Jenny Brown: Reimagining what makes us remarkable

25 minute read

Epsa 6:40

So Jenny, Anjana and I were actually just going through our Snapchat memories before this, and we got a memory from a year ago this week. And that week was actually when we both saw you at Cal Poly for the I am Remarkable workshop. And we got the pleasure of getting to know you more. But for our listeners, could you just kind of dive into your career path, what your major was in college and your journey to Google and how you were able to leverage your skills because I know you said you were a Psych and Religious studies major, so kind of like go into that.

Jenny 7:01  

Yeah, absolutely. So just to put it all out on the table there. I actually started off as a musical theater and communications major. So I pivoted to Psychology and Religious studies, I went to Santa Clara. And then when I graduated, I realized I’m going to need some job experience in order to save up money to get a Master’s because neither one of these, you know, majors is any useful, like is useful to me if I don’t have another piece of paper telling people how good I am at it. Right. So I was working in a sort of childcare program. At the time I was doing preschool teaching for a really long time. And then I got a job in tech sales. It just sort of landed in my lap, my roommate worked there. And I ended up working at this little startup and tech sales only woman on the team. It was pretty interesting employee number 35 over there. So real, real small operation just to give you a picture. And from there, I actually got an email from Google. Some recruiter reached out to me and a few of my co workers since we were all doing the tech sales thing, asking if we wanted to chat about a role that was open. And a few days later, they emailed us all again, and said that the role had been filled internally. And all my co workers said Okay, thanks and sort of moved on. And I was absolutely full of imposter syndrome at this point, and was convinced that Google had reached out to the wrong Jennifer Brown. I was like there’s no way they want me like there’s no possible way. But I responded and said, thanks so much. Is there anything else available? That’s it. I just asked. Wow. And the answer was, let me see what I can do. And a few months later, and a few interview processes later, including super terrible answers to some of the questions. Yeah, jokes that didn’t land, you will know. Oh, I have so many of those stories. So it’s bad. It’s like why should we hire you? It’s like well, because I’m hilarious. I kid you not? I don’t know why I thought that was a good answer. Did you answer that was that is that’s what I said. And the interviewing me did not find that remotely funny.

Epsa 9:23  

Oh my gosh, wait, Jenny. One time I was in an interview and someone asked me to give a tour of the room and the first thing that I did was I opened the door and said, Oh, this is the door and not only opens but it also closes. And then as soon as I said that I was like I’m gonna see myself out because that was so embarrassing.

Jenny  9:42  

But where’s the lie,though? It does open. You were you were being he did like, Oh, yeah, no, I think he really comprehensively described the functionality of the door and frankly,

Epsa 9:52  

I didn’t get it but like it was funny and I grew from it.

Anjana 9:57
Epsa, If I were interviewing you, I would have 100% given you a job. Thanks so much. I needed to hear that. 

Jenny 10:03  

Oh yeah. So turns out, you can bomb an interview and sometimes get a job and sometimes not get a job. So you know, that’s life, sort of a 50/50 shot. But yeah, I followed the hilarious thing up with, and I’m the hardest worker you’ll ever meet. And I guess that was enough to sway them, along with my charming personality. Yeah, but I’ve been working at the googs for about eight years, started off in pre sales and then worked to outsource that program, because it got so big, sort of parlayed that into a program management role, which is a huge catch all for just sort of, you’re going to do all of the things and probably more of the things. And then from there went on to more training intensive roles, and picked up I am remarkable as a side project, as well as some on camera work as a side project. So I got to be lightweight. I like to call it nerd famous on YouTube, just because I was making, you know, sort of technical videos, that kind of stuff, and those two side projects ended up putting me in touch with a woman who got me in touch with the team that I’m on now, which is arguably the greatest group of humans I’ve ever been surrounded with, outside of like a theater camp that I went to, when I was younger, they are so much fun. They’re passionate, they’re smart, they’re helpful, and they’re great at their jobs. And it’s the coolest, most inspiring spot to be in so superduper lucky, that spot happens to be in Developer Relations, which is under engineering, which is a twist. When you look at my background, like we didn’t have much stem going on there. But yeah, we’re here now. And it’s absolutely rad. And imposter syndrome is real, but so is the other side of it. So it’s pretty cool.

Anjana  11:55  

Yeah, and I definitely want to talk about your role in a little bit. But I would love to just focus on your path to Google, which is a very untraditional one. I feel like we’ve always been told, you know, in order to get to a company like Google, you have to go to an Ivy League school and major in STEM or business, finance or accounting. And, you know, while working at a big tech company might not be the ultimate goal for a lot of people. Do you have any advice for college students or recent grads who do want to work at a company like that, but don’t necessarily want to go the traditional route?

Jenny 12:32  

I think one of the things that, I mean, we’re all like right now, just like even taking a step back from that, right? Like, we’re all like really pressured to do the four year university, right? It’s like after high school, like you’re like, Okay, take all these tests, go to the good school, like go to the school that has like the good football team, or, you know, they show up on TV people know about this, like, if no one has heard of your school, then does it even count? Right? And so I think, and then after that folks are expected to get a job at a good company. And again, if no one has heard of your company, does it even count that you work there? Right? If no one knows, like, if no one understands your role, or your job, does it, you know, does it matter. And I think that those are all external validation mechanisms that don’t really serve us as humans. So I’m going to have a little bit of a twisty answer to this question. I like to sort of backpedal everyday and ask myself what I want to accomplish and where I can accomplish it. Right? So if working at Google sounds, or working at any big tech company, or any big, shiny, beautiful company that you’ve heard about, right, they appear on all the lists and all the magazines. Ask yourself why you want to work there? Is it the name because that’s totally acceptable, right? Like it keeps, keeps Thanksgivings easy. If it’s the name or the clout, the notoriety, that’s, that’s one thing, right? But like, know that, it’s that because once you can identify that end goal, like whether it’s to accomplish something that this company is doing, that they’re known for, or just to be associated with such a strong brand, once you can identify your end goal, you’re going to see that you have a lot of different paths to reach it, if that makes sense. So instead of just thinking, like, I want to work at Google, so I’m going to do this, you can think, well, I want to work at a company that people know about that’s doing things that I agree with, it’s doing things that I think are going to make the world a better place. That’s the kind of thing that you should be thinking about, like what do I want to accomplish? And where can I accomplish it because it might not just be up to those companies. Or you might find through further identifying, like, your goal, your need, that there’s another company or another place that could use your skills, your time and your passion and really help accelerate that for you even further. So I would say, do what makes you glow and light up, like whatever you’re really passionate about. I love the way that people think. And so I’m still grateful that I studied psychology and religious studies, I can have a lot of really weird conversations. I know a lot of fun words like deuterocanonical, which is stuff that’s outside of the canon of religious texts, in case anyone was wondering. Great, super useful for some kinds of trivia. I’m grateful for what I studied, because it has actually helped me, you know, create sales trainings create more customized, more effective learner experiences, for I mean, I mean, I’m talking to engineers now. And I’m still trying to get them to learn something. So I still need to customize the journey, it doesn’t matter what coding language I’m speaking to, or what group I’m speaking to, I still need to customize the user journey, or the learner journey to be able to get folks from point A to point B. So those skills that I have that might seem only tangentially related, are actually really, really critical, and set me apart. In this role, too. I didn’t study computer science, I don’t get most of the inside jokes at lunch. And that can be okay, because I can create some kick ass content and really get, I can speak to these folks in a different language. And I think that’s what makes me special. So I would say, you know, short story long, I’d say like, study what makes you what makes you happy? What makes you what you can find passion for? And then really evaluate what you want, from your career, what you want from your company? Do you want that boost to have a name? Do you want a place to put your skills? Or do you want a place where you can grow? Or we know what do you want? And then sort of proceed from there? Because your options might change? Once you identify what you’re actually looking to do.

Epsa  17:07  

 Wow, do you feel like from when you started at Google to where you’re at now, you’ve been able to identify what you actually want to do, like kind of what you were talking about?

Jenny 17:20  

Haha, um, I think this is a relatively, it’s, it’s always been a struggle for me to identify what I wanted. I had a lot of growing to do in the department of asking myself what I want instead of seeking to people please. Or to sort of take the path of least resistance or do what others were doing. It took me a lot to sort of get creative for myself. My parents were stoked when I got the outreach from Google, right. 

Epsa 17:54
And they slid into your emails, Jenny, right, thats dope

Jenny 17:58 

Right, like Google slid into my DMS. And it was pretty incredible. No one has since, but that’s fine. Um, but yeah, like Google, you know, like, they reached out to me, that’s incredible. Like, that already puts me in a spot where I’m just like, wow, that feels really good. And I just thought, okay, I’ll do it. And then, you know, there were products that I sold for Google that made me happy, like, you know, working with education, and Chromebooks and just sort of really making more accessible classrooms that was so cool. And I was really passionate and interested in that. But it was challenging to find alignment necessarily with what I wanted to do, until I really started asking myself those questions. And it sort of ended up evolving organically. Fortunately, based on the side choices that I made, there was a really good graduation, or a commencement speech by this comedian, and he in Australia. And he mentioned that like, you should be really staunchly single, single mindedly focused on your dreams on your goals, keep your eye out for shiny things on the side. Because those are the opportunities that are going to really change the game for you. And that’s entirely what happened for me, I couldn’t agree more with that thought process. So you know, like self reflection, asking yourself what you wanted, that has helped the past couple years, for sure. I made a really, really big impact, especially when I’m trying to figure out what kind of content I want to make, how I want to present myself, you know, on the internet for these people. And then also in terms of what side projects I’m taking on, and where I’m getting creative in my role and where I’m following, you know, a more well beaten path.

Epsa 19:37  

Or could you also, I know, you were talking about how you now you’re working with engineers, and maybe sometimes you don’t get their jokes at lunch, but you are what they say you’re a developer advocate. And I know sometimes like job titles, I’m like, What is that? Like? What does that even mean? So in your eyes, like, what do you do at work on a day to day basis?

Jenny 19:57  

Yeah, so as a developer advocate my large, like high up goal is to, on my specific team within developer advocacy, our goal is to create content that is compelling and educational, and is going to bring our developer and our technical audience closer to the products. And then also be able to take feedback from that audience and get it to the product management teams and get it to the product design folks and say, like, Hey, you know, like your strategy for this, like, you know, this is what the people want, right? And just really make sure that there’s a bit of dialogue there and representation. My day to day, in particular, since I work mostly in creating online pre pandemic, right, right now everyone’s creating online content. But a lot of folks in developer advocacy really do the conference circuit pretty heavily. So there’s a lot of traveling usually, for my team, day to day, I am looking through technical articles about our products, trying to create a narrative trying to create some sort of compelling argument for why someone should be using this or how someone should be using this. And then thinking, What’s the best way to present this information? Right? Do we want to use a use case? Do we want to just do some code samples? What does this look like? How can I communicate this to my audience, and then it’s either podcast blog, or on camera work, which is really cool, and definitely makes my inner theater nerd the happiest. 

Epsa 21:34  

I really love that for you. 

Anjana 21:40

Epsa will tell you, she took a theater class for a GE

Jenny  21:43  

Did you love it?

Epsa 21:47

I loved it,  I took I took theater 210. Yeah, actually, I really enjoyed it. And then my minor is like a creative minor, It’s Science, Technology and Society. And I took a screenwriting class, and then I had to, like, create, like a whole, visual for a screenplay I wrote. And I did take drama in high school. So Jenny, I feel you I feel you kind of you know,

Jenny 22:04  

it’s a thing. It’s, it’s a, it’s a big old vibe. And I’m glad, I’m glad you get it. Yeah.

Anjana 22:10  

Something I always tell people, my friends who are still in college is you know, when you’re deciding what kind of company that you want to work at, you know, when I was like a senior I was, I was really thinking about working between like a startup and like, mid size company, because I always felt like, that’s where I could have the most impact for my experience. And for the larger company, my voice wouldn’t feel as hard. But not to say that you can’t have projects at a company as big as school and take ownership over it and really have an impact there as well. So, you know, I think it’s easier to feel like a cog in the wheel at a large tech company. But how did you personally navigate that? And what did you do to stand out? Or to, like, make an impact?

Jenny 22:57  

Yeah, and you’re totally, totally right. It can be really, really challenging, right? I went to a series of small schools where I was, like, cool, like, I, you know, got these lead roles in the musical That was great. And then it’s like, yeah, cuz there were 40 people to choose from, total. You know, like, you had to go to prom all four years. So the tent wouldn’t be empty. It’s not, you know, it’s a thing. But yeah, like going to a larger university, larger companies. It’s really easy to sort of feel like you don’t really have a spot. And so, because of some really fun imposter syndrome stuff, one of the things that I discovered really quickly is that something that would make me stand out is just being myself. No one else, like everyone else at that company, is doing incredible things. Like it’s like, oh, yeah, I’m an engineer. And on the weekends, I’m an ultra marathoner. Right. Literally, everyone I spoke to was, there was something so incredibly special about them. And I realized what’s special about me, like, well, I’m me, right, at the end of the day, like, even on my worst days, I’m me. And that’s what makes me special. So, you know, what does that mean? And so that’s when I started to be able to get really creative with the projects that I was doing, like I created, you know, sort of a soft skills training, and helped helped a bunch of teams really improve their customer experience scores, because they were interacting and really responding to customers in a way that was beneficial for both sides. Right. And that didn’t come from my role necessarily, it came from my experiences and what I had observed, and what I understood the end goals of this sort of project to be. And so I brought me to the table there. And then same thing with the video projects that I was doing on the side as well. I brought my personality, I brought my you know, musical theater nerdiness and I brought my jazz hands and that’s what did the trick. Yeah. And it’s also like, like, who like what am I going for? Right? Like, am I Going for my own personal promotion, my own personal success, am I going for being known at the company? Right, that kind of thing. And at that point, I was just going for things that would make me happy. And both of those projects that I just described made me really happy. And they also had a really positive impact on a lot of users. And there are still people. I mean, not right now, obviously, because we’re not in the office. But there are still folks like when we were in the office, who would occasionally come up to me and be like you’re Jenny from the app show, I studied your videos for my interview. And it was just, it was so heartwarming. So yeah, just like, be yourself. Because I don’t want to be like, everyone else is already taken but it’s true. Like, it’s, you know, it’s a cliche, it’s kind of a cliche, for a reason. I mean, like, there are folks who have skill sets they can bring to the table, but I think the primary skill set all of us could bring to the table is just showing up authentically, and being ourselves. And that’s going to get you into the places that are best for you anyway, right? In those situations, when you show up as yourself and you sort of discover now, that no is going to lead to your next step. It’s not necessarily a door that’s closing, it’s just like, this wasn’t meant for me. Right? And if you’re showing up in-authentically, and you get a yes. Is that yes, even really for you in the first place? That’s how I like to think about it anyway, to sort of soothe the pain of that. 

Anjana 26:27  

That’s how you should think about Jenny

Epsa 26:29  

But I think what you mentioned a while ago about how you were kind of able to use your like what you bring to the table and that skill set and bring that empowerment element, which Anjana & I were able to experience from hearing you talk at a quite quite like a remarkable event. I don’t know if that rings a bell. I know. But I know one of your side projects at Google is the I am remarkable event. Could you kind of just for you know, our listeners that sadly weren’t able to attend it. Could you give us just you know, a background on what the movement is, what it means to you and kind of your main goal and like why you were a facilitator?

Jenny 27:06  

Yeah, absolutely. So I’m remarkable. It’s Google initiative started by two women out of our EMEA offices, and it aims to help empower women and other underrepresented groups, self promote, and celebrate their achievements inside the workplace and outside of the workplace. And a dear friend of mine, Julia Silva, who is an absolute powerhouse of a  human, she, you know, previously to I am remarkable, she was always just such a strong woman in my life. And it was like, like, she was such a source of inspiration. And she was involved in this workshop. And she told me a little bit about it. And it seemed like something that would probably be a good idea for me to at least take, right. So I took this workshop at a time in my career, when I was really struggling to understand what I was supposed to do, where I was supposed to go. And taking that time to write down a list of my accomplishments, and things that I had done and things that I had, you know, things that I do every single day, like, you know, it’s like, I got up despite this, or I did this, despite that. Taking the time to reflect on those things was so unbelievably powerful. And then learning how to speak to those things as well. And learning also why it’s so hard to speak to those things. It’s like, why does it feel like everyone hates me whenever I say that I’ve done this project, it’s like, because they do, um, you know, like, just to oversimplify it. It’s, you know, it’s a challenge for most humans to speak about their accomplishments. And it’s no different for women and underrepresented groups. And, you know, we are often part of groups that folks would prefer, remain kind of quiet and just keep, you know, keep the wheels turning, just keep things going. And so when we stop and speak to our accomplishments, that sort of feels like it might change the balance of power, I think, and a lot of dynamics. And that is something that I have remarkable aims to, like, expose, and slowly chip away at, right? Like we’re looking to break through these glass ceilings, we’re looking to educate, and to then empower. So not only do you understand why it’s so hard to do something you also understand why it’s so hard to self promote, specifically, but why it’s so important to self promote, right? You could have the best manager in the world. But like I say, when I leave the workshop, like they can be in your corner, but they’re not in your head, like they don’t know, every single thing that you’re doing you need you can have a great advocate, but you need to speak to them. You need to be able to also self advocate and speak to those accomplishments. Otherwise, no one’s gonna know what you’re doing. Right. And it seems To hobbyists, but

Anjana  30:01  

It’s a lot harder. It’s a lot harder than that, especially when it comes to things like negotiating your salary. And it’s often tied to your self worth. And you know, one of the most interesting statistics that you had mentioned during your workshop last year that I still think about, like every other day, is that, you know, when men self promote, like, they’re often seen as a leader, and when women self, self promote both, both men and women, like like them less, which is so wack to me. And you know, what you said about like, they hate you.

Jenny 30:40 Yeah. Yeah, it’s like those modesty norms are tough.

Anjana  30:45

 Yeah, seriously. I think something women continuously ask ourselves is, how do we toe the line between sounding arrogant versus actually self promoting and being proud of our accomplishments? That’s something I know, I wonder all the time when I’m speaking about what I’ve worked on. What are your like, thoughts or advice on overcoming that feeling?

Jenny  31:04  

Oh, absolutely. Because, you know, we all know what it’s like to hear someone talk about their accomplishments and like, feel that feeling in the pit of your stomach, like, cool. That’s really I love that for you. Like, that’s so good. Um, and just sort of understand, like being, like, gentle with yourself about that impulse, right? Because like that inclination is what tells us like, other people are feeling this about us whenever we do that. Keeping that in mind, being gentle with yourself and understanding that it’s programming, right, we are trained in almost all cultures globally, to not take up space, as humans. So understanding that I think is definitely the first step to getting through it. And then understanding that it’s not bragging if it’s based on facts. It’s it really isn’t. And if you’re so uncomfortable with like, you know, sort of editorializing, your accomplishments, saying, like, you know, how well you did something or speaking, you know, more effusively about it, start with just what you did, right, I did this project, I, you know, I led a team of two people, or I took the numbers from here to here, right, if you start with just the facts, that’s a little bit easier to start training your brain to get used to it, right, because one of the things that we talked about in the workshop is that self promotion is a muscle, it’s a skill that you really need to practice. And if you don’t, if you don’t practice it, it’s not just going to pop up one day and become easy for you. So you really need to practice and I think that that’s a pretty good starting spot, just being like, Alright, cool, we’re going to keep this very, very straightforward to stick straight to the facts. And then from there, you can start to think, well, how did I feel about that? And it’s like, yeah, we really, there was a lot of creative problem solving going on with this are we dramatically like you can get more into it and more passionate about it. And the ultimate goal is to inspire people, and educate people with what you’ve done, not make them feel any worse about themselves. And that’s a larger cultural shift, for sure, right, the whole like, it’s not pie idea, we can all win in most scenarios. And we should all win in most scenarios. So just keep it to the facts at first, and then build from there, and working to create the community on the team where you also give accolades when another person is doing something absolutely badass, even if it’s something that you kind of wish you could do, right? Like, there’s it doesn’t take away from your accomplishments if someone else accomplishes something, too, unless you’re running a race with them. Right.

Epsa 33:52  

I think that speaks volumes though. Because you know how good it feels when someone gives you a shout out for something you weren’t even expecting to get a shout out for it. And that like, Oh my god, I hold on to those comments for dear knows how long and I’m sure like, everyone feels that way. So I make a huge point to do that. Nowadays.

Jenny 34:10  

It feels so good. It’s like you’re a queen, and you’re a queen, and we’re all doing the things right? We all have different lives. You’ve all got different stuff going on. And we’re still all showing up and doing what we can do. Or you know, just expressing ourselves the way that we best know how and I think that’s pretty freaking cool. And that deserves to be celebrated a lot more like these are all the people who are really struggling with this pandemic and how many of them get up out of bed and go log into their zoom meetings regardless. Like that’s a thing you should celebrate. It’s hard to do. 

Anjana 34:51  

What I love about everything you just said but tieing it together.You know, training your mind is what this workshop is really about. But to me It’s also really about unlearning right? Unlearning that your accomplishments are only valuable if you know if it’s about your work, right? If you lead that huge team, you get that huge promotion or salary or, you know, when we were at school, it was like, Oh, I landed that internship at Tesla. And that’s what makes me remarkable. Or  you know, I lead a huge club. And that’s what makes me remarkable, but really unlearning that, that those are not the only things that define you and saying, getting out of bed every day, being able to turn on that zoom meeting, even when you really don’t want to taking care of your body and exercising and drinking water. That’s remarkable. For me, one of the times when I was doing this workshop with you was like, knowing that I’m a super emotional person, and I cried like the smallest things, but like, being emotional, being emotional and caring is what makes me remarkable and like caring about my friends. And like that is when I took that workshop, it was so eye opening Jenny because we had been in this like environment where we’ve been told the only things that make us remarkable is what company we’re working at what internship we got, what clubs we’re in, and knowing that, you know, like, there’s all these small things about me that make me remarkable. Like that’s, that’s really important. And so yeah, I mean, like, first of all, thank you for doing that for us.

Jenny 36:13
Aw, I’m gonna cry

Epsa  36:18  

This is a big cry sesh. It’s not even a podcast.

Jenny 32:25

I cry every time I lead that workshop, , in a good way. Like Oh, my God, you are all remarkable. I showed up not knowing but like hoping. And it’s true.

Anjana  36:34  

And that’s and that’s obviously what I want to ask, you know, is how has,I am remarkable helped you in your own journey, personally and professionally.

Jenny 36:44  

Yeah, it’s been huge. It’s given me that space to every workshop that I lead. I try to participate in the exercise of writing down things that make me remarkable. And it really makes the time, it creates the space for me to take up space, and to be proud of myself and to take the spotlight off of external sort of points of validation. So like, you know, what company I work at, where you know, what, how, like how much I get paid for what I’m doing, right? If I’m married and have children yet or not, it’s like, it’s a whole thing. Um, it takes that thought process and it turns it inward. And it allows me to take up that space, and to be proud of myself, and to honor myself for all the little tiny things that I do every day. that put me where I am. And it’s been so revolutionary for me to participate in that and to see my own growth, because there were some things that I would write down where it’s like, wow, I did do that. And so taking it off the external, everyone else’s opinion and being like, how do you feel about this? That has been so, so helpful for me. And it’s also taught me that even in the moments when I’m in it, when I’m just, I’m flooded, I’m not feeling good. Which is, weirdly, where I was this time. Last year, I cried the entire drive down and just thought of different excuses to bail on this workshop. I felt bad about it. But I just wasn’t in the headspace. I was like, I can’t go up on the stage and tell these women how to be remarkable because I feel like garbage emotionally, physically, it’s across the board. And then I was honest about that. I was open. I was like, Yeah, I really struggled to come down here to do this. And it was the most rewarding workshop. I happily cried the entire drive home and called my girl group. And they stilbl remember that workshop. They’re like, remember that time you don’t want to do it. You had the best time. And yeah, so they all remember it. And yeah, but this so this workshop has really changed the game for me in terms of being like Alright, this is what they value about me. That’s cool, right? And that’s important for some things, but what do I value about me? And what do I want to speak up more about that? I’m doing right. What skills do I have that I want to apply elsewhere? Like what power does my story have, even when it’s not necessarily the success story that I wanted? Like what do those learn like? What do my learnings How can they help other people know that they’re not alone? 

Epsa  39:26  

I loved everything you just said? But I think why the event was such a hit for all of us was because you were so vulnerable and open. And we looked at you like oh my god, Jenny, she’s from Google. She’s putting on this workshop. She must be like, yada yada yada. So put together and we’re all like here like okay, like, Here she is. And then when you shared that it made all of us feel like oh my gosh, like we all go through these things every single day and so does she. So I kind of wanted to ask you to like, obviously you’ve gained a lot of remarkable strategies from I am remarkable, but I mean, we’ve been talking about crying a lot like when we do go through those days that aren’t great. Are there any other mental health or healing practices that you implement into your daily life that would really benefit? Like, a lot of us right now? Or anything that you think would benefit us? 

Jenny Brown 40:20

Yeah, absolutely. And I’m a huge advocate for mental health if you’re able to access resources do, right. One of the things that has been super revolutionary for me, I’ve been doing it since I took a class, I don’t even remember what the class was about. But this was a component of it. I have a gratitude practice. So every single morning, whether it’s in a notebook, or on a note, on my phone, I write three things I’m grateful for. And they can be small, like, a lot of them, it’s like, the first one is like sleep, my bed, right? My dog not peeing on the floor. And sometimes it’s, you know, much bigger things, but three things I’m grateful for. And three things I’m proud of myself for. And again, that might be going to bed on time, not eating a bunch of snacks, so my stomach hurt the night before, or you know, doing something related to my job, it can be whatever, but I’ve just I need to do the three great three points of gratitude. Three things I’m proud of. And then every night before I go to bed, I write down like little coincidences. I love a good coincidence. So I write down like coincidences are sort of like miracle moments from the day like if I was thinking about someone, and as I picked up my phone, they texted me, like little shining moments, I write those down, too. And it sort of keeps your brain in a place of gratitude and curiosity. Because if you’re asking yourself questions, like, if you’re curious, you’re brain  can’t go into overdrive. Like, you can’t be in that fight or flight place. And be curious at the same time. It’s not physiologically possible, because it shouldn’t be right, like at the watering hole, if there’s a lion, like you can’t be like, Oh, what? I wonder what kind of No, you can’t wonder that right? You have to go or like, fix this. You can’t, you can’t be curious. You can’t think those things. And so yeah, like, and it’s and it’s true today, as well. So engaging your curiosity sort of like turns off a lot of that flight fight or flight response, which I find myself in a lot. I’m constantly in that state of overdrive in that state of freakout that sort of where I run. So stopping that process, even manually, and thinking of things that I’m grateful for, puts me in a much better spot for the rest of the day. And it has been so powerful. And I used to even write down affirmations or a couple goals for the day, right? Like I am calm. Today, I want to accomplish X, Y, and Z and just sort of like thinking, you know, like we talked about with the job to think about what you want. And like, only then is it going to make it possible to sort of attain it. Otherwise, you’re just sort of want like, Where are you going? Right? You can’t have speed, like, just like you can’t be wandering, and expect to accomplish all the things that you want, you have to think about the things that you want, and then you can you know, meander toward them. But you’re not going to get there unless you can identify what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. And so that’s really helpful too but the gratitude thing and thinking of and then the iron remarkable has definitely added the points of pride that’s been so, so helpful, just to sort of remind me who I am and like what my situation is every single morning and every single evening. He you know, it’s really easy, really lightweight, it’s a game changer.

Epsa 43:40  

I love that and I really liked the coincidence part. those little moments like that. They’re like small heartwarming moments for sure. 

Anjana 43:57

We’d love to end our talks with the reimagined question, because that’s what our podcast is called. But you know, since we don’t all work at companies that can host workshops, as remarkable as I am remarkable, how can we as individuals, you know, empower each other to speak out loud and be proud of our wins and accomplishments? Like how do we create environments of healthy self promotion?

Jenny 44:15

Oh, I love that. And I think the answer is kind of in your question, right? Create the space, start creating the space, lead by example, help people understand what you’re trying to do if they seem confused, or they push back and start in your sphere of influence, right? Start with your, with your friends, with your loved ones. And at the dinner table, right? Or if you have a weekly catch up with folks, just be like, Hey, I’m really stoked about this thing that I did. You know, what’s something that you know, what, something that you did for work this week that really like lit things up for you? Like, what did you learn this week about yourself? What did you learn about your job this week? It’s like asking questions like that, because learning is an accomplishment, right? So it’s sort of like a sneaky way to get into it. Yeah, to start making the space, start doing the things, start leading by example. I think that is the most effective way to create the space for self, where to create the space for healthy self promotion, is to model it and to embody it and to share it with others, and also share the intention behind it. And the, you know, the thought process to think it’s, I think it’s really great. And it’s really fun, even if you’re just asking your parents, Hey, what’s something cool? Like, what? What was something that made you really happy today? What’s something that you got done today that you didn’t think you’re going to get done? Like little little things like that? Because it’s all the little things, you know, that make us act like we are that make us remarkable?

Epsa  45:55

Oh, and I think those questions are so special. Like, I didn’t even think about asking learning as a sense of sneaking up into someone’s accomplishments, like these are all ways we can show up.

Jenny, 46:02

Yeah. And like, we’re like, how do you like when do you feel most alive? When do you feel like your truest self? I love asking questions like that.

Epsa  7:46  

It is such a beautiful question. Right? When do you feel like your most truest self? I need to ponder on that. 

Jenny  7:35  

But like, what makes you feel like, like, when did you last feel like the most alive? You know, stuff like that just like get people thinking about themselves? in a way that’s not thinking about themselves the benefit of other people? Yes, there you go. Like change that mindset, again, take away from the external focus of validation to the internal, right, like, what did I feel about this? When did I last feel this way? I think that’s really, really helpful and sort of starts folks on the path of thinking about themselves not just in terms of their impact on others, not just some from a place of security or from a place of lack, but from a place of impact and power. I think that’s really cool.