Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lessons I've Learned from the Queens of Comedy; Amy Poehler Edition

I thought I'd start off this series with Amy Poehler, because of course I would. Not only is she funny and brilliant, she's also a strong woman who's become a staple in not just comedy but the industry as a whole. She's an actress, writer, producer, director, and space cowboy aficionado. (Okay, the last one may or may not be true, but the rest of it is!) She's the type of girl you'd want as a bestie. Actually, I feel like most of us dream of becoming the 3rd bestie in the Fey/Poehler circle of magic. She's the type of girl you'd go to when you needed to be cheered up and the type of girl you'd go to when you needed backup. She's sweet but you know she could be feisty when needs be and you definitely know she'd be your alibi if you ever needed one.  

So, in honor of her upcoming book release (which I've preorderd!) on October 28, titled "Yes Please", I give you the Lessons I've Learned from Amy Poehler. 

1. She's so right on target here. Sometimes we put up with awful things from people for various reasons. Maybe it's lack of confidence or respect for ourselves, maybe it's because we feel we owe that person for some reason, or maybe it's because we don't know how to stand up for ourselves. Whatever it is, follow Amy's advice and give it up now. You deserve SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. You deserve to be happy and you don't need ANYONE in your life that makes you feel belittled, insignificant, ugly, stupid, sad, angry, etc. They aren't worth it, and the people that are would never make you feel that way!

2. I love this. I'm not the type of person who embarrasses easily. In fact, I'm more likely to embarrass you for being seen with me. I love to goof off and have fun and some people just can't handle that. Sure, there's a time and a place, but the list of places you shouldn't goof off is pretty small compared to the list of places you should. I know a lot of people are afraid to let go because they don't want to look stupid or embarrass themselves, but I say, who cares!? Embrace it! The fun you'll have will be well worth it, trust me. 

3. Smart lady. This was something I've definitely struggled with in the past. It's a natural reaction; when we get hurt, all of our guards and walls go up as our heart and mind try tirelessly to prevent itself from having to endure that pain again. It's a defense mechanism that's really sophisticated and efficient and great at what it does. But learning how to lower your guard, break down those walls and let people in again is truly difficult. But absolutely vital. And totally worth the hard work it takes to get there again.
4. Classy, classy woman. We should always be uplifting each other instead of dragging people down. I'm a firm believer in what you put out into the world always comes back to you. 

5. Sometimes you want to go at it alone because you feel like if you ask for help, you lose a little of the reward or perhaps you'll lose some credit or whatever it may be. It might feel like you don't deserve the product if you had help with the development or maybe you might feel like you don't want to share credit with anyone else because IT'S YOUR BABY and you've put your heart and a lot of hard work into it. I know I've felt that way before. But asking for help doesn't mean any of these things. In fact, success is rarely accomplished by doing things alone. If we should believe anyone on this, it would be Amy. Ask for help, take other peoples' opinions and ideas into consideration and create something beautiful and amazing together!

6. I used to be such a free spirit, I never thought that taking risks would be something I'd EVER struggle with. But when you get burned badly, when you break into thousands of pieces and you spend so many awful days trying to put yourself back together, you most often end up overcompensating by playing it safe. As mentioned before, those walls come up to prevent anymore heartache, but more often than not, they actually deprive us of truly experiencing happiness. Sure, we may feel safe when we don't take risks, but like every cheesy Lifetime movie says, life isn't about playing it safe. When we have something to lose, only then do we experience life at it's fullest.

7. BE BRAVE. Taking Amy’s advice, when something scares me, I make myself do it. Within reason. Obviously some things are incredibly dangerous and possibly detrimental to your health/job/life, and in those circumstances do not ignore your gut feelings! But with everything else, try things you wouldn’t normally try, eat things you wouldn’t normally eat, experience something you’ve been strangely interested in but too afraid to do your whole life! Be uncomfortable, be afraid, but just DO IT!

8. Word Amy, Word. If Amy is anything, she's real. I love how empowering she is for us gals out there. I feel like she's that one friend who's always your cheerleader, no matter what. With everything she's accomplished, she's really pushing the envelope in a male dominated field. AND I LOVE THAT ABOUT HER. She practically IS feminism. 

9. Pretty good advice if you ask me! Keeping an open mind allows us to continually grow and challenge ourselves. And before casting an opinion or making up our mind about something, we should learn about it first.

10. When does Amy NOT look happy? The answer is NEVER. She's someone that you can totally trust taking advice on happiness about. Most of us would agree with her here if we were asked, but sometimes we lose sight of these simple but true principles. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the world. We work so hard to obtain what we want out of life that we sometimes forget to actually live it. Take a step back, re-evaluate yourself, your priorities, your plans, and make sure that what you're doing is going to make you happy while reaching your goals. We can't bank on living life once we've achieved them, we have to live it in the moment. We have to be in the present while looking forward to the future and not forgetting the past. We have to find happiness with what we have and who we are at that very moment.

11. This, I LOVE. Forget everyone else. Live your life the way you feel is best and don't worry about what others think.  If you're happy, block everyone else out. And if you can't help but be worried about them, just remember, confidence is the key. People won't question you if you don't let them. Fake it 'till you make it.

12. Taking a page from the Silver Linings Playbook here, even the bad things can be positive in a way. It's all about perspective. We don't have to like the painful things in life but we can accept them for shaping us into the people we are and will be. It's important to learn to look on the bright side of things. And if that doesn't work, the funny side.

13. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Self confidence is the key that unlocks your true potential. Once you have that belief, you are strong, powerful, and the world is yours for the taking.

14. We need to treat ourselves better, that's for sure. We are our biggest critics and sometimes our worst enemy. We cannot truly be happy until we love ourselves.

15. And last but not least, be patient and have faith that good things will come your way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to sit idly by like a damsel in distress waiting for your Prince Charming to come rescue you from the Evil Queen, because let's get one thing straight, we don't need a man to save us, we can do it ourselves. But life requires a certain amount of patience. Go after what you want and don't settle for anything less. You deserve it. And you'll get it. 

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