Cut Yourself Some Slack

August 23, 2017

Last week was a tough week for me. In fact, it was probably the hardest week since I’ve started working this job 7 months ago. In between client meetings, stakeholder engagements, prep work, travelling, making system changes emanating from the day’s decisions in the evening to be ready for the next morning, I was working 15-18hr days almost daily. By Thursday, I had already accumulated hours equating to a week and a half of work, and the week wasn’t even over yet. I don’t drink coffee, but I’m convinced that that latte I had at breakfast was the only way I got though Thursday without passing out! I didn’t manage to get all the sessions on my training program in, which is a sure way to get Roggie just a tad annoyed.

If I am going to break my no-coffee rule, the coffee had better be worth it

On top of that, on Wednesday I realized that I had made a mistake in one of my presentations that day. It wasn’t so much that I did something wrong, but rather something that I had overlooked, which would have a significant impact on the client’s bottom line. Great, the first time I am left to my own devices with a client and I mess it up. Nice going Roggie. You just started and now you're going to be done! I was stressing and dreading that my whole reputation as a reliable consultant would be ruined. All I could think of now was channeling the pink eraser back in the Cape Town office, and hoping that the company’s view on honest mistakes was really as they claim it is.

Discussing the catastrophe that was happening in my head with my project lead the next morning revealed that the mistake was fixable and that it wasn’t as disastrous as I'd imagined it to be. The bottom line effect was minimal with a few minor changes, and the project would still be within the client’s budget.

Taking a step back...
At the beginning of August we had a company breakaway/strategic session. One day was dedicated to personal development. The facilitator took us through a session of introspection, which was mostly done alone. We had to ponder on our own successes and failures, and how we handle them. One thing that came through quite strongly was how we beat ourselves up when something goes wrong, but never really celebrate success. Why do we do this? And what effect does it have on your well-being? I realized once again that I am so hard on myself that when I have success, it just gets pushed by the wayside as being “normal”. Just a week before, I had passed my 6-month probation period, and was now a fully fledged employee. I saw it as something that was routine and normal. My view changed at that moment, because the fact is that not everyone makes it through their probation, despite the recruitment process being the toughest that you will ever encounter. It is absolutely something huge and must be celebrated, even if it’s just acknowledging it within yourself and saying “Congrats Roggie, you made it!”.

In the week or two before this rough week, a colleague and myself were working together on figuring out a very difficult and messy financial model for the project. We both struggled A LOT at first, and got lost down in many rabbit holes in the darkest depths of those spreadsheets. As the days went by, we started to get the hang of it, and eventually became quite comfortable with the content and the challenges. After acing one particular such challenge, we literally stopped, took a few breaths and acknowledged… “We just made a freakin’ breakthrough” and then went on to talk shit about complete nonsense and be silly for a few minutes because we totally deserved it. That little “celebration” is a powerful thing.

One night last week (while I was in Jhb and he was in CT) I again asked him to assist me with some of the changes we needed to make to the spreadsheet before the next morning. I felt bad about it since it is literally this guy’s first month, but he was totally cool about it. Luckily most of the rabbit holes had been cleared by then and it was just a whole bunch of routine linkages. And when I got back and debriefed on the Friday about how hectic the trip was, he reminded me that no matter how rough it was, we need to think about where this project was a week or two ago, and the stable state we managed to bring it to now. So yes, there would definitely still be turbulent times ahead, but right now we deserve a high 5, we did good. I guess one of the many advantages of collaboration is that it's so much easier to say "We were fantastic" than "I was fantastic".

SO… What is my message to you?

1) Cut yourself some slack. Most of the time things are not as bad as you imagine them to be.
2) Celebrate surviving the tough moments in life, the difficult meetings, the hard life lessons…no matter what the outcome.
3) Take time to pause and not take things so seriously for a moment every now and then, even in the midst of chaos.
4) Remember that maximum growth occurs at the border of order and chaos.
5) Appreciate the people who are in your corner fighting on the same team, and who remind you what is important. Let them know they’re appreciated.

final hint: Chocolate and something to bring on a smile often helps with (5)


MohennysDoTurkiye - Cappadocia

November 17, 2016

After a week and a half in Istanbul, and after the serious business of completing a marathon was over, #MohennysDoTurkiye headed to the magical land of Cappadocia. It is easy to see why this place really feels like magic. With its natural fairy chimney rock formations, cave hotels, underground cities, hot air balloons dotting the skyline at every daybreak, and the most generous and hospitable people we have come across on the trip, the tourist can escape and slip into a wonder filled existenc...

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MohennysDoTurkiye - It's almost race day

November 11, 2016

The idea of this trip started one day (or should I say night) in February this year when Fadeelah and Quaseem called me up at 2am and said: "Qatar Airways is having a flight sale. Do you want to go with us and do the Istanbul Marathon in November?" I thought someone had died when the phone rang that time of the night, but anyway... of course I said YES I AM IN! And it didn't make sense to just go for the marathon in a city and country that has so much to see, so a 2-week holiday was built aro...

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MohennysDoTurkiye - Istanbul: An imperial capital of ages

November 8, 2016

Unless you know your geography, or are really good at capital cities, you might not know that Istanbul is in fact NOT the capital city of Turkey. The capital is Ankara, yet Istanbul is by far the most well-known city of the country, and possibly even the region. 

Istanbul, previously also known by other names such as Constantinople (after Emperor Constantine) has been the capital of 3 great empires, namely the Roman empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman empire. It has great significance...

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MohennysDoTurkiye - A mixed welcome

November 5, 2016

Quaseem, Fadeelah, and I left Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday, 2 November 2016 for our long-awaited trip to Turkey to run the Istanbul Marathon, and make a fabulous holiday out of it while we're at it. It was a long 9h30 flight to Doha, 8 hours in transit and then another 4 hour flight to Istanbul, making a full 24 hours of travel. We were lucky in that both flights were a little bit empty, and I used some handy travel tips I've picked up to make sure we were positioned to have the highe...
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eBook giveaway - Acres of Diamonds

January 27, 2016

I hope you've all had an awesome start to the year.
Here's wishing you a great 2016. May it be your most amazing year yet! 

I'm feeling generous, so I'm giving away a free eBook. It's a very short read. I hope you'll enjoy it, and that it inspires you. It's Dr Russell Conwell's classic, Acres of Diamonds

You can download the .pdf file from the image below, or CLICK HERE.

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What would you do if you weren't afraid?

October 23, 2015

I'd like to leave you with this thought today...


Now think of what it is that makes you afraid.
What is the worst that can happen if that fear comes true?
How bad is that reality really?
Is it worth the emotional energy that you invest into that fear?

And then I ask you again:

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An EMPOWERED competition & giveaway

August 7, 2015

On 9 August annually, South Africa commemorates the strength, determination and courage of the 20,000+ brave women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest the country's pass laws. These women took the initiative and responsibility to change the status quo, to say NO to an oppressive existence and to utter the famous words of
Wathint 'Abafazi Wathint 'Imbokodo. Directly, this is translated as Now that you have touched the women, you have struck a rock, or the more recent adaptati...

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Fadeelah's First Comrades

June 10, 2015

During the latter part of last year, my sister Fadeelah made the commitment to do what is known as the Ultimate Human Race, the Comrades 88km ultramarathon. The run takes place between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, and it changes direction every year. This year was to be an UP run, starting in Durban and ending in Pietermaritzburg. 

When she told me of her plans, it was an absolute no-brainer that I would also go to Durban, not to run it but to support and second* her on the race....

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April 3, 2015

I had a list of super scary goals at the start of the year. 
Believe it or not, running a 56.6km race was not one of them. Yet here I am, on the eve of my first ultramarathon, feeling nervous, excited, and most of all extremely blessed and grateful at the prospect of lining up at that start line tomorrow. I will save the part of when and why I decided to do it for the post-race report ;)

It was back in late-2009 that Fadeelah and I started training for our first 5km (yes, we trained for it, qui...

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About Me

Rogeema Kenny My blog aims to inspire. Be the best YOU that you can possibly be.


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