years (leading a WordPress release actually helped) but I still have a long way to go. As we’d say at GRCB, I rock! 🤘

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