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Getting SELF-ish and Putting Yourself First

Introducing Damaris Carroll


So welcome to another episode of boss talk. I am your host La'Vista Jones and today I am joined by my guest Damaris Carrol, welcome to the show, Damaris. Thank you for having me. It's an honor for me to be here. I'm so excited that you're here and just about the conversation that we are going to have today. Before we dive in, I want to tell our listeners a little bit more about you. So Damaris is a creator and implementer of effective plans to optimize DEI in employee engagement in organizations, the Damaris creates maintains and supports training programs to enhance employees performance, DEI management needs analysis, team training and executive leadership bias training with over 15 years DEI space demurrers has become a subject matter expert in di organizational change management. Damaris is also an advocate of victims of human trafficking with previous work and policy change and community culture shift with local nonprofit organizations and law enforcement. Damaris is also a wife and a mommy to three boys.


And she loves to travel, traveling to different countries. And she has been around the globe from Liberia, Africa to San Diego, California. And this chick speaks Spanish, Portuguese, English and is currently learning French and Japanese like what?


Like I was telling my assistant just this morning, I'm trying to learn how to speak Italian. But I was telling her it's, it's because like my mom is Italian. And when my great grandparents immigrated through Ellis Island.


When they got here, they stop speaking Italian, they stop speaking Italian, this is not uncommon. Yeah, Italian foods, so they could assimilate in American culture, right. So like, my grandparents don't have to speak Italian. They never, you know, had the opportunity to teach their children. So like my mother and her siblings don't have to speak Italian. And so what I'm like four generations removed, right? From not really knowing or have any of that connection with that culture. And I've always just kind of had this,


this drive, or this desire to like know how to speak it. So yes, it's very grounding, right? When you can speak the language, it adds another layer of just knowledge and cultural experience.


It's very fun. Yeah. So yeah, English is my third language, by the way. So it was probably the hardest for me to learn. Because English is hard, right? Like, yeah.


Have like just picking up reading. And it's just like, Yeah, this concept is actually quite confusing to explain to a four year old, a five year old, a six year old, he's trying to understand why. words to say, but they sound different. Why is this? And it's just like, Yeah, I don't know. I have to use context clues forever. What is happening here,


shout out to every teacher, especially if teaching English is


the one that they are responsible for in the classroom. Like, we bow down to you, hats off to you, kudos to you, you deserve pick up my money.


Because it is hard. It is a hard, hard language, like I've been speaking in my entire life. And still, it's like, the F like, what? Like,


there's, there's just so much there's so many exceptions to the rules. And I can't even imagine being in a class with like, 30 different kids, and then you're trying to kind of figure out everybody's learning style. And then some kids may be from America, some kids may not. And that adds an extra layer. And I'm like, I think better you than me, because I can do it. Exactly, exactly. So not to derail our conversation.


Because we did not get on the mic today to talk about


speech. But you know, it's an interesting language. It's such an interesting thing, no matter you know, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, but it does tie into our conversation today. It does, it does in a way. And so we'll get to that. But one of the things that I ask every single guest before we just kind of dive into the interview is I want to know how do you personally define being a Boston Maris?


For me, it's very simple. It's managing myself.


My own version of a boss is owning


My self is owning every part of me my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, good or bad, that to me and doubling down and being okay with making mistakes, and we're celebrating my victories, with, you know, being in the moment that for me, I've created that definition of a boss, this is me, this is all of me good, bad or indifferent. I'm coming through the door, and I'm sitting at the table, and I show up, that's my boss.


I love it. I love the confidence in which you, you shared that. So it took a while.


And you know, I think that that is also going to be baked into the conversation that we have today as well. So, and I think you already know this, but for me, boss is an acronym that stands for battling overwhelmed with systems in self care. And so during the show, I get the pleasure of having candid conversations with other bosses like yourself, that have faced in battle moments of overwhelm in their businesses and life, specifically by leveraging systems and practicing self care. So with that demerits, are you ready to share how you are walking out your boss talk? I sure am. Alright, let's dive into it. So I want us to spend our time together talking about getting comfortable, being selfish, when it comes to your self care. And as your friend and as an unofficial kind of coach, if you will, right, I think that you have evolved so very much in this area. And so I really wanted to get on the mic and have this conversation with you. So first off, I know that you just returned stateside from a fabulous vacation. So welcome back


to like your routine, and like, you know, your normal life, she was sharing with me Off mic that she had butler service while she was away, and now she's at home, like, who's gonna make my dinner?


Right, I'm gonna do the stuff for me. And welcome back to reality reality show that was part of that was part of my self care. I love it. I love it. So, you know, we have a personal relationship. And I know you've been really working really, really hard to unlearn some of the negative behaviors associated with self care and learning what it really means for you to practice self care. So just give us a little insight about that journey, what that journey has looked like for you, oh, my gosh, it's been like a 40 year journey. And, you know, just trying to figure out who I am.


Because it all starts obviously, you know, when we're kids, we are attracted to things that are familiar to us. And that started with my parents, the simple conversations and or the lack of conversations I had with my parents, our culture, the language,


and the belief system of what was instilled from previous generations, even to my parents. My mom was


one of 12 children. And my dad was one of 21 kids. Yeah, so they different families. And it was very difficult. My mom had to me, she had a couple of miscarriages, so she had to deal with some of the cultural backlash of not having a huge family, extended family, and it was kind of difficult. So we saw a lot family was very, very big, right? And within that, we learned to be self LIS in a different way. We grew up Catholic. So there's the religious part of selflessness that we learned submission as a female,


as well as a woman learning to be submissive and learning to be docile. And I say that in context of how I grew up, not necessarily in the correct context, but going out there and learning to be smaller,


not understand they are not taking the time, everybody had a role to play, nobody had individuality. Everyone had a role. And everyone's role was based on previous generations. It wasn't necessarily based on an individual, it was just based on who you were, your place in the hierarchy, whether you were born male or female, which family you belong to. So there was just a lot of pressure. I was first generation here. So there was a cultural identity issue that I kind of worked through, where to you, you know, we talked about before, generations losing culture and losing language, so we were so directly tied. We weren't allowed to speak English in the home. And then my mom wasn't necessarily a dominant figure. She, you know, whatever my dad said whether she agreed or disagreed, that's what we went with. She wasn't necessarily an advocate of, was the word that I want to look for assurance, didn't really latch on to confidence. So she did not instill that my mum was not a confident person. So we kind of fought a little bit in that space, because that was very vocal. And my dad was very much the person who let me know that it wasn't going to get me very far, me being a dominant person or speaking up was not going to get me married, it was just not going to give me the career that I wanted. There was a huge focus on education, which was good compared to, you know, but I had to kind of do that on my own. So once I kind of explored the world, our education system was terrible. I started really struggling with who I was versus all of these other roles that were placed upon me, being you know, the first to go to college and then being a girl being the oldest of the girls and being in this large family being removed now going to college, who am I the education to, I think a better I grew up poor. So there was all of these different identities inside of me. And the only thing that I was being told is


do for others do for others do for others. And that's how I get better, is just doing so much for other people that it kind of counter acts all of the doubt or all of my insecurities, right? Because if people think I'm a good person, then I must be a good person. So other people's validation was how I perceived my value.


Believe it or not, so if I was a good friend, how much can I do for you? Right? Could I be that good friend, if I was a good daughter, I was more obedient, I was able to do all of these things. My ability to be a good girlfriend or be this was based on what I could do for someone. But again, it was their definition of who I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be smart, or th