I think I loved graduate school so much because I was constantly being challenged with my thoughts and surrounded with other scholars that didn’t just accept what was being told, and quite honestly, that was my only job. My professors encouraged diverse thinking outside of the box and creating new solutions to actually solve problems. Now in the workplace, I realize many times, we are not encouraged to necessarily solve a problem, but we get so comfortable simply having a job. We are to work on projects in teams or even independently, but not really encouraged to bring new ideas to the table to solve problems or simply create a new process. We are told what to do and expected to just do it.

Now, I don’t want it to seem as though we simply have our head down, mouth closed, and are in this stressful work environment. Some positions just don’t require employees to have to be in the position to bring new ideas to the table. After reading Forbes Contributor, Janice Marturanos, “4 Mindfulness Fundamentals to Transform Your Leadership: First, See Past Your Filters,” I started realizing how much I miss being challenged on a daily from professors and peers. 

After reading, I was reminded that once we graduate, move on in to the real world, start careers, grow our families, and find life partners, it is still our responsibility to challenge ourselves, seek out new perspectives and strive to learn new things to really be able to excel as leaders in our industry and communities.  This will allow us to be open to new perspectives, work with a diverse group of people, and not use our own biases and conditioning to filter what we want to hear,  regardless of whether we are in a town hall meetings, team meetings, PTA meetings, or simple conversations around the dinner table.

Over the last year, I have been intentional in acknowledging how I am feeling and questioning myself why I may feel a certain way and really self-reflect so I can have a better understanding of myself and decide what areas I may need healing from. One great gem Janice provided was, “Remember, you need not dismiss the thoughts that you notice arising. You are simply learning to notice them with some spaciousness so you are able to have the kind of clarity that supports conscious choices and transformational leadership.”

Some of my favorite things to do now to challenge myself is listen to a variety of podcast to include:

  • Motivation, (The Mindset & Motivation Podcast)
  • Entertainment (Single in the City with Chelsea LeMore, The Nod )
  • Business Strategies (Secrets of Wealthy Women, Minding My Black Business, and GirlBoss Radio with Sophia Amoruso),
  • Mindfulness (On Purpose with Jay Shetty, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations)
  • Self-care for women (Therapy for Black Girls, Lip Service with Angela Yee).

I love reading new genres, taking advantage of free training’s, attending events that I wouldn’t normally attend, and trying new restaurants and talking to the owners.

What are some of your favorite ways to challenge your thinking and diversify your mindset? Drop a comment below and share.

Published by Lainey

Verlaine is the Founder & CEO for The Connect 757. She is on a mission to connect Black Young Professionals and be the catalyst to allow members to grow personally and professionally through social networking.

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