Years ago, I thought I had to muddle through life alone.
I hid my disappointments, weaknesses, and wounds — and did my best to appear strong at all times.
Over the years, I’ve gotten more and more comfortable disclosing the parts of my life that just aren’t working with my closest friends and my insider circle.
Fortunate to have colleagues who also value authentic connection, I treasure the times when we gather for intimate conversations about our personal and professional lives.
During a recent conversation with one of my most trusted collaborators, I was sharing how difficult it was to talk about my 11th Annual Design Your Destiny Live event.
At the end of last year’s event, I was clear I wanted to revise the curriculum – and knew that I needed to be a new and improved version of myself in order to do this.
This has led me on a meaningful (and sometimes challenging) adventure over the past 6 months.
As I was sharing the details of this journey with her, I spoke about my vision for why I created this event in the first place – my vision of creating a world full of courageous leaders worth following who get to lead without changing who they are… a world where everyone wins because they get to be who they are called to be and give others permission to do the same.
I went on and on, sharing intimate details of what has transpired and changes in my own growth and development.
And, I shared one recent experience in which a conference leader who I had never met gave me a name within the first hour of attending the event. The name I was given? “True Path,” someone through whom others will find their true path.
When I finished telling my story, she paused briefly, looked at me intently and said, “It’s simple. You are in the hope business.”
How in the world do I market hope?!?
And, then I got it.
Throughout my life, I’ve had to face countless hardships.
There were times when I was on my knees praying, asking for a particular burden to be lifted, wondering how I was ever going to make it through.
My incredible trust and faith had me continue on, understanding that this too shall pass, and everything in my life happens for my greatest good – or it wouldn’t be happening.
When you remember yourself as the kid who was cowering in the corner pleading to not be hurt again, I can’t say these statements of faith were the 1st thoughts that went through my head.
Over time, I’ve learned to appreciate all of my life experiences and share them openly and vulnerably.
The phrase, “It’s lonely at the top,” was born out of the reality that not everyone is comfortable or feels safe disclosing their faults, foibles, or challenges.
Yet, I don’t believe being a leader worth following means you have to go it alone or pretend you’ve got it all together all the time.
I believe comfort doesn’t change the world.
Vulnerability changes everything.
- Have you ever felt like you’re in need of some hope to make it through difficult circumstances?
- Have you ever wondered what it was like to move through a challenge and make it to the other side still intact and whole?
- Have you ever received news that felt as if your whole world was crashing in around you…where your eyes were swollen from crying and you could barely swallow and you could hardly breathe?
Yes, I understand what it’s like to be there, and perhaps that is why Design Your Destiny Live is about leadership and also about hope.
- The hope that there is a way to make it through whatever challenges you’re facing and come out smiling.
- The hope that even if you experience brokenness, you are not broken.
- The hope that good can be created from tragedy.
I’m a big believer in hope as the thread that makes designing your destiny possible.
You have been put on this planet for a reason.
No one has your special gifts, abilities, talents, and experiences.
No one has seen what you’ve seen and encountered what you’ve encountered.
No one has the ability to be a leader worth following in your unique way.
With 7 billion people on the planet, there is only one wonderful you.
I hope you get that the world needs you and your brilliance.
The Upside Challenge of the week is to remember a time when sharing something vulnerably turned out to be a good thing. How did your challenge become a gift to you and someone else? Examine a challenge you are going through currently. Share it with one person. Look for the gifts…
Comfort doesn’t change the world.
Vulnerability changes everything.
The world needs you and your brilliance.