“I decided a long time ago not to give speeches, but to give testimonies.” ~Viola Davis
A few years ago, I had the incredible opportunity to hear Ms. Davis speak at a conference hosted by Bryant University. It was just a few months, maybe weeks even, before I was to take the stage in a local play for the very first time! So the timing was so fabulous for me and then walking out, I was just in awe to be walking right behind her…..riiiiiiiiight behind her. Ok, so what’s my point? Well, Ms. Davis left everyone in the room with so much wisdom, inspiration and, without actually verbalizing it, a call to action to live purposefully. I mean, she was standing right there, right in front of us as a perfect example of the results of living on purpose…..intentionally…..with courage….in the face of fear, doubt, question, limited confidence etc….a true living testimony. AND ALL THIS, YEARS BEFORE LAST WEEK’S EMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is clear that she has been living purposefully for years long before we even knew her name. See, she made a decision long before she even understood what that actually meant (I really encourage you to look up her story and learn more…wish I could share all the notes I took from her speech….testimony). So what does this all mean for us? Well, as we continue to develop in our commitment and ability to live fabulously fierce, we have to identify, own and live our purpose without wavering, and with relentless perseverance. How?
Well, I am not convinced that there is any secret sauce or anything like that to this practice that we call living. What I do believe is that there are certain truths, realities if you will, that add value to the experience of living and make it feasible to make all of it our very own. Hence…yup, I’ll say it again, the importance of self-discovery, self-definition and self-distinction to the entire branding process…the process of living authentically….living fabulously free. Quite frankly, it is the focus of self- distinction that is most directly tied to the call of living purposefully. Remember, self-distinction is all about the footprint you’re intending to leave behind, the impression you want made that lives on in others long after you’re gone (not just from the earth but even from just a room you’re walking out of….what do you leave behind?
The connection to living purposefully is simply the very definition of what it means to live on purpose: living with determination, resolution, full of meaning, with significance! So again, how do we do this? Well, just a few recommendations here for you:
- State exactly what your purpose is. To begin living purposefully is to know what purpose you are seeking to fulfill, to meet, so that your legacy is a reflection of just that. Using myself as an example-my clients always hear, ‘I will never ask you to do something I haven’t done or won’t do,’-I know that part of my purpose on this earth is to reflect the truth that one candle loses no light by lighting another. This manifests itself in how I seek as much as possible to elevate other women and serve as an example to young girls….hence Living Fabulously Fierce as the method through which I intentionally live my purpose. Are things exactly where I want them to be in this endeavor? Nope (if you only knew how much is in my heart for all things LFF related!!!!!) but anyone who knows me and know what I’m about knows in some for another what my purpose is…because I do. So, what is it that you believe you’re here to impact? To leave a positive impression on, as a legacy that will impact others for endlessly?
- Take one step toward living on/toward your purpose. Decide today what one action would lead you just one step closer to either beginning or continuing to live purposefully. Write it down…with a date next to it that notes when that step will be taken (dare I challenge you to note it as within the week?!?). Take that step! Once this is done, it’ll be much easier to take steps 2, 3, 4, etc. Then you’ll find it’s not even about the steps any more…it’s just about the living. It becomes your natural mode of living. And don’t think of this as something that needs to be so huge. Think about it, how did you learn to walk? I know we don’t remember this early part of life but we can all be certain it wasn’t by taking huge leaps, jumps or anything of the sort. No, crawling to walking, walking to running, and look at us now J For me, when I first looked at all of this many years ago, it was just a matter of deciding on my own personal mantra if you will. The question was “how can I describe the way that I live that serves as a reflection of who I want to be and the impact I wish to have?” Lo and behold…..fabulously fierce….living. fabulously. fierce. What’s in a name? Well, apparently a whole lot to drive a lot more action! What’s the one step for you? When will you take it?
- Develop your strategy for addressing fear by acknowledging it and moving past it. Earlier this month, we make September the month of Courage for Living Fabulously Fierce. Those of you who’ve been tracking with us via the LFF Facebook page have inboxed messages around how you’re developing courage, how you’re facing fear and how you’re really pushing yourself. Interestingly enough, our shares, likes, and retweets this month have been the highest they’ve ever been! Yes, I think I’ve shared some pretty cool quotes, messages, even songs/videos about courage. But what I think has also driven this uptick is the reality of how so many of us live in fear. I don’t even mean an all-encompassing fear, but fear in one area or another in our lives that keeps us from living life to it’s very fullest, especially as it relates to us living more purposefully.
I’m recently obsessed with Brendan Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto. He has a full chapter on addressing fear and I can’t help but share the details of just the first chapter with you here…then GO GET THE BOOK!
Fear rips us from freedom. It is the destroyer of greatness. We know this, and we should tame our mind in order to defeat fear. Yet look at all the adults who act like powerless children and avoid the life they want because of fear. ..the self-oppressed say, “You don’t understand. I can’t chase my reams because I might fail-I might not be good enough.” These are the debilitating thoughts…..that should we wish to live a vibrant life, we must transcend and look fear in the eye, recognizing it as a mental construct that we alone fuel with small thoughts that betray our magnitude….. our distinction, our purposeful living, our ability to live fabulously fierce
We don’t always have the courage to live purposefully in the fear of doubts and the like. That being said, we have to devise some way, a strategy around what we will do when these fears start to creep up. For some, it really is just taking a deep breath and carrying on. For others, it’s a process of dancing with logic through a series of questions: If I really put myself out there, will people judge me or am I just thinking this up? If they do, do I actually care? Would I rather play it safe with no progress, or push myself in the direction of fulfilling my purpose? What’s the worst that can happen if I just take the first step? So, what strategy will you use for addressing fear?
- Daydream, envision, vision board. The value of visioning is beyond measure. When addressing goals with my clients, we ALWAYS use some form of visioning. Decide what the best way for your to actually “see” yourself living your life in line with your purpose and use it! I’d encourage you to use even allow yourself some time to daydream, yes in the midst of all the hustling and bustling we have to do! Do it do it do it!
- Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!!!!!!!! Need I say more 🙂
To living purposefully, with courage!!!! Thank you, Ms. Viola Davis for the example!!!!
Soundtrack of the week: A repeat….Beyonce’s I was Here!