Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” Let’s talk about being the resourceful woman.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
Hello, my beautiful friends. You probably already can tell that the sound quality of this episode is different than usual. And it’s the reason why I want to talk with you today about being the resourceful woman.
So, here’s the backstory. I have been visiting my parents. I came because I wanted to spend Mother’s Day with my mom. I wanted to see my dad. And the day before I was supposed to fly back home to Denver, I just had this intuitive hit that I needed to spend more time with them. And so, I extended my stay for another week. Which meant I didn’t have my podcast mic.
So, what I did is I went on to Amazon and I’m like, “Okay, I’ll just order one that will be okay quality so that I can record my podcast. I will actually just keep it here at my parents’, so I’ll have one in case this happens again.” And I put in the order. They told me it was going to be here in two days.
However, if you’ve been watching the news, you’ve probably seen that there’s a gas shortage in the south. Which means that the delivery was late, did not get here in time. And I was like, “Okay, what am I going to do? I’m committed to recording the podcast, so what are my options?”
Option one was I could record it straight into my computer. I played around with that. It was terrible. But I was willing to do a terrible job because I’m more committed to getting an episode out every week than it being perfect.
But then, I was like, “Okay, what are my other options?” And I realized that I could record it straight into my phone. There’s this little app on our iPhones called Voice Memos, and that’s what I’m using. But the problem was, I didn’t have my headphones. And my parents don’t have headphones. They’re not big headphone users.
And so, I’m like, “Okay, can’t get a pair of headphones in time.” So, I called around and my niece actually had a pair of headphones, so I’m using her headphones. It’s an example of being resourceful.
What is resourcefulness? It is defined as having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. And I would add to that, to create the outcome that you want. And it’s one of the most underrated tools, I believe, when it comes to success. We don’t talk about it enough.
In fact, I was sitting at dinner with my mom last night. A bunch of us went out. And she was talking about the time that she used to cater weddings. And she was known for not only her amazing food, but she would do these big ice sculptures.
It was made in these molds that she would buy, and she would put them in a big freezer. Then, the day of the wedding, she would take it out and she would cut it out of the mold. And one day, when she was cutting one out – it was a swan. I’ll never forget it because I was there with her when it happened – the swan’s neck broke.
And so, there she is, with an ice sculpture in two pieces. But my mom has always been resourceful. She used her creativity to figure out a solution to this broken-necked swan. And what she did is she ended up drilling a hole in the body and in the neck and she took a wooden dowl and connected the two. And then she had the florist create this beautiful flower necklace to put around the swan’s neck.
Everyone thought it was beautiful. They didn’t realize that that creation came because there was a difficulty. That is what it means to be resourceful.
And one of the things that I’ve noticed, especially being around kids, is that we’ve become mentally lazy, you all. It’s like we have all of this information at our fingertips and yet we’re not using our brains. We’re not being creative and figuring things out.
Sometimes, I will have people reach out to me on Instagram or they’ll email me a question. And I want to say to them, “Use your brain.” And I don’t want to say it because I don’t want to give them the answer. I want them to build the skill of resourcefulness. I’m like, “You could go and Google that and get a response way more quickly than I can give it to you.”
But here’s a little bit of tough love. We’ve become mentally lazy. We don’t use our brain at the highest level. We want things to be easy and we want to be spoon-fed the answers. But the problem with that is, you don’t develop a skill that will help you create the most amazing results in your life.
Even with my clients, so many of them will ask me questions and they’re trying to figure out something. And the first thing that they’ll say is, “I don’t know how.” And ‘I don’t know how’ is a bullet to the heart of your dreams. Because the moment you say, “I don’t know how…” you’ve cut off the ability to use your own resourcefulness to figure it out.
Now, with that said, sometimes, part of your resourcefulness will be reaching out and asking for support and asking for help or asking for answers when you have really done the work ahead of time and you’ve hit a wall. There is nothing wrong with asking for what you need. I’m a big proponent. But I just feel like sometimes it’s a knee-jerk reaction, when things have gotten hard, and we don’t use our own creative power that we all have.
And so, I want to talk about the resourceful woman with you because I want you all to see yourself as resourceful. My whole work is around transforming a woman’s self-image and I would love for you all to see yourself as resourceful, as woman who can figure it out, who welcome the challenges, who know that the challenges are there to grow them and to help them to become even more resourceful.
So, things that I’ve noticed about the resourceful woman is that she’s not dependent on the resources that she has to reach an outcome. A lot of times, we look around at what is currently available to us and we use that as an excuse to limit ourselves.
So, for example, one of the resources that many women tell me they don’t have access to is money. Maybe they want to grow their business. Maybe they want to travel more. There are many reasons why we want money.
And so, when they look around and they don’t have the money, they just stop right there. But the resourceful woman doesn’t depend on what she currently has. She figures out how to leap over that excuse, that hurdle, and come up with other creative ways to get the same result without that resource.
There are many potential paths to your dreams. And often we use a lack of resources or our own lack of resourcefulness as an excuse not to keep going. But the resourceful woman never does that. The resourceful woman also knows that no matter what situation she’s in, she is always going to figure out a solution.
And I want you all to think about this. If you knew that you could always figure it out, imagine the effect that that would have on your life, how you would relax more, how you would take more risk, how you would show up in your life if you knew you had your own back and you could handle whatever life brings you and you’re always going to figure it out.
And again, this is a trait you get to develop and strengthen. But you don’t do it by saying, “I don’t know how,” or being afraid of the challenges. The resourceful woman is not afraid of a challenge because she knows that challenge is going to grow her and make her even more resourceful. And that strength and resourcefulness is going to make her even more able to create a life that she loves.
She also believes that she can deal with anything that comes her way. That’s what we were just talking about. It’s such a beautiful relationship with yourself to know that no matter what happens, you’re going to be able to deal with it, that you are resourceful enough to find a way, to find a solution, to be able to handle the challenge.
The other thing I’ve noticed with resourceful women is that they don’t give up at the first sign of difficulty. Instead, they’re determined to create their desired result. I talk about this with clients when it comes to commitment. There’s a difference between wanting something and committing to it.
The moment you commit to it, you’re committing to the result that you want. And that means when you hit a pothole or a challenge, you don’t just pull over on the side of the road and give up and be like, “I’m not going to get to my destination.” You’re like, “No, I’m going to figure this out, no matter what.” Because your why is strong enough. Your commitment is strong enough.
The other thing when it comes to the resourceful woman – and this is a big one for many of us women – is that she does not let perfectionism stop her. Perfectionism is anti-resourcefulness. Just consider this episode. I had to be resourceful, which meant I had to give up it being perfect.
My commitment is to publish an episode every single week. Now, would I love it to be the highest quality possible? Of course I would. But life is not a Tiffany box tied up in a beautiful bow. It’s a little messy. It’s a lot beautiful. And so, my resourcefulness was do it the best way that you can, figure out a solution to get this episode recorded, and publish it.
If I were a perfectionist, as I used to be, you wouldn’t be listening to this right now. Is it more important for me to get this information into your ears, or for me to sit at home wanting it to be perfect? You can’t be resourceful.
I think about my mom’s swan. It had a broken neck, you all. And yet, she turned it into a beautiful creation. Was it perfect? No, but some of the most beautiful things in life aren’t perfect. That’s what makes them so beautiful.
But perfectionism will stop you from being resourceful, so you have to let that go. And then the final thing is that the resourceful woman leverages what she has to achieve extraordinary things. So, I want to give you some ideas on how you can be more resourceful.
The first thing I want to invite you to do is to not avoid challenges. Welcome them into your life. They are the roadmap to your dreams. Because I can promise you, along the path to your dreams there are many challenges. And I want you to see them as ways to grow you.
If it were easy, we’d all be living the life of our dreams. And yet, we have obstacles and challenges. It’s like, how bad do you want it? Keep going. And develop your resourcefulness along the way. So, don’t avoid challenges, that’s number one.
Number two, refuse to be stuck. Stuck is a habit. It’s a habit of thinking and a habit of being. But when you develop the self-image of a woman who is always in motion, who’s always gaining momentum on her dreams, when that becomes your self-image, that will be what you ultimately produce. So, you have to develop the mindset of, “I’m a woman who refuses to be stuck in my life.” Stuck is a habit of laziness.
I like to think about improv. In improv, you are handed a sentence, a story. And you can’t get stuck at the end. You have to add an and to it and ass to whatever is happening. And that has been one of the most useful tools I have used in my own life to not get stuck. When something is happening when I’m being challenged, it’s a, “Yes, bring it, and here’s what I’m going to do with it. I’m going to use resourcefulness to figure out a solution to this problem, to this challenge.”
And so, whenever you find yourself facing a challenge or you feel like you’re getting stuck in something, I want you to use yes and, “Yes, this is where I am, and here’s my next step. And here’s what I’m going to do next. And here’s a potential way for me to keep moving forward.”
And you have to keep practicing and experimenting. And I promise you, if you do this, you’re going to be moving forward and you’re going to be learning so much along the way and you’re going to be developing your resourcefulness.
The next thing is resourcefulness is actually all about creativity. And many of you don’t see yourself as the creative women that you actually are. Every day, you’re having to be resourceful. Think about it, you’re having to figure out how to feed your kids. You’re having to figure out how to work from home maybe. You’re having to figure out things all day every day. But you don’t recognize it in yourself.
The thing is, the more you recognize your own creativity, the more you’ll trust in it and believe in it. And it’s also something you begin to practice as well. And one of the best things that I’ve been doing recently – and this was actually inspired by James Altucher. He did a blog post one time talking about his habit of – not habit. We’ll call it a practice – of coming up with 10 ideas every single day.
And what he said about it was, usually, we don’t practice coming up with ideas until our back is in the corner and we’re forced to. And so, we’re not really good at it. But he said if you practice coming up with ideas every day, when you really need to come up with some ideas, it will be so much easier. And I’ve been doing that, you all, and it’s amazing how it’s just making my brain work in different ways.
So, practice coming up with new ideas. And for me, the way I do this is sometimes it’s like 10 podcast ideas, 10 ideas on where I would travel, 10 ideas on how to put together an interesting outfit, 10 ideas on how to be healthier. It doesn’t matter. You can come up with prompts and just have fun with it.
But what I’ve noticed is by doing this, it makes me more resourceful. Because I’ve got all of these ideas, so when my back’s against the wall and I’m having a challenge, maybe one of those ideas that I was thinking about two months ago will pop in my head and I’m like, “Oh, this could be an interesting solution to this challenge or this problem.” So, practice being an idea machine, generating fun and interesting ideas because they will only help you be a more resourceful woman.
The other thing that I want to encourage you all to do is before you ask a question of anyone, see if you can come up with the answer yourself. And I’ve been thinking about why we do this. And I even see my clients do it. They’ll ask me what I think about something. They’ll ask me what I think they should do. And I never tell my clients what they should do because I don’t know what they should do.
I want to help them trust in themselves and to come up with the answers that are within them. I don’t want them to be dependent on me for their answers. I want them to be strong, confident women who believe in themselves and who has their own back and who trust themselves and who can come up with their own ideas, and who can practice coming up with their own answers.
Now, there are times, as I was saying earlier, where you may need someone to be like, “Here’s the next step.” And when I see that with a client, I will guide them to figuring that out for themselves. But I don’t want my clients to be dependent on me. That is not what coaching is all about.
The other thing too is there are so many things that you can find out online. Again, sometimes I’m sort of perplexed by the questions that people send me. And I’m like, “You could have Googled that. It’s so easy.”
Like how do you start a podcast? Google it. All of the answers are on the interwebs. But this is what we do, as I was saying, we’ve become so mentally lazy. And so, I want you to really come up with your own solutions. Because here’s why. It’s not that I don’t mind telling people how to start a podcast or how to do anything. But there are a few problems with me giving you the answer.
Number one, my answer may not be best for you. You are a unique individual. So, I can tell you how to grow your business. I could tell you all of the things. But the way I’ve done it may not work for you. I would rather you develop a self-image of a successful businesswoman and that resourcefulness that comes with it and for you to be able to take pride in that fact that you did it yourself.
So yeah, it may not work for you the way I’ve done something. I want to guide you to your own answers. And then the other thing is that when you figure things out for yourself, it makes you stronger. It makes you better. And that’s what I want for you.
I don’t want you to be weak, depending on other people to tell you what to do and how to live your life. I want you to be resourceful enough and strong enough and confident enough to know that whatever comes your way, you can handle it and you’ve got your own back.
So, practice being resourceful. Again, it is one of the greatest skills you could ever learn and strengthen. So, in summary, don’t avoid the challenges. Welcome them. Refuse to be stuck. Always say, “Yes and,” to whatever is happening in your life. And keep that momentum going.
Before you ask, can you figure it out on your own, for your sake? And then finally, I want to say, all of this comes down to your self-image. I want all of you to see yourself as a resourceful woman because when you see yourself that way, you will become resourceful. Have a beautiful week, everyone, and I will see you in next week’s episode.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.