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Kind Words

Hannah Swierstra profile picture

By Hannah Swierstra

Kind Words 💙

I seem to have been inundated with kind words recently, they’re washing over me like a warm breeze, or something like that!

In all seriousness though, the power of a few kind words is remarkable.

Yes, in some cases I have been actively seeking them out, asking for testimonials and feedback, but sometimes they just pop up when you least expect it.

Like the message you get from a friend after she’s had a couple of wines, the one-line email from a client when you’ve made sure they are fully prepped for their BIG client meeting, or even a ‘love this’ on your latest social media post.

It all adds up, but how often do we dismiss them? How easily do we forget? Only to be thinking a few days or even hours later that we aren’t really doing a good job of being a friend, sibling, spouse, parent, we’re not serving our clients well enough, and we still haven’t dusted off our running shoes.

We are useless!

We aren’t, ok sometimes we are, but mostly we’re not & everyone’s allowed to be useless every now and again. Take last Saturday after my ‘long run’ which I couldn’t complete due to lack of sleep, heat and dehydration – I should not have had that 2nd glass of wine btw.

I was useless for the ENTIRE day; I couldn’t do anything until Sunday except, eat all the food, drink coke zero and watch re-runs of The Big Bang Theory. And that’s ok, it’s allowed. And that’s why we need to cherish those kind words.

As I said I’ve been very lucky to have received some wonderfully kind words. I recently completed Gemma Cormack’s 5 Day Ideal Client Challenge on Facebook and task 1 was to ask people to describe you using 3 adjectives from a list she provided.

I was blown away, not only by the number of responses but also who responded. I thought it may just be my mates, but clients, old colleagues, connections from networking all chipped in.

Obviously, there was variation in their response but the top 3 words to describe me were:

Productive – good thing as I base my career on that!

Strong – I don’t see myself as strong, I often feel weak, and I worry that my knee-jerk response tends to be flight more than fight and that I give up too easily. Then I had a word with myself!  I’m still here, plugging away at my business a year in & I have no intention of ‘flying’ anywhere.

Determined – I think this may be a symptom of being the younger sister to two older brothers! It may also explain my lack of femininity and potty mouth…

Other hot contenders included courageous, bold, smart, and calm. I also got an ‘elegant’ and they were not being sarcastic, or were they? 😆

Clearly, they were all positive adjectives, I’m not sure that I’m interested in the negative ones, I’ve enough of those chattering away in my head.

I was amazed at how much that simple exercise boosted my confidence and motivation and that will stay with me now. It’s something I can look back on and remind myself that I am capable, and I do have something of value to offer. I am a skilful organiser after all!

Then on the Wednesday I was tagged in a post by an ex-colleague on Facebook along the lines of, who do wish you were still working with 💙 and other ex-colleagues agreed 💙💙 with one saying, I still get to work with her, because she is now a client of mine.

The next day I went to a new on-line networking session and ‘bumped’ into someone I hadn’t seen for months, not since I’d delivered my 10-minute ‘5 ways to manage your inbox overwhelm’ slot at a different networking session. She was literally gushing about how much the simple steps had helped her and how her inbox was running at around 20 emails rather than over 1000.

I felt EPIC!

It was the first session I’d ever delivered as a business owner; I was nervous, and I didn’t think anyone was listening and here 6 months later, I was being told it had transformed the way this person managed their emails.

Time to hang up my pencil case, I am done!

Nah, just kidding, I’m not going anywhere but it did make me realise I haven’t even got ‘5 ways to manage your inbox overwhelm’ on my blog yet!

Kind words, cherish them all and pin them to a board as a reminder that you are capable, you are good at what you do and people like you, in fact some of them even love you 💙