Rise & Thrive: I Can Do Hard Things with Whitney Dunbar
Tiffany: This is Rise&Thrive, a mini series from Scared Confident, where we highlight the stories of seven remarkable women as they learn to stand tall and their story. In this episode, you'll hear from Whitney Dunbar. She's the marketing director at Delta faucet.
Whitney Dunbar: You can be brave and scared at the same time.
That's a quote. I see every morning as I walked downstairs and start my day. As a family, we reflected on the craziness of 2020 and plan for 2021. My young daughters were learning to navigate friendships and how to use their words instead of their actions. We felt like that quote gave them permission to feel all of the feelings that comes with growing up, but empowered them to make those choices.
If I'm being really honest with myself, I needed that quote more than they did. I was becoming a high impact change leader. I was stepping into my confident and authentic voice. I had become more vulnerable as a wife and as a mom, I was doing big things. I needed to take risks. I needed to be brave. And that was scary.
There's this apple commercial that define the brand to a generation. I felt like it defined me to the quote and the commercial went like this. Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs and the square holes, the ones who see things differently. I spent most of my awkward formative years splitting my time.
Some of it fully stepping into it, coloring outside of the lines and the other part, pushing it as far away as I possibly could to feel accepted and part of the group, as you might imagine, that didn't feel quite right. And those around me knew it too. So I impact it bit by bit over the years. And here's what I found out.
I do see things differently. But I'm probably somewhere in the normal middle with a little leaning towards the rebellious, external labels, like misfit, just that a way to help us understand complex things. It was the internal label that I gave myself that really mattered. I am uniquely me. And with that label, I could go on to live into the more important part of that quote with my slight modification, the ones who are crazy enough to believe in themselves and think they can change the world are the ones who do accepting, embracing, and showing up.
As my authentic self every day is a brave choice. I must make. But I know I can do it because I can do hard things. When I look around our house, we have pictures of our trip to Disney. They're full of laughter and memories and smiles. But the year leading up to that trip had been really hard. I was on a project at work where the work was unfulfilling.
I lost my team to a mini reorg, or I felt all of the weight to make it right for my people in the company. And none of the input on the decision I was in a negative head space. I was tired feeling empty. Luckily I had a mentor who stepped into my life and pushed me through that. And this trip to Disney was about five months after that push.
So I was walking around the grounds, giant Disney adorned mug, full of coffee in one hand and a stroller with a two year old and the other, it was like we had the place to ourselves. It was quiet. The sun shine through the sky in Hamilton lyrics, floated through my mind. Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.
And in that moment, gratitude filled my heart and I decided to let God back into my life. And I made the commitment to never take anything in my life for granted again. And I would honor that commitment and how I try to find the hope in the good in every situation. How I use my family's time and resources and how I leaned into my gifts and talents that he gave me to live out his plan for my life, not religion, and God is complex complicated, and I still grapple with it having faith in something I can't see in.
Sometimes I cannot feel within. It's a brave choice I make each day, but I know I can do it because I can do hard things. Now call me crazy. But if I had the opportunity to clear all of the hard paths ahead for my girls, I would not do it. I believe dark the opposite of light pain, the opposite of joy failure, the opposite of opportunity.
We cannot have one without the other. Have you ever cried at the dinner table? You don't have to raise your hand, but I see you. I EMU and there's one time about a year and a half ago that my girls just won't let me live down our work, decided that they wanted to change why and how people were doing their jobs.
And that meant changing the work they did and how they were organized to get it. As a leader in that change initiative, I could see that I would likely be promoted at the end of it. So the day came to find out what was going to happen. I walked into the office, cautiously optimistic that all of the hard work that I had done, the value I brought was about to be recognized as they walked into the room within one minute, my heart dropped.
That role had been put on hold and traded in a corporate game. I was sad, devastated, disappointed. I was hoping to spend that weekend celebrating with family and friends. And now I was left with another complicated story to tell and relive for the next few months. During that time I turned to my favorite Harry Potter.
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light, it was my constant reminder that while I have no control over what happens to me, I always had control on how I responded to it. I could let it define me, or I could define it. An opportunity, a learning in this time I believed in myself, I believed in the different future I saw for our company.
And I believe that God had a plan that I just couldn't see. So in the wise words of Ana from frozen to, I had to choose the next right thing. And I knew I could do it because I can do hard things. I remember these block letters above a chalkboard in grade school, they read what is popular is not always right.
And what is right is not always popular. And what is right for me may not be right for you. And that's okay. You are beautiful and all that you are. I hope you live your life with gratitude in your heart. And if you believe God by your side, I hope you take risks and you fall down and you get back up with hope for a brighter tomorrow.
And I hope you show up each and every day as the unique, complex, incredible person that you are. But I don't just hope this for you. I know it can't be. So because you can do hard things,
Tiffany: where you are in your journey, community is so key for where we're all going. And I'm on a mission to reach 100,000 people. But this message of being scared, confident. So I would love it. If you would share your favorite episode with your friend, just pull up your texts, send them a link. It'll take like two seconds the show isn't about me.
It's about helping other people on their journey of living full and complete lives. When we stepped totally and into an understanding of our. We can step fully into our stories
as a thank you. I'm
giving one fear interview to a listener. Puts your name in the ring by texting me the word fear to 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2 1.
The word fear, F E a R to 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2 1. And over the next couple of weeks, we will pick one person to go through the fear interview.
Thanks for listening.