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You're not broken


Katrina Kibben's Weekly Letter

February 12 · Issue #141 · View online

Every week, I'll write you a letter. A letter about anything, really. My goal is just to make you think.

I cried a few weeks ago in business coaching. I’m not sure what we were talking about, but I needed that cry. I needed to let go of the expectations I’ve always used to beat myself up. 
I went into coaching thinking it was all about learning new things and finding a coach with all the answers. I was so wrong. I’m almost three months in, and I haven’t picked her brain. We aren’t writing strategy. Instead, she holds space for me to unlearn the rules that do no serve me and opens my mind to what it would be like to love my work. To pursue a passion and still see a profit. 
One of the biggest things I have had to unlearn is the idea that anything can break us or that anything can break me. 
Seriously, who came up with this shit? How awful of them to look at a whole series of life events and not see one ounce of beauty in that person or how experiences distinguish a soul from a sea of faces. To see all that and think, “they’re broken.” 
Hell no. It’s rude to inject ideas that allow anyone to believe that one thing or one moment would end it all when in fact, there’s only one true ending. It’s the one we can’t bounce back from: death.
Instead, the books and TV shows have used this pain for their pleasure. They would have you believe that anything can be catastrophic; one wrong move and poof—bye-bye dreams. You have to be lucky to survive. Then when you are not lucky, they label you broken. 
Broken is a quiet and loud feeling. Chaotic and calm. I know. I’ve felt it too many times. It often happens when I reflect on one too many “why did that have to happen” moments in my little collection of life horror stories. Suddenly I start believing I’ll never be a lucky one. 
As I cried my eyes out to my coach, she offered me something I want to share with you. I want to share it with anyone who knows what I mean when I say I feel broken sometimes.  
She said that a person could not be broken. You are not the sum of pieces. You wouldn’t have the perspective to know you were broken if you were pieces. Instead, you have the viewpoint to see that you are shedding layers of yourself that do not serve you. You see those broken pieces, but they are not you. You are energy, and no one can break that.  
You can shed, get scars, and be very unlucky, but you do not break. Instead, like wildflowers, you grow in places you never expected.
This week’s blog has some advice for people who want to grow as an ally. I realize this is a new mission for so many people and one where it’s easy to feel like you’re getting it wrong. That’s why my video this week talks about getting it right—pronouns, in particular. 
It’s a video with three tips I use to practice pronouns. If people in your life feel safe to share their pronouns with you, I want you to get it right. With that said, I know it will take practice. These tips have been helpful for so many of my friends. 
One of those tips is to give three compliments using their pronouns. Whenever you get it wrong, this is a quick way to reinforce getting their pronouns correct. 
Here are three compliments I know I can offer to every single person who has read this far in my letter today. 
Yes, you. I have three compliments for you. I want to send you off into the world with a smile and some big heart energy. I don’t know your pronouns, so we’ll go with you.
1. You care about other people. You want what’s best for them, and you’re willing to change yourself to make that happen. That’s such a rare and beautiful thing in this world. 
2. You are a helper. What we say and how we explain things matters to people who feel so powerless in their job search. You help people every day, whether you know it or not.
3. You have great taste in writers. That’s a joke. I had to.
Have a fantastic week, y'all. Be good to each other. 

Updating Your ATS (and Thinking) For New Pronouns
Practicing Pronouns At Work
My Top 5 Augmented Writing and Gender Bias Tools - Katrina Kibben
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