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Breakthroughs, Common Breakthroughs: Hello, My Name is Ariana and I’m a Millennial!??!!

There’s nothing like a breakthrough. You know that moment you realize something that seems so obvious in retrospect you wonder how you couldn’t have realized it before? Only it’s a breakthrough, which opens a world of possibilities so rather than lament, you’re excited about this new boundless potential!

I Had a Breakthrough

I had a breakthrough last month…I’m a millennial. I called my Mom up to tell her about my earth shattering realization and her response was, “You mean you’re a part of your generation, well yeah!”

But you see, according to some research… I’m a GenXer. And since I was born at the end of the GenX curve I grew up hearing a lot about “my generation.” Which I didn’t really identify with; I was always the weird but innocent little sister. At the same time I was never afraid to speak up for what I believed in. I was an anomaly in school: the creative, outspoken idealist.

So, as more and more and more (it’s become a bit tiresome I’ll say) has been written about Millennials I’ve had two reactions to it all. When it’s negative, millennials are lazy, want the world handed to them, are self-absorbed etc. I thought, “gee, thank god I’m not a millennial!”

But there’s also all this positive stuff being written about how innovative and community oriented millennials are (in other words cool). To which I reacted jealously. That’s because I didn’t identify as a millennial before and felt left out (which is probably quintessential of a millennial, but whatever, I’m being my authentic self).

How to Have an “I am Millennial Breakthrough?”

It all comes back to EntrepreNerds. In the August book discussion we talked about Transforming Your Business by taking it to the next level. As I reflected on the recommendations of Great by Choice I realized that I needed to systematize my business operations to create more consistency, the key to a solid foundation for transformational growth.

So I sat down to write out my SMaCs (Specific, Methodical, Consistent operational principles). Which in first draft form resembled a list of guiding principles. And when I took a step back and looked at the list in full it dawned on me, “Wait a second… these are like the things they were saying about Millennials’ values in the articles I’ve been reading…I’m a millennial?!??!!?!!”

How could I not realize something so obvious? Because we all have a habit of overlooking the obvious, compliments of our onerous limiting beliefs. That’s why journaling is such a powerful exercise because it helps you literally step back and observe your own thought process so you get a fresh perspective.

Owning It!

I’m going to own my “Millennialness.” To me this feels ironic because since I entered the land of professionals I’ve been fighting tooth and nail to be taken seriously…I feel like I’ve been in an endless battle to be viewed as older and therefore “more competent.” So embracing my youthfulness seems counter-intuitive (it’s pushing my comfort zone to declare).

But, trying to fit in for the sake of fitting in…drives a person crazy. Obviously not everyone wants to hear from the millennial that has tons of ideas about how to do things better…errr differently (I know that from experience). Luckily, some people do want me to have a “seat at the grownups table”.

So, I am going to be me, which means I’ll dream big, sit at the table, speak-up for what I believe in, learn what I can and make sh*t (I’m from Philly) happen. And I’m not going to feel bad for it either (taking Brene Brown’s advice). Call me a millennial, call me what you will! I’m excited because I feel there are new possibilities I wasn’t open to before. And even though its scary to admit I’m a “cliché” to the world, at least I get to be myself.

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