Learning to #BeShameless

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.11.11 AM^^ Photo by the lovely (and published!) Maria Rohani. ^^

It’s currently three o’clock in the morning and Fitz, Hem, and I have taken up residency in our slender hallway trying to tackle a mountain of deadlines that one of us over enthusiastically agreed to because it seemed like a better idea than getting four hours of sleep (Hint: That one mentioned is the only one in this list with thumbs).

I wish I could say this is a rare occurrence, but in the spirit of over sharing, this is the typical Carly Christine cycle: First, I pitch numerous ideas that I love to the Daily Dot because I can’t just pick one! Then, after getting them all approved at once, I begin stressing out about how long each one of these will take, only to quickly realize that if I just sit down and do it, I’ll be done in a couple hours. Finally, the last edit is completed in the wee hours of the morning, leading to a quick shower where another idea forms, and off the cycle goes again. All the writing (and procrastinating) and none of the sleep, because who needs that? Not me, no siree, sleep BLAH, so gross!

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I just finished my latest #WCW column on Shameless Maya, a YouTuber whose original 365 day challenge of living shamelessly has turned into an ongoing YouTube channel that has inspired men and women around the world to pursue their most authentic lives. And I couldn’t help but wonder: If I began living shamelessly right this minute, what are the things I would do differently? And what would you do differently if you did the same?

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1. Stop downplaying accomplishments.

Just like the reflex to say ‘I’m sorry,’ it seems a general trend in the workplace for women to downplay their accomplishments, deferring praise with “It was a team effort” or “It’s not really that big of deal.” I do this all the time, to the point where it’s now a habit to end moments of triumph with “Anyone could do it” or “I just got lucky.”

Wait a minute, it is a big deal! You’re a big deal, you dreamboat, so own it!

In the name of shameless living, I want to learn how to better cheer on my own accomplishments, because if I’m not on my own team, how can I expect anyone else to be either? So that’s what I’m going to do below, just for a hot minute, and I recommend you do the same:

As a 25-year-old, being picked to work at Google is one of the most inspiring, humbling experiences I’ve ever had. I get to witness how digital media is changing culture and through my work on one of the top curation teams in the world (what the!), I get to help mold the conversations happening around YouTube and its talented creators.

I moved to New York City in two weeks and in the past seven months have built a life here.

My cats like me.

I can now do a side crow pose on both sides!

My writing crush asked me to get drinks a second week in a row.

2. Stop worrying about what people think.

It takes a hell of a pep talk to calm my nerves about going into social situations alone. Happy hours, parties where I don’t really know a lot of people, dates; I’ve found the best way to combat the growing knot in my stomach is by jumping in feet first and promising myself that if this is the worst event ever, I can always just leave after one beer. Or drink all the beer and start doing the Thriller dance in the middle of the venue just for kicks. Because who knows, maybe if I chose instead to stay in to watch Luther with my kittens instead of going dancing, I would have missed the chance to meet my fate mate.

3. Do things that scare me instead of just saying I’m going to do these things.

It’s the little things like speaking up in meetings, actually making my dream pitches into articles, going on dates, talking to people “just because,” calling friends, planning trips out of the city, or actually committing to wearing a bit of makeup in the morning.

4. Make an effort to unplug and relax.

If I am going to live a more shameless, authentic life, I need to become better at making time to do absolutely nothing. No deadlines, no emails, no to do lists; just me — without any guilt that I should be writing, cleaning or working — doing something that has no other purpose that to bring me pleasure like naps bring Fitz and hallway races bring Hem. Off the top of my head, pedicures or catching an afternoon movie are high on this list.

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