You are more beautiful than you think. (Sometimes)

Have you seen the new Dove campaign? If not, in a nutshell, Dove posted a three-minute ad on YouTube that teaches a vital lesson about how we view ourselves compared to how others see us. The tagline of the campaign is: “You are more beautiful than you think.

It made me giggle. Don’t get me wrong, I totally ‘get’ the campaign. It moved me and like others, I shared the clip on various social media platforms. But it did remind me of an old video clip of myself taken 5 years ago. The clip was an eye-opener for me and reminded me that how I view myself is not always how others see me.

You see, I entered the Two Oceans 8km fun run in 2008. A close friend managed to take a video clip of me running to the finish line. When I watch this video, I can die of embarrassment!

It’s weird to see just how odd my running style was (and is still today). It’s a shocker! As a newbie runner, I had no proper running kit so I ran in my gym pants. I’m slouched forward, terrible running posture. My running pace looks like I’m taking a Sunday stroll through the park but yet 5 years later, I still run this slowly. I would never have realized this unless I had seen that clip. In my mind, I thought I looked like any other professional runner.

It’s so good to look back and see just how far I’ve come…

The message of the Dove campaign has one thing in common with running though. It’s how I love the look of my face after a run. No make-up. Red cheeks. Flushed and sweaty. Big smile on my face. Medal around my neck. I practically glow!

It’s the one time when I don’t wear make-up that I truly do believe I look more beautiful than I think.

(If you receive my blog via email and the video doesn’t play, please view this post via the web. Thanks!)

A tale of two coaches

Whilst enjoying a breakfast with my girlfriends, I was listening how one of them explained how she goes about managing her team at work. She told us that she manages all of them very differently. Some thrive on praise, whilst others need to be pushed and challenged. She concluded that it’s about finding that ‘something’ that motivates them because not all of them respond in the same way. *good manager Mich*

The same can be said about the training techniques of running coaches. Lately, I’ve been exposed to two very different training techniques. The one coach drives me harder than I’ve ever been pushed in my life and has me setting goals that give me serious goosies. The other expresses concern about my love of running and tells me to slow down.

The training methods of these two trainers are so extreme that what it has taught me is that as in life, with running, there needs to be a balance.

You see, while I “get” what each of them is teaching me, I have settled for the middle ground. I’ve decided that while I like to be pushed hard and be motivated to believe that I am capable of so much more, I do understand that there is a time and place for everything.

Yes, so I do need to push myself and reach those running goals, but at the same time, if it causes me to stop enjoying running, those goals are empty. Pointless.

Thanks coach! Both of you….

Lessons from my mentor: sell yourself

I’m one of those people who is priviledged enough to have found a handful of mentors who I’m able to bug for advise and assistance when I encounter different problems, not only at work but in my personal life.

Catching up with one of my mentors and a good friend (my Mr Miyagi) yesterday gave me lots of food for thought for my run this afternoon…

He was sharing his views on people’s personalities and how, (in his humble opinion) you don’t really get far in the corporate world unless you are willing to have a voice to speak up and be heard.

The point he was trying to make is that for some people, speaking up is an uncomfortable space to be in. There are people who would much rather sit quietly in a meeting, taking notes and internalising the issues than being the loud-mouths who need to be heard. The down side to this is that these ‘quiet’ people are then viewed as not contributing to the discussion or not having an opinion.

Unfortunately, to be noticed and to grow and to be recognised as someone who has something of value to the team, you sometimes need to push yourself out of that comfort zone and become that loud voice. Especially to make sure people start noticing you and the knowledge you possess.

So many of us have special skills and konowledge which a lot of people are unaware of. The best person to sell those skills is yourself because there’s no one that knows you better than you know yourself.