Personal Professional Development

By Shannon Boatwright

I’m not big on shopping for clothes, shoes or make-up. Do I like fashionable clothes and shoes? Of course. Do I like good make-up? Sure. Do I spend tons of money on them? Nope. I love a good deal – at Goodwill even. I get myself a good Kohl’s coupon, and I am on it!

My favorite mascara is a Wet n Wild brand and costs $3 at Family Dollar. I use it because I discovered it actually does not smudge, unlike every other mascara I’ve ever tried. The point is, great stuff doesn’t have to be costly.

With all that being said, I do have a confession…

I LOVE to grocery shop. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is my downfall. Heaven forbid I aisle-business-cart-1005638.jpggo grocery shopping while hungry. I still of course use coupons and search for the best deals, but there’s just something about shopping for food. I know all the best places in my area to get certain foods. It’s a daggome shame I have to work full-time, cause I’m telling ya, I’d be a grocery shopping, cooking planning master. I’d be whipping up incredible meals daily and become the ultimate chef for my family because I love to cook a fabulous meal. But alas, for now I dash in and dash out of the grocery stores that have the best deals and try to make the best of my time while I’m there. You gotta do what you gotta do when you’re a super busy, nonstop lady.

 

That brings me to the whole getting the nails done thing.  For me, if I ever get my nails done, it is a luxury. Sure, I’ve gone through phases in my lifetime thus far in which there were a few times I got my nails done regularly. That occurred mostly when I was young and single. I’ve been more of a once in a blue moon kind of gal since having children. Let’s face it, getting your nails done costs A LOT. It’s not a cheap luxury.  Literally until this past week, I had not gotten my nails done at a salon in over a year. And guess what, now I’ll be good for another year! 😉 It’s honestly hard for me to justify paying money to have someone else do my nails, when I know I can do it myself (although not as well of course and certainly not as relaxing). Especially when I could be spending that money on grocery shopping. 😉

beautiful-cleaning-fashion-332046.jpgToday though, I had a gift certificate to get my nails done at a local, really nice nail salon. It was a lovely birthday gift. It was awesome. I feel like a new woman. It’s like when you get your hair done – as a woman, you just feel refreshed and fabulous. I can totally see why there are women who get their nails done regularly, whether they should be spending the money on it or not. It’s what I like to call female personal professional development.

We’ve all read inspirational quotes and such about the importance of taking care of ourselves. Along with taking time for ourselves as busy women, it’s crucial for us to individually do what it takes to help us feel fabulous! Professional development, babes. That’s it.

Will I start getting my nails done regularly? Absolutely not. But that’s me. I can’t justify spending that money on a regular basis, and honestly, I flat out don’t have the time to do it, so I’ll continue to do it on a once in a blue moon basis.

When my schedule, finances and reasoning allow, I’ll definitely engage in some personal professional development and get my nails done.  I’ve always been about developing myself professionally, but guess what, I’m discovering more and more how important it is to make sure to develop myself personally too. It’s an individual thing for us ladies, and as far as I’m concerned, you do whatever it reasonably takes to develop yourself personally! It’s ultra-important. By all means, don’t forget to tend to yourself in all the busyness of your responsibilities.

Make You a Priority

Confidence Builder

By Shannon Boatwright

One of my very favorite things in life is witnessing another individual gain confidence.

Inspiring others has always been part of my drive as a performer, producer, director, as a human in general, and certainly as a teacher. Right up there with inspiring others is seeing someone’s confidence grow and shine before your very eyes as a result of your own influence. Being a teacher definitely gives me an open sea of opportunity to attempt to build confidence in the young adolescents I have the honor of teaching.

lights-951000_1920The past two weeks I’ve been holding auditions for my honors drama program. I see tons of kids come in busting at the seams with nervous energy. Sometimes their nervous energy is crippling, creating a bumbling mess that physically renders them unable to speak straight, stand straight, or even think straight.  I make it my mission, whether there’s outstanding talent present or not, to create an environment that makes them feel comfortable. I truly make major efforts to let them know I’m on their side. I want them to shine and enjoy the moment, just like they do when they’re privately practicing the art they’re intrigued with.

We all are superstars in the comfort of our own homes, cars, or showers. We work it and envision ourselves just like the celebrities we idolize on the big screen. When we’re in our own space wrapped up in our intrigue and passion, we let it go, shine, and rock it out with everything we’ve got, so why is it when most of us get in front of others, or in particular situations, we suddenly become unable to produce anything even close to worthy of sharing our passion, much less our talent? We all have the potential. Again, whether true skill is present or not, we have the potential to let loose and share our love for whatever art form fills us up. However, it’s difficult for a hardcore, nervous person to truly have fun in the moment that they’re auditioning for anything.  It’s real life. It’s nerves. It’s utter fear in some cases.

Confidence - Own it

Whenever I’m able to actually provide comfort and encouragement for someone to shine, whether on a small or large level, it’s truly a priceless and beautiful thing to witness if that person’s confidence comes forth. To see an individual reach a level in which they feel OK, capable, successful, and self-assured, is a lovely thing to witness – sometimes so much so that it’s a real heart filling moment that brings honest joy.

I had a young man come in to audition and he obviously had a spark about him. He had pizazz. It was in him, and I could see that he knew he could do it, but he had not had the time to memorize his monologue and the memorization part was totally holding him back. I could even tell he was trying to improvise his way through the monologue but just got hung up on flat out not remembering the words. He began saying, “I can’t do it, I just can’t do it…” I couldn’t tell if it was part of the monologue or him actually giving up. I had to ask, “What’s happening here?” With tears in his eyes, he proceeded to declare, “I just can’t do drama; I couldn’t memorize it!” I then asked him how long he’d had the monologue, in which he replied he’d just gotten it that day. Which means he’d memorized half of the long monologue in a very short amount of time and even seemed to capture the character as well. I applauded him on doing as well as he did in such a short amount of time and let him know I could tell that he was talented, totally capable of doing this monologue, and that I was going to need to see him do his thing! I let him hold the script in his hands, gave him direction and had him re-audition. The kid proceeded to nail it. He connected with the camera, he showed character and in turn felt great about it. Due to my encouragement, he was able to share his love for acting and give a really great audition. I was able to watch a child’s confidence literally soar right before my very eyes. Priceless.

Spread Confidence

It just goes to show that if you respond to others positively and provide a little encouragement, you can really help another individual shine. The really beautiful thing is that as I dedicate time towards building confidence in others, my own confidence grows. Being a confidence builder is a priceless thing. How do you help build confidence in others? What elements help to build your own confidence?

One Beautiful Thought

By: Shannon Shull

Well, Dove has done it again. They’ve created a movement to inspire women to think positively about themselves. This particular movement was created by Dove France with the goal of getting us women to have a positive body image.

They actually got women off the streets to record their most personal thoughts about themselves, about their body. Keeping in tune with today’s times, the overall tone of these ladies’ thoughts were unfortunately very negative. In fact, it was a bit heartbreaking to hear what these women thought of themselves. To bring this issue to light, Dove France had actresses act out a scene using the very thoughts these women wrote about themselves. The thoughts these women shared about their bodies were the lines used in a conversation between the actresses. The ladies who wrote about themselves in the journals then overheard these actresses speak to one another using their very thoughts about their bodies. Whew…

Watch the video and you’ll see the results. The ladies who had written such negative things about themselves realized that it was flat-out horrifying how harsh they were to themselves and realized how unjustified it was because they are all so beautiful in so many different ways. Dove has opened our eyes yet again, this time with the message, “If it’s not acceptable to say to someone else, why say it to ourselves?”

ShannonMy response? This is a brilliant reminder to think better of myself. When we struggle to think of the last time we ever had a positive thought about ourselves, we need to make an effort to change that. It’s not easy, but we should make an effort to think positive thoughts about ourselves on a daily basis. And as far as I’m concerned, not just positive thoughts about our body image, but about ourselves as a whole – our intelligence, our personality, our heart. I personally believe that to think positively of our own bodies, to force ourselves to recognize our outer beauty, allows our inner beauty to burst forth ever stronger.

One beautiful thought. Now. Do it. I challenge you to think one beautiful thought about yourself right now and attempt to do this on a daily basis. Open your eyes to the beauty that is YOU.