Struggling with Self-Efficacy

I don’t struggle with self-worth, but I do struggle with self-efficacy at times. Let me explain. ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ I have grown to have confidence in my abilities. I have grown to understand my unique value. I have grown to identify my purpose. ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ ◾️ When I am able to perform and drive the anticipated outcomes I set out to achieve, my self-efficacy grows. That, paired with real time, candid fe

I Hate the Sound of My Own Voice

I hate the sound of my own voice. To this day: 🚫 I can’t watch recordings of myself speaking. 🚫 I don’t talk on stories or film videos of my thoughts on social media. 🚫 I won’t start a podcast or anything that relies on audio as a medium. Growing up, the first thing I was made fun of for was my voice. It was in third grade, when I was asked to read a page out loud in front of the class. Two grades later, I was called gay for the first time, and soon the two became seemingl

Yesterday, I broke down

Yesterday, I broke down. After waking up exhausted from no sleep the night before, I went from one call to the next. Suddenly, I found myself with a short break. I looked out my office window, blinked, and noticed tears streaming down my face. I combed my brain for the cause of these tears, and then it hit me. It was the overwhelming feeling of powerlessness. As a natural problem solver and fixer, I never feel powerless. I have worked hard to become an extremely decisive and

Masculinity: My Struggle To Self-Identify

As a queer man, I've always struggled to align myself with masculinity. When I began to hear about men's mental health issues some years ago, I honestly thought I would not see myself represented in the heteronormative male issues being written about or exposed by actors and activists. I was very surprised to see and learn that many of my mental health challenges were in fact very similar to other men. When Martin Fretwell asked me to join his summit on men's mental health, I

Suicide Prevention Week 2020

We lost my brother to suicide when I was 15. He was only 20 years old & had just come out to me the year prior. One of my biggest regrets is that we never got to know each other as openly queer. I, myself, have contemplated suicide many times since. Somehow his loss has seemingly encouraged me power through. I guess I know what it feels to be left behind, so that is what encourages me to #keepgoing for those around me. When my urge to not talk to anyone is at an all time high

Getting Emotional at Work

😤 Displaying emotion at work is NOT a weakness. 😤 It’s a strength. 💪 Getting emotional about something shows you care. ✋ Getting passionate about something means you want to make a difference. 👏 Getting upset about criticism shows you heard it. ✊ Getting frustrated during a debate displays the importance of your argument. 👊 Getting tearful when stress is at an all time high is a natural response. 🤲 🚫 Don’t fight emotion. 🚫 Instead: 1. Allow yourself to live in it. 2.

Millennials, Don’t Beat Yourself Up.

Millennials, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay to be discouraged. To feel setback due to COVID-19. To feel stagnant. To be anxious to grow. It’s okay to do nothing. To mourn the world before COVID-19. To rest during down time. To not be creative or working on something right now. It’s okay to be angry. To miss the freedom before COVID-19. To be disappointed in failed leadership. To want to fight back. We will get through this moment and be stronger, smarter, and more resi

I feel trapped

I feel trapped. There was a moment, when cases and deaths were going down, and New York City was slowly beginning to reopen that I naively thought this was coming to an end sooner rather than later. Now, as cases are rising across the country, this “new normal” seems increasingly permanent. My workplace will continue to be my once large, now tiny one-bedroom apartment. My partner and I will continue to be stuck with each other 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. My mental health

It Is Okay...

It's okay to not be okay. It's okay to need time off. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to sign off for an hour or two. It's okay to meditate. It's okay to binge Netflix. It's okay to have a cocktail at 4pm. It's okay to walk around the block. It's okay to admit you need a break. It's okay to think moment to moment. It's okay to contemplate the future. It's okay to grieve the lack of social interaction. It's okay to miss your loved ones. It's okay to be scared. It's okay t

Emotions at Work: For the Motherless and More

Mother’s Day is tough. Historically, it's always been two weeks after my mom’s birthday, but it's especially hard to avoid nowadays with social media. I have this Mother's Day ritual of watching Julia Roberts' movies in honor of my mom. Not only is "My Best Friend’s Wedding" my favorite movie, but my mom loved her, and I have many memories of us watching her films together. We are all grieving right now. As our work blurs more and more with our personal lives, we will have to

Taking Money Out of Savings

I took money out of my savings yesterday. It wasn’t money I wanted to move yet, but as the sole breadwinner during this crisis, I felt like I had no choice. Honestly, I was a bit ashamed to have to take it out. It’s money I have been saving for a down payment on a house or the adoption of a child in a few years. Sometimes, that rainy day comes, and you have to make tough calls. Don’t beat yourself up over the tough decisions you have to make. Be gentle with yourself as you a

Mental Health Awareness: My Story

My mind never stopped. I was constantly contemplating something. I’d interject others and speak as quickly as possible in an effort to keep up with my own ideas and thoughts. When approached with a problem, I’d go through every possible outcome in an effort to calm my own anxiety. I thought everyone experienced this. I didn’t realize how much stress I was under daily. I didn’t know my starting point was higher than others. I didn’t realize I was constantly worrying over somet

Momma's Boy

My mom’s birthday was last week. Like 7 birthdays before this one, I wasn’t able to call her on that day. This increased connection with coworkers, friends, and relatives has been really special, but it’s also made me grieve the family members I’ve lost more than normal. When the stability you create post-grief is taken from you, you desperately try to cling to everything around you. There’s not much to cling to right now. This challenging time brings up so many emotions. Be

Memoir in Crisis

I’ve been writing a lot during this crisis, and somehow I find myself almost halfway through a memoir. I’ve written about some of the darkest parts of my life. The deaths of my mother, my brother, and my sister. My experiences with sexual assault, coercion, and harassment. My struggle coming out. There is something so terrifying yet therapeutic about saying things on paper that I’ve never said out loud. Though these pages may never leave my Google drive, one thing this projec

That Awkward Moment When... We Turn To Socialization

I read this tweet yesterday that joked about how socially awkward we are all going to be when all of this is over. At first, I laughed. But, then I thought about all the work I have put into managing my own social anxiety over the past two years. This year, I vowed to put myself out there more. I set goals to go to more networking events and speak on more panels. I aimed to go out more with friends. I strived to push through moments where I felt socially awkward or uncomfort

Let Productivity Take A Backseat During This Epidemic

There is this immense pressure we put on ourselves to be productive during this time. Work on that side project you’ve been wanting to work on. Work harder at your job to prove your worth. Work on your relationships with family and friends. I know I have done this to myself. Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism? Perhaps it’s a need to pass this time with things that seem meaningful? Perhaps it’s feeling like you’ve been given more time to do these things in the first place? But, y

The Art of Distraction

Last night, my therapist asked me how I have been coping these last few weeks. I struggled to find an answer. The truth is, I have been coping by distraction. Binging Netflix shows. Reading that book I have been meaning to read. Online shopping. Drinking wine. Bickering with my partner. Working on projects I know I'll never finish. Typically, I am a person that loves information. I'll watch the news every morning and every night. I'll read articles on my commute to and from w

Coping with COVID

We all cope differently in this crisis. At first, I’ll admit, I doubted the severity. Early on, most news seemed to point to just another flu-like virus. So, I did what I do best to cope — I talked myself off a ledge and said everything would be fine. I challenged myself to think rationally. Weeks went by, and we began discussing closing our office. Part of me still thought it was premature, but I also understood the growing need for employees to stay at home. I rationalized

My Mental Health Journey

I see a therapist and psychiatrist. I have experienced suicide in my family, and I, too, have considered suicide at the lowest points of my life. I have experienced drug addiction and alcoholism in my family, and I, too, struggle from time to time with the side effects of my addictive personality. I have a family history of depression and anxiety, and I, too, suffer from depression and anxiety. I share all this because I believe more than anything that visibility is the only

Yes, We All Have Imposter Syndrome

Yesterday at Knotch, we discussed imposter syndrome as a part of our quarterly mental health initiative. The truth is, we all struggle with imposter syndrome from time to time. Hell, I feel it every time I sit down to write something for LinkedIn. Why would anyone want to hear my advise? What words of wisdom do I think I have? Who do I think I am? I work every day to dismantle those notions for the team at Knotch. I want them to be able to offer their opinions. I want them