Somebody Call Olivia Pope

Photo Courtesy: All Free Download

In 2012 ABC released a new political drama series called Scandal credited to the creative genius of Shonda Rhimes. The show is set in Washington, D.C. It centers around Kerry Washington’s character Olivia Pope and her crisis management firm, Olivia Pope and Associates. Olivia Pope is known for “handling” the crisis for the privileged and elite in politics. Not to mention the show captures her scandalous affair with the handsome character Fitzgerald Grant, III, who happens to be the President of the United States.  Whew! 

Whenever someone in the political arena and beyond encounters trouble, Olivia Pope is on speed dial. She swoops in and offers a strategy to her clients that often involves spinning the narrative in the press, a complex matrix of lies, deceit, and ulterior motives. Did I mention that there’s been a dead body or two? Olivia’s team is diverse, and they are well trained. Outsmarting the opponent is their specialty. When Oliva’s clients call in a panic, she assures them with two words: It’s handled. 

Since March, we’ve been navigating unprecedented times as a country. With little information given initially and conflicting directions along the way, this has been a difficult time for many. I know that some of you have simply wanted to yell at the TV from your sofa while watching the news, “Can somebody call Olivia Pope already?”

The truth is, Olivia Pope is a TV character, and the news anchors can’t hear you. So, what do you do in real life right now? 

I want to offer some hope and a few things that may help you navigate this crisis in the days ahead. 

You are not alone.Yep. A lot of us have been trying to make sense of it all, and we’ve been coming up short.  The uncertainty concerning our health, the economy, the next few months have been constant thoughts for many people. So, while all of this has not been normal– navigating this crisis with many questions is more common than you think. 

You have questions. Answer them. Coaching women is my heart work. It’s also my side gig. In the corporate space, I work as a project manager for a destination management organization in the hospitality sector. COVID-19 has significantly impacted this industry as people aren’t traveling and have been adhering to stay-at-home orders So, yes, I’ve had questions about my job and what all of this will look like post-COVID-19. Well, one day, I decided to start answering the questions. 

Thought: What happens if I lose my job?

Answer: I’ll apply and find another job. 

Thought: What if the person in line at the grocery store has COVID-19? 

Answer: Stacey, what can you really do about that? You have on a mask. You’re doing your part to protect yourself. Make sure you’re social distancing. 

I’m not making light of any of this, but the questions are seeking an answer. Start talking back. I talk a little about this on the Let Me Find Out Podcast with Nikki Washington

Your thoughts are powerful. Use them. Your thoughts can be an agent to help you navigate a crisis or a weight to pull you into despair. One of the ways you can use your thoughts to help you navigate crisis is through meditation. I am a Christian, so for me, I use scriptures to meditate on. If you’re not a Christian, that’s fine too. Write down a positive affirmation and use it during your time of mediation. Speak it to yourself consistently, and over time it will become an anchor for you when your thoughts start to drift toward negativity. This time you’ll have something in your arsenal to bring your mind back to the center. Make sense? Don’t discredit the power of your thoughts. 

Navigating crisis is not as easy as we’d like it to be, but we will get through this! Some days will be lighter than others. Some days it will be easier to find joy in the new, simple things, like waking up a little later or having a meal with your family without interruptions. Other days, you may have to build memory muscle during meditation to keep yourself from giving in to the pressure that comes with the unknown. Please know that you’re not alone. God is with you! 

Now that I think about it, who needs Olivia Pope anyway? I’d put my money on you. Bet on yourself. Grab your thoughts, and put them to work.

It’s handled. 

Your friend and coach,

Stacey Joseph Harris

Look for the Ocean

 

This thought has been circling in my brain for a while now and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

If you’re the big fish in your pond, it’s time to look for the ocean. Click to tweet.  Our circle of friends, associates and colleagues can become a comfortable place over time. Every now and then we need to evaluate our circle. Are we being challenged to grow? Are the conversations provoking us to change? Are we being inspired by the daring moves the people in our circle are making? Are we being held accountable for the goals that we have set? Is there a healthy exchange when something good happens for anyone in the group? Let’s be clear, this is not about getting rid of everyone in your life. That would be immature. We need people. But, it is about performing an x-ray on your circle of influence. These are the people that get the first look at your personal development, decisions, and next steps. It’s critical.

I know that some of us have been taught to keep our circles small and by default we have made the doorway to the center of ourselves narrow. While, I understand the logic to a certain degree; I also, see the gaps in the theory. Sometimes it’s extremely crucial to open the door wide to allow the people you NEED in your life to enter. It can be intimidating and awkward at first, but it gets better.

The first time you’re in a conversation with a known millionaire and you haven’t earned six figures yet, it’s likely to be very uncomfortable.  Some of the dialogue may be over your head. You may start to doubt why you’re even in the room. By the second or third conversation, you’ve had time to google a few of the terms….it’s still awkward but you’ll start to feel like if they can be a millionaire, then perhaps you can too! That’s the beauty of the ocean. Ocean swimming can be intimidating, even for a skilled swimmer. The ocean is a place for big fish. You’ll never find a marlin twirling around on the shore. You’ll have to go to where they are. This is called deep water fishing and it only happens in the ocean.

Success thrives in open spaces. You must be open to experience something new. Click to tweet. New people. New conversations. New experiences. New connections. New thought patterns. New business models. You will be challenged. Some of the new influencers in your life may question some of your choices and challenge you to think bigger. Quite frankly, these are the types of people that you want in your circle. Jim Rohn said it this way, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you are always giving, giving and giving and the people are always taking, taking, taking……it’s not a friendship….it’s a transaction. You’re an ATM. (Automated Teller Machine) They are automatically telling you what to do. It’s time to survey your circle.

Pull out your journal and answer these questions.

Who are your top 5?

What is their contribution to your life?

What value do you give to their life?

Do they challenge you to be better?

Are they excited when you win?

Do you gain inspiration from the decisions that they make regarding their life?

Now, examine your answers and determine if it’s time to find the ocean?

In my next blog, I’ll talk a little more about the types of people I believe that everyone should have in their circle. My answer may surprise you.

It’s time to take a deep dive. You were made for big waves. The ocean awaits you.

Your friend and coach,

About Me Stacey

Stacey Joseph Harris