Pave the Way With Honesty

 

Many years ago, when I moved to Lubbock, Texas, opportunities for sign language interpreters were scarce.

I interviewed for a position at Texas Tech University, where they emphasized the need for a long-term commitment.

At the same time, I knew there was a potential for another company, Video Relay, to open in town, which would offer me more work.

Choosing honesty, I informed Texas Tech about this possibility and my need to consider it. I was the primary breadwinner, supporting my family and putting my ex-husband through school.

I didn't get the job at Texas Tech.

However, two weeks later, an incredible opportunity arose. An amazing man moved to town, who needed a full-time interpreter for his work. This became the best job I’ve ever had in my 25 years of interpreting.

This experience taught me that honesty, even when it seems to close doors, can lead to greater and more fulfilling opportunities.

I wish the same for you — may your truth pave the way for unexpected and wonderful possibilities.

The Answers Are Within Us

 

As a sign language interpreter, I am not allowed to give advice or express my opinion.

My role is simply to be a communication moderator. I'm there to facilitate.

So, when a client asks for my opinion, I respond by asking them questions.

I believe that all the answers are within us. We don't need an external source to find clarity.

By asking clients questions about their comments, they can become clear.

They can gain a better understanding of their own thoughts. This approach helps them explore their own insights without being influenced or led in the wrong direction.

In everyday life, we can all benefit from asking ourselves and others thoughtful questions to uncover the answers that already lie within.

I hope you have an amazing day.

Be Brave (Step Out of your Comfort Zone)

 

Today, I want to talk to you about being brave – putting yourself out there.

There are going to be critics. Often, they are scared to do what you're doing.

And they will try to bring you down.

A good example is once I interpreted the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) conference.

This means you're an interpreter who is interpreting for an audience full of interpreters.

This can be incredibly intimidating. Some of are critical about what you do.

But you know what?

I got out there. I did it. I was brave.

And I felt great about doing what I loved and pushing myself to grow.

Many people wouldn't step into that. They'd let the fear stop them.

So, be brave. Do what you love.

And when it comes to critics? Keep in mind that they're not doing it. They're not growing. They're only condemning.

That's not you. You're brave!

Get out there, be confident, and do something to step out of your comfort zone.

I hope you have an amazing day!

 

Use Repeated Thoughts to Manifest What You'd Love

 

Did you know you can manifest a life you love through repeated thoughts?

When I moved to San Antonio last year, I wanted a simple job.

The problem was that I didn't know anyone.

I didn't know the highway system or how to get around.

So I wanted simplicity.

I put out into the universe that I wanted a high school interpreting job, because it's simple.

You go to the same place every day. It's many hours.

As a bonus, as an interpreter in high school, you basically get paid to read because the teachers teach for about 15 minutes, and then you're waiting while students work on their homework for the rest of the period.

I started repeating the thought of a simple job in my head for nine months before I ever got to San Antonio.

I just kept putting it out there again...and again...and again.

When I arrived in San Antonio, however, I was told there was no way I would get a high school position because they've already been filled.

Well, I still had faith.

I met with an agency.

The owner of the agency reached out to a special ed coordinator of a school.

She told them about my skills and experience, and they made a special position just for me.

I had the simple job I wanted!

So, don't believe that you can't have what you want. Don't listen to others.

Keep putting the energy out there to manifest what you would love, because...

You CAN create that.

I hope you have an amazing day!

Don't Compromise What You Love

 

I advise my fellow sign language interpreters to only accept jobs that they will love.

We only get paid 30 minutes each way to travel, but in Houston, sometimes it takes you an hour and a half to get to a job that's on the other side of town.

So, we go into scarcity mode.

We think we have to take every job because there's not going to be enough work.

But then you're driving across town (with a long drive time) . By the time you arrive to the job, you're angry and resentful, and you may not do as good of a job.

Don't compromise on what you would love.

Especially if it's going to make you angry and resentful. That's not good for you and it's not good for others.

Where in your life are you becoming angry because you're doing something that is detrimental to your happiness?

Let's cut that out and focus on things that create more happiness in our life.

I hope you have an amazing day!

Are You Growing or Stagnant?

 

Are you stuck and feel like you've hit a growth plateau?

It happens—either we continue to find ways to grow and evolve, or we don't...and we find ourselves stuck in a rut.

As a sign language interpreter, there are five certification levels.

I got my first.

I got my third, which is advanced.

Then I hit a plateau and I felt like I wasn't growing anymore.

So I started doing video relay, which is interpreting phone calls. It's very difficult, but believe me, you bump up your skills.

When I plateaued on that, I became a court interpreter.

Every time in my life when I feel like I've hit a plateau, I've looked for ways to grow and learn.

This keeps my mind stimulated, and keeps me from feeling stuck.

Think about in your life where you've felt stuck, where you've become complacent.

Where is an opportunity for you to grow?

It could be by reading a book or taking a class. 

Let's continue to expand our minds and lives so we don't get stuck.

Letting Others Feel Heard

 

Have you ever been in a situation (or conversation) where you didn't feel heard? Or maybe you noticed that the person you were talking to didn't seem to feel heard?

This happened to me in front of a judge and I was almost held in contempt.

I was interpreting in court, and the judge didn't understand the process of court interpreting, and that it is required to have at least two interpreters in the room when a hard of hearing person is in court because it's so technical.

Well, this judge didn't understand and was insisting that one of us leave. And if we didn't, he was going to hold us in contempt of court.

Well, my interpreting team member wasn't very good at holding back, and got a little confrontational, which really upset the judge.

So I stepped in and very carefully (and respectfully) repeated back what the judge was saying to make sure he felt like he was being heard and to decompress the situation.

It worked.

None of us went to jail.

We both got to stay and all of us felt heard.

Think about a time when someone was resistant to you, but maybe it's because you weren't letting them know that you actually heard what they were saying.

Reading Body Language

 

This week we're continuing my Lessons from Sign Language Interpreter, a series about things I've learned as an interpreter and entrepreneur that will help you communicate and connect.

This one I call "reading the room" – it works especially well during conflict resolution.

First, at the beginning of a conversation, bring awareness to your own energy and notice the other person's energy.

When you walk in the room, what energy are you feeling? Sad? Angry? Happy?

Next, what non-manual markers are they giving you?

What's their body language?

Are their arms crossed in front of them in a defensive position?

Or are they open and leaning forward, which means they're more understanding and engaged?

Pay attention to your own body language so you can recognize it in others.

So my question to you this week is...

What kind of body language does somebody exude that's either happy, sad, or angry?

Recognizing body language will help you navigate any conversation, especially those that might be difficult.

 

Lessons From a Sign Language Interpreter

 

After my blog post last week about how I broke my pinky and the heartbreaking consequences, I received some awesome feedback. Many of you wanted to hear more about my sign language interpreter experience.

So here I go.

I'm going to do an "extended broadcast" through the summer about lessons from a sign language interpreter.

I want to present about the things I've learned as an interpreter and entrepreneur, so this is excellent practice.

As I share these stories and insights in coming weeks, will you give me feedback on the lessons that you love?

I greatly appreciate it!

Sign language interpreting is a profession that I absolutely love.

You deserve to have a profession you love as well. 

If you're in a job that you really don't enjoy, please reach out to me. Let's do a strategy session.

Let's start creating a vision of what you would love to manifest in your life.

Learning to Accept Change

 

It can be hard to let go of things that happen in your life and to accept change.

Not too long ago, I had a really hard time dealing with something that happened that affected my life as a sign language interpreter.

I'd been interpreting for 20 years, when I fell and broke my finger.

It was so bad that I had to have surgery and the surgeon messed up. My finger (right pinky) is permanently damaged.

Along with a broken finger, it also broke my heart because it made it very difficult to interpret.

I realized when I went to my first DeafBlind assignment after some time healing.

Now, when you do deaf-blind interpreting, it's tactile. You use touch to communicate.

Because I wasn't able to move my fingers very well due to the surgery debacle, the DeafBlind person wasn't able to understand me. It was awful.

I went to my car and cried and cried. Then I called the agency to let them know I wouldn't be able to do deaf-blind interpreting anymore. It was heartbreaking.

It took some time, but I finally learned to accept where I was and what I could do.

This happened for a reason, and it's in the past.

I can't change it, so I have to only look to my future.

For me, I looked to the future and found different kind of interpreting jobs that I could do.

Is there a change in your own life that you have been struggling with?

Take time today to reflect on how you can accept it as something in the past.

Let it go.

The past can't be changed, but we can shape our future into a life we love.

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