A couple of years ago I was planning a photo shoot to have professional photos for the cover of my latest book “Successfully Speaking”. The big thing that consumed me at that time was what to wear. I wanted to look professional as the book was about public speaking and there was a certain perceived look for speakers. (I thought) I spent hours and hours shopping for the right outfit. Well, there was to be more than one photo, so I was really looking for more than one outfit. I feel very comfortable (and believe I look great) in dresses, but for some reason I was really struggling to find the right dress for the right professional ‘look’.
I used to work in a corporate management position and I either wore a uniform or a suit. I liked wearing suits; it felt just right for the position I held. But when I left that position and started my own business, I didn’t feel the same in a suit when working with my clients, and wished I could wear clothing that was much more casual. Particularly jeans.
I worked with different mentors and worked on finding my real passion and particularly my purpose. The more I delved deeper and deeper into my own thoughts I discovered a much more fun side of me that had been locked away for what seemed to be a very long time. My business grew (with the support of my mentor) and so did I. I continued to grow and to worry less about what I ‘should’ do and started being more myself.
The culture of the corporate world I had been in for many years certainly had taken hold of me and I had forgotten who I was and who I wanted to be.
It was a few years into my business that I started working with a mentor who encouraged great conversations and continually challenged me to find my PURPOSE again and again. In fact on one occasion while I was on a 2 day retreat with my mentor and 4 other fabulous ladies (how wonderful it is to meet like minded people on retreats!!) that we were asked what we wanted to get out of the 2 days. I had a long list of practical, logistical, and technical things that I thought would help me move my business in the right direction. My mentor then asked my what my WHY was … what my PURPOSE was! I thought that came out of left field! For the next 90 minutes I was asked to take a seat in a quiet place and think about, and discover, and write out my WHY and my PURPOSE. It took all of that time, and continued on even after the retreat.
It was an exercise I had completed in the past, but this was really timely. It was exactly what I needed at that time. Thanks to my mentor, she knew that was exactly where I needed to start the 2 days. That was exactly what I needed to focus on at that time. It was as though I had been given permission to play in my business and to delve into my most inner thoughts so I could work toward what I really wanted to work toward instead of thinking, like the clothing, it had to be something that others liked.
That sounds quite silly as I write it. However that is the truth. It freed me up to be me. I felt lighter. (and according to the others in the room, I looked lighter) It was a huge shift!
I had a photo shoot recently and the thing is, I didn’t stress about what to wear. I was just myself. The shoot was outdoors, I wore jeans in one photo, in another a cocktail dress with a denim jacket over it. I wore gorgeous high shoes with my jeans and no shoes with the cocktail dresses. I felt as though I had found myself by not thinking about who I needed to be according to others. I was just being myself. I felt fantastic.
When you are in flow and feeling as though you are in exactly the right place, where you want to be, doing what you love, (that’s flow!) it all comes together. (often with a little help and support from my mentor who knows me well enough to push the right buttons)
It feels like magic when it all comes together. I am now attracting different people into my business. People who want to know their PURPOSE and want to be in FLOW and who also want to be themselves and have fun.
I’m loving life and am living my PURPOSE everyday not at all thinking about what others think.
I am me.
I am happy.
I am in FLOW!