Growth Happens on the Inside First

On January 24 – 26, 2019, I celebrated hosting my 11th annual Design Your Destiny Live event.

Steeped in immense gratitude and humble appreciation, when my colleagues inquired how it went, I shared this year was “my best event yet”.

While I’ve used this phrase before, saying it this year created vibrations in my soul and brought tears to my eyes. It was truer and more poignant than ever before. 

If you’ve been reading my Upside Thoughts for the past year, you most likely read about some of the challenges I faced in 2018.

In April 2018, I wasn’t intending to host an 11th annual Design Your Destiny Live event. 

I was secretly planning on closing down my business.

What I often speak about and coach other leaders on is the value of discernment.

In crossroads moments, discernment is the examination required to gain clarity about what to do next. The work  involved is both external and internal. You need to ask and examine ‘What’s working?’ ‘What isn’t?’  ‘What needs  to change?’ AND, what isn’t working and what is — on the inside.  

So, after a series of missteps and prayers unanswered in 2018, I thought I was done.

I felt forgotten by God and the situations I faced in those early months of the year were both heartbreaking and soul-shaking.

On a business retreat in Costa Rica, I decided to ask for guidance (and I know it sounds crazy) and heard His voice say that this was mine to do.

What is mine to do? I inquired.

God: “Design Your Destiny Live.”

“No. Not me. I’m done. I trusted you and you didn’t answer my prayers,” I firmly said.

I heard once more, “This is yours to do.”

Now, you’ve got to understand, I’m a practicing Catholic who goes to Mass during the week.

I deeply believe in God and His ability to speak to me.

Yet, throughout my life, one minute I’ve been determined to trust Him – and in the next breath, I feel myself challenging His goodness as questions race through my mind that make my head hurt.

What happened that morning caused me to examine my own operating system.

I was going deeper than ever before, examining my definitions and abilities of trust, humility, faith, hope, and love.

My own leadership.

Yes, I embarked on a soul-searching journey.

Over the past year, rather than solely focusing on creating new curriculum for Design Your Destiny Live, I set out on a journey of forgiveness and immense joy to deepen my ability to humbly trust, be more vulnerable than I’ve ever been before, and to unconditionally love myself and others.

The hard realities you’re facing whether in business or personally can make you believe that you’re alone – or in my case, that God didn’t hear my prayers.

And when your cries seem to go unanswered – and you feel alone, the hurts can fester and cause you to doubt goodness in the world.

I get it.

Here I was surrounded by people singing my praises, and I felt abandoned and lost.

What happened differently this year at Design Your Destiny Live didn’t actually occur on stage. It happened over the past year.

A great deal of “what shows up” is something great leaders understand: growth happens on the inside first.

You must seek a better version of who you’re called to be so that you can lead in a way that makes the biggest positive difference on the planet.

I’ve told my friends I wasn’t trying to put old wine into new wineskins…having an old version of me teach new material.

I became who I needed to be to lead an event called, Design Your Destiny Live. I finally decided that whatever happened in the room was perfect as long as I left everything I had inside me “on the field”.

And, I finally got that the love I received from others wasn’t dependent on my performance.

Action

The Upside Challenge of the week is to recall a time that required discernment and hard growth that ultimately paid off. See who you were before and after. Appreciate your courage, what you did to move forward. Acknowledge yourself – for the leader you are and your commitment to growth.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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