FOCUSed philoSophie's - "Feel all the feelings and give your puppy some hugs."

This week's FOCUSed philoSophie's profile is Ashley Wyand. 

I met Ashley through Pure Barre before she relocated for a great job opportunity.  She's a go-getter and there are so many good nuggets of honest wisdom in Ashley's answers. I like her balanced approach to business and accomplishments while acknowledging that it's OK to "feel all the feelings".  Her cute pup,Jingles, definitely needed a cameo within the illustration too. 
Read how Ashley finds FOCUS below:  

Occupation: Sr. Information Security Engineer, Blackbaud

Instagram: @awyand311   

Hobbies/Activities you'd like to share: Pure Barre, Running, going for walks with my Jingles, cooking, laughing with friends, and going to punk rock shows

How do you find FOCUS? I find FOCUS typically by prioritizing my tasks. Sometimes I need to walk away for a few minutes, or put on some Vitamin String QUartet to help me get back into the mode. Additionally, sometimes the best way for me to FOCUS is to just start DOING the different activities. Sometimes the focus comes after the action is started. 

Find/Keep the Fun in business: Team building activities always help. I am always trying to schedule fun times with my team for a drink, or bring in baked goods to keep everyone smiling. Sharing silly memes with your teammates helps, as well. I just try to find the sunshine in the days and that usually transcends into my business and work days as well. 

Opportunities/Optimism: As 311 says, "Stay Positive and Love Your Life." I find it imperative to find optimism in even the most dire of situations.That doesn't mean not to embrace when you are feeling crappy. Feel all the feelings. But know it gets better. Take a step outside and look at the sunshine or give your puppy some hugs or whatever the situation is, and remind yourself of the good in the world. In terms of finding opportunities, I would say that I typically just follow my gut on this one. This goes for jobs, travel, adventures, whatever. When something feels right, I pursue it. 

Confidence: Finding confidence is NOT easy. But sometimes I find that the Fake It 'Til You Make It model works well for me. I remind myself of things I do kick butt at and what I'm really awesome at (for example, I make a stellar cupcake). Focusing on those things, especially when I'm feeling particularly down and out, helps. Additionally, I tried to limit how much I compare myself to other people, and instead start comparing myself to myself. If I look at me today compared to who I was one year ago, or 5 years ago, I can find a lot of forward progress emotionally (maybe some ups and downs physically :) ) and it makes me feel really confident about what I know I can accomplish.

deal with the Unexpected: Cry it out for a hot minute, then put a smile on and dig into whatever the chaos is. That's a simple way of saying I spaz out a little, but then I just try to tough my way through the change. Sometimes, I try to see what the change is bringing that could be positive. 

Simplify ( workload, life, etc...) : Declutter, declutter, declutter my life. Stop talking to people who don't add value to my life. Stop holding on to t-shirts I will never wear again. Clean my house often and make sure I feel at peace when I walk in. Bare minimum, I try to box up anything I think is somewhat useless. Usually every 6 months I will go through boxes and closets and try to get rid of things. The same is true of my FB friends list :) . However, I'm really bad at getting rid of my shoes.