Listening to the speakers at the Emerging Women conference, I was impressed by their stories. Brené Brown told a story she’d never shared before about something that happened during the filming of her appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.
Arianna Huffington talked about her collapse from exhaustion. (Are YOU getting good sleep?)
Kris Carr shared how her diagnosis of cancer changed her life and what she’s learned from living with this illness.
Dominique Christina, Sera Beak, Wokie Nwabueze, Gabrielle Bernstein – they all had wonderful and captivating stories to tell.
Almost all of them told about their turning point, the moment when everything came to a head and they had to make a choice that set them on a new course. Or a time when they experienced something that directly led to their creating the business that they have now.
In marketing, it’s known as your “signature story”. Telling your story helps other people connect to you and know something about you. It makes you more human and approachable.
So before we go any further, do you know your story? Your defining moment?
Don’t panic if you don’t. I’ve played (okay, sometimes struggled) with this over the years. I mean, I’ve definitely had big moments in my life. Like the death of my daughter that led me to TAT® (Tapas Acupressure Technique®) and to embracing being a healer. (You can read more about that here.)
Or like my first experience with a business coach and stepping into being an entrepreneur. (Oh, the stuff that brought up! I tell that story in my ebook, PowerShift Starter Kit.)
Finding your story is great, but like so very many things in life and in business, it’s not the end result that matters as much as the process you go through in getting there. What you learn and become along the way.
As I was flying home from the conference, I was thinking about all these women on stage and their talks. I love teaching and plan to do more speaking, so I was visualizing myself on a stage and playing with what I would say.
As I sat there noodling ideas, I remembered an incident I hadn’t thought of in years. Literally, in YEARS.
I was suddenly back in my Sunday School class, probably about ten years old. The teacher was telling us about Christians in the Roman times (pre-Constantine). She described how the Roman soldiers would walk up to people, put their sword to their neck and ask, “Are you a Christian?” If the person said “yes”, the soldier killed them.
“Can you imagine how much courage it took to say ‘Yes’? How much faith?” the teacher asked.
My immediate thought was, “Yeah, that would be hard. But in some ways, isn’t it harder to be faithful in all the little moments? To keep practicing your beliefs when no one’s looking and it doesn’t seem to matter?”
The feeling that life would in some ways be easier if it were just filled with “big” moments stayed with me for a long time.
And then, as I looked down at the clouds, it hit me. THAT’S what I help people with! Dealing with all those little moments. Building up their courage and sense of worthiness so that they can push “send” on the email that might make someone else unhappy. So that they can write that blog, walk out on stage, show up as an ever-expanding version of themselves.
Because you see, those little moments create our lives. And our businesses.
Those times when there isn’t an audience. When we feel like we’re alone and wonder if it’s worth it. If we can do it. If we’re good enough. If we’ll be able to get to the next level or be forever stuck where we are.
It all comes down to being the leader of yourself. Self-leadership.
When you’re leading yourself, you’re seated in your own power. You’re doing what’s right for YOU. You’re confident, accessible, gentle, firm, clear and loving WITH YOURSELF. And when you’re that way with yourself, you’re naturally that way with others.
You’re CREATING your business and your life rather than reacting to what’s going on around you.
As the leader of yourself, you become more and more authentic. You let yourself be seen for who you are. Who you really and truly are. And that’s amazingly appealing.
People CRAVE authenticity and connection and are drawn to people who offer it.
You might step into more leadership roles, but still the most important person you’ll ever lead is YOU.
This is something you’ll be working on for the rest of your life because the more you embrace leading yourself, the more you see that there’s no limit to how much you can expand and what you can do.
The biggest gift is not what you accomplish along the way but who you BECOME in the process.
So there it is. That’s my story.
In all honesty, I was hoping it would be more exciting. Sexier. More “wow” factor.
But you know what? I’m actually very passionate about it because how we live every day truly matters. The choices we make in the little moments add up to our whole lives.
Plus, there are tremendous and magical moments with my clients as they clear old distressing events and chronic fears so that they CAN be more present, confident and happy.
The process of finding my story gave me greater clarity about what it is I actually DO. It helped me become more clear.
I help entrepreneurs and business owners access and manage their power so they can create the life and business they want.
If you’ve found your story, what did the process teach you? If you haven’t, what would you like to get from it?
And what if that’s possible?