We connected ironically because we have the same first name, a few mutual friends and our Caribbean heritage. But what I love about Nerissa Street is her practical take on life and her determination to teach others to Be Your Own Answer. This reminded me of my Be Your Own Hero mantra.
Neri (that’s my pet name as well) recently launched 31 Days of Yes and I couldn’t think of a better way to start the year than with this powerful inspirational tool. It is a daily guide marked out for 31 Days, which you can start on any day you see fit. I must warn you that it is not a book designed to motivate you for a few moments then let you go back to your regularly scheduled life. It will be an interruption in the way you are thinking and being. 31 Days of Yes will challenge you to change things and let ideas and habits go that no longer serve you.
The multi-award-winning educator and speaker was generous enough to answer my questions about the book and how she deals with feeling like a fraud, saying Yes to Pain and leading while you are still learning.
Q – What inspired 31 Days of Yes?
NS – I love the short, portable format of Daily Word and Daily Inspiration books published by the New Thought Christian organizations, Unity and Universal Foundation for Better Living, respectively. I was given the chance to write for the Daily Inspiration and the editors told me the response to my writing was overwhelming. I spent 2017 focused on self-care and reflection. I realized that most leaders like me expect to have to struggle to achieve their goals or change the world. It’s a new day. I wanted us to have an accessible source of inspiration to find our allies in unexpected places. It feels counterintuitive but our first goal shouldn’t be to fight for our cause, it should be to eliminate the fight within ourselves.
NS – One of the sections of the book is called, “Say Yes to the Pain”. We are usually called to serve by the pain we experience or the painful path of the people in our circle. Once we get the call, we see the Pain as the villain to our hero. The simple questions in that section will give someone a powerful breakthrough.
Q – Did you struggle with believing in the value of your words and sharing them?
NS – Oh yes! Really, the more I learn, the less I know. I used to struggle with feeling like a fraud every time I wanted to share the words I was given. Who was I to see myself as a leader? But a conversation with one of my mentees reminded me you can’t help someone up a ladder by yelling at them from the top. She asked me about something that I had just figured out a few years earlier. The most effective help is what is closest to people. Your voice is valuable, and your desire to share means that someone else’s heart is calling for your wisdom.
Q – Is there a way to learn how to see with fresh eyes?
NS – This is actually a trademark element of my speeches, workshops and experiences. I take people through a process that is so simple it changes perspective immediately. I’m now working with a team to bring that process to a wider audience of transformative leaders.
Q – How do we change the old story which is on repeat?
NS – It’s funny, but I hesitated to answer this question. Here’s my take on making it through all 31 days: the most important thing you get out of this is the intention you set going in. The ritual of focusing on your “soular” self-care daily for 31 Days of Yes establishes a spiritual bedrock of self-trust in your heart. From that self-trust, serving and leading others becomes more authentic and fulfilling. So if you want to stand in a space of personal truth in your leadership, make it through all 31 days…even if you have to stop and pick it up again.
Q – Where can we buy the book?
NS – www.beyourownanswer.com/31-
NS – SXSW in March 2018 (Austin, Tx), and private events at this point. The Be Your Own Answer retreat will be mid to late 2018, with very limited registration. We’re providing a very powerful experience to leaders ready to take their work to an exponential level. You can also begin the process to engage me for your organization by sending an email directly to Beyourownanswer@gmail.com.
Connect with Neri at Be Your Own Answer on Facebook.