Dreams, Dragging my Butt, Whiteboards and Other Stuff

It is our vulnerability that connects us. It is our doubts that make us question what is and prompt us to dream what can be. ~ Schwenkism

It feels like forever ago I hinted at moving in a new direction. Forever ago I boldly announced I was going to follow my dreams, even if no one else believed in them. Even if their direction meant I’d be swimming against the current.

Big words. Big dreams. Yet empty and void as far as taking action. I’ve been dragging my butt and thinking up a million other things I could be doing just to avoid these next steps. I’ve come up with a million excuses as to why my dreams are foolish to protect myself from failure.

I admit it.

I’m not always as tough as I let on. I’m not always as ‘together’  and self-assured as I appear (or try to appear).  And it’s entirely possible, the only person I have fooled in the last few months is ME.

So here I am. Naked before you. Vulnerable. And that’s OK.whiteboard

And amazingly enough, it’s no where as scary as I had imagined.

In fact, it’s a good and honest place to start!

And starting is exactly what I have begun to do.

My first step was to buy a whiteboard. I’m a visual ideas person and when I’m not able to brainstorm with a team, I use a white board.

It helps me plan. It facilitates a creative process for me: I write on it, step back, read what I’ve written, erase, write some more…well you get the picture!

Ultimately my goal is to develop a plan that will lead me into the next phase of my career and personal life.

Thankfully, I already have my vision and mission statement. So this week I spent some time reflecting on and documenting the following:

Things I love

  • brainstorming
  • public speaking
  • speaking to media
  • recognizing and utilizing the gifts in others
  • meeting people
  • listening to varying perspectives
  • exploring new ideas
  • telling stories
  • being active, getting enough sleep and eating right

I am

  • genuine
  • a collaborator
  • community builder
  • spontaneous
  • risk taker
  • team player
  • leader
  • generalist/applied visionary
  • mission driven
  • passionate
  • persuasive
  • encourager

I thrive

  • within a team
  • in a creative and open environment
  • appreciative inquiry
  • quick-paced environment
  • when free to manage my time

Skills and strengths

  • Direct mail campaigns
  • relationship building/stewardship
  • donor centric written/verbal communication
  • project strategies
  • analysis of appeals and response rates
  • mediation
  • team building
  • mentorship

This is not an extensive list by far and I’ve only intentionally included the things I enjoy. It is a first step, an inventory of sorts that will eventually propel me to the way I want to live, love and work.

My next steps include:

  • combining and looking for themes in the feedback graciously given to me by my colleagues at my previous positions and incorporating that information.
  • The Vision, Mission and Philosophy of a new blog I will be launching (soon I hope)  called The Other Bottom Line.  This blog is meant to be a resource for those in the non-profit world and may include discussion formats, best practices, guest bloggers, interviews, etc. More on that in a later post.

As a Doer, I’m excited to be moving on this and will use my Wednesday Hump Day Chronicles  posts to keep you updated.

I would be remiss if I did not thank all of you including, but not limited to Elizabeth and Kina for your vulnerability, courage and action, Bulldog for your guts in starting a new business, mrsfringe for your perseverance to become a published author, and Louise your recent posts gave me that final push I needed to get the ball rolling. Thank you ALL so much!

It is my hope that sharing my process for the next little while will be just as inspiring to someone out there as your journeys have been to me.

To all of you let me leave this final thought: As awesome as your achievements are, it is your struggling, your doubting, your continuing anyway-ness that make you inspiring and remarkable.


I am SO open to your thoughts and tips

Feel free to leave them below

58 thoughts on “Dreams, Dragging my Butt, Whiteboards and Other Stuff

  1. New chapters are exciting and your list looks almost like a resume :) Your blog is grounded in encouragement and I think you have so much to offer that is intangible. I appreciate the encouragement you have offered be here in the last year – where ever the road leads, the destination will be lucky to have you!


  2. I had come to think that maybe my next step (after eventually becoming my new me) was giving back, helping others.
    You take that one step further of ‘igniting the power and passion of others’, of making people really believe in themselves, helping them help themselves, and driving them on to a better place. That is how you have touched me, helping me feel really good about myself inside, and helping me find the light within myself. I truly mean that.
    I am so humbled that from your over one thousand followers you have included a thanks to me.
    It is I who need to give thanks to you.
    Thanks Diana. I continue to be inspired by you and am looking forward to your new blog and your new direction. :) :) :)


    • Elizabeth. Wow! Thank you for your kind words. I’m honoured and humbled and a little confounded! :)

      One of the reasons community means so much to me, besides the fact that we are built for it, is that we can all encourage each other and when one says or does one thing it sets off a chain reaction in others. Encouragement and ideas bounce back and forth and eventually benefit the individuals and the whole.
      Thanks again for your kind words and for sharing your journey. I’ve learned a lot from you. <3


  3. You’re beautiful when you’re naked, my dear. :)

    What a great vision and goal – I can’t wait to be one of the first followers of your newest blog. (For a wonderful purpose, I might add.)


  4. I’m absolutely convinced that the ability to dream of what can be is a necessary precursor of many wonderful changes. You’re off to a great start–and I feel certain that you’ll figure out the actions you need to take to reach those dreams. I’m looking forward to reading future updates.


  5. Go Diana, Go!!! :D
    What an amazing, inspiration you are, my friend!
    I’m rooting for you and eager to see where your dreams take you.
    Your passion, zest for life and energy come through every word you write. I’ve no doubt that whatever you choose to do will be of great importance to the world!!
    Shine on sister!


  6. what a great idea maybe I should give that a go when I get back to Dublin … haven’t been doing as much writing as I hoped I would … but hope my photos make up for it


  7. Doesn’t it just feel good(not dragging the feet)? I think if anybody can pull this off, it’s you Diana. I like your vision and mission. Will be cheering along the process. :) Thanks for always inspiring. Vulnerability is scary, but not that bad as we imagine. hugs


  8. Hi, Diana. I love the quote, as it can be applied to many ventures, including writing. It is the vulnerability, the honesty, the naked truth that connects a good writer with her readers. It is what I strive for and try to keep uppermost in my mind.
    I wish you every success on your new career journey. I too thought it was going to be A Hole in the Wall, but perhaps you’re saving that for next time. :)


  9. Diana..what I love about this IS your vulnerability – your willingness to not only engage in this kind of process, but to share your process with us. I applaud your courage! Be sure to add courage, willingness, engagement and vulnerability to your list!


  10. I think that all you will try, will be a success…..good luck in your new endeavours…… Whatever you touch to me becomes gold….&


  11. Following one’s dreams does take a lot of courage! Good on you for jumping in!! I love the starting points. Can I add a suggestion? Marcus Buckingham in his book Go! talks about the nature of strengths. Strengths are things that make us stronger … when we are done doing them we have more energy than when we started. I look at the list of things you love and your list of strengths. Are these in harmony for you? Sometimes things we think of as strengths are things we’ve learned to be good at but they still consume our energy. Those are great things for us to consider delegating or outsourcing!!


  12. Hmmm…. you don’t look naked! (Funny coincidence: I bought three small whiteboards yesterday. I was thinking they’d be helpful in working on blog articles and sorting through my piles of notes.)

    Good luck with your journey and your new blog. If anyone can make things happen, I easily believe you can! Do you have a clear vision of your goal, or is it more of a process and a journey?


  13. Thank you! Aside from the fact that your final thought just made me have to bite back tears in the university library ;-)
    In a day that my continuing anyway-ness feels particularly impossible, I am going to try and hold onto that thought and nurture it in my heart for as long as I can. (as well as adding it to my book of quotes and sayings when I get home!)

    I think that your determination to step into doing something about your dreams is inspiring! I also love whiteboards, coloured pens and stationary!
    I think that you are all of those things you’ve listed and more, but also that the world needs you out there using your skills, knowledge and experience to challenge us all to do better too!
    Seems as Louise was one of your ‘kicks in the right direction’ both of you appear to be two of mine!
    Love xx


    • Very kind words. You truly are awesome, I hope you know that. The way that you give of yourself is so inspiring especially given what you’ve been experiencing. Loved your last post (which I read through tears, by the way)


  14. Wow a mention in Diana’s talks… thank you… I have found that if one stands back nothing will happen… sure starting a new business with a unique product is a little scary but I’ve always felt that if you yourself are motivated and keen things seem to work, patience is naturally another thing one has to take into consideration, as things don’t always fly like rockets… But it is so exciting for me, that damn I’m not to old to want to give up… I’m kept young in the head (not so much the body) and that is what is so important to me… new is always exciting and for your part I get excited for your adventure/change of direction/ new beginning or what ever you want to call it… I’m there right behind you… I know whatever you do will be a success….go for it…


  15. And here I thought the next step was “The Hole in the Wall!” :-) Ah well, maybe down the road. With those interests and skills you bring much positivity to the world, and I can’t wait to see it all unfold. I admire your openness, too! You go, girl!!


  16. Exciting stuff Diana! Looking forward to learn more of the next steps – very intriguing and inspiring! I have a whiteboard too, lucky me I salvaged it for free when someone was clearing out old furniture from their office. Everyone who saw me lugging it to the car grinning probably thought I was strange, but yep, I love whiteboards too ;)


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