Earlier this year I spoke at the largest women’s conference in California. As I sat on the stage, amid a sea of corporate titans and tech mavens, I was asked to introduce myself. Instead of launching into my usual spiel–writer, editor, blah blah blah–I hit the people with a remix.
“Hello everyone, my name is Britni Danielle, I’m a writer, editor, mother, and badass.”
Now, I didn’t set out to add the last part. When I was going over my intro in my head, “badass” wasn’t anywhere to be found. After all, the Watermark Conference is a super professional event–Condoleza Rice, Viola Davis, and Madeleine Albright were keynote speakers at the conference, so you know it’s real. Still, something inside me said, “Tell these people you’re a badass”…and I did.
I haven’t stopped since.
Earlier this month I was laid off from my job–yup, the super dope job I wrote about last year. It’s gone, y’all. No warning, no real explanation, no golden parachute to land on. I ain’t even get a, “Thank you for your service.” NADA.
At first the experience was jarring. I was upset, confused, and I admit, I shed a couple of tears. I mean, I lost my whole job. But even in the midst of my pissivity, I knew I would be fine.
How? It’s simple: I AM A BADASS.
For five years I only ate what I killed. I made a living as a freelance writer penning articles for a slew of publications, amassing THOUSANDS of clips, and I also taught others how to do the same (um, take my class and thank me later). EVERY dollar I made during that time came because of my badass brain, writing skills, and ability to convince your favs to trust me with their stories, then writing them up in the most compelling way. Ava DuVernay? Oprah? Denzel? Viola? Idris? Russell Westbrook? Yup…ya girl has spoken to them all–and then some.
Years ago, I stepped out on faith, left my comfy job as a teacher and didn’t even consider a Plan B. I threw myself into writing and made it happen. Was it always easy? Hell no. But was it fun? Yup. And I also racked up some passport stamps, put my kid through private school, and paid my car note (mostly) on time.
Like I said, I’m a killer, I ain’t new to this. So when I was laid off I knew I would be fine, but it took reminding myself who the hell I was to really know it deep down in my bone marrow.
Perhaps you can relate. You’ve been through something that shook you to your core, but it also reminded you who the f–k you were and whose you were. Or maybe you’re struggling right now because things just don’t seem to be going right and your confidence has taken a serious hit because of it.
If you happen to be part of the latter group, I have some good news for you.
- You’ll be fine. Trouble is always temporary
- You’re a badass, you just forgot it
I know a lot of people don’t do “self-helpy” and “new agey” stuff. I was once one of them, but then I realized that, yeah, what we focus on does expand and how we feel can and will shift what’s going on in our lives.
So if you’re in the midst of the storm, I want you to do a couple of things to right the ship and start feeling like the badass you are:
- Be thankful. Sh-t may be going terribly wrong in your life–bills overdue, credit is jacked, your dude is trash, whatever. But be thankful you’re still here. So many others aren’t and being here means you have another opportunity to start over and get it right. Every day, write down what you’re thankful for (one time I wrote, “Coffee”). Soon, you’ll have even more to be grateful about.
- Reintroduce yourself. You are a badass. Remember it, write it down, say it to all the new people you mean, chant it while sh-t is blowing up in your life, say it while you drive, never forget it again.
- Walk your talk. As a badass there’s just some things you just won’t accept, like failure. You will not fail yourself, you will not fail at your goals, you will make it happen. Figure it out and get it done.
- Seek badass info. I read inspirational books (especially Jen Sincero’s Badass books), listen to podcasts, hang out with other badass people. Surround yourself with so much goodness you can’t help but rise to a higher level as well.
Aight, time for some practice. Leave a comment below (re)introducing yourself. I want to hear it.