Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #58-Knowing Who and What You Want

A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants.” ~Coco Chanel

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Ms. Chanel was undoubtedly a fashion icon and her legacy lives on in that spirit.  What impresses me most about her though, much in the same way does Ms. Dianne von Furstenberg, is her level of self-awareness and commitment to authenticity.  In this statement, Ms. Chanel stresses the importance of self-awareness as a perquisite for accepting and expecting anything….or anyone, for that matter, in life.

It is undeniable that there is so much messaging to young girls in our world today and not all of it helpful or productive.  Truth of the matter is that there is much more that is focused on telling them who they should be more like and what changes they should employ to be less of themselves and more of what’s deemed “acceptable”.  I admit that because I really do have a passion in this area, I soak up everything related to my target audiences of women and girls…..so it’s not surprising that just this past week alone, I read over 20 articles related to what’s happening in the messaging to our up and coming fabulously fierce.  In short, here’s just a bit of the information I picked up this week so far, visually….

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And then in a midst of all of this, a reminder from Ms. Chanel that there is actually some simplicity in the path to just being you and being positioned to expect more of what you want in your life by starting with yourself…Know who you are……know what you want.

On knowing who you are…. 

This week I got to coach over 50 leaders through Energy Leadership. They were so appreciative of the insight gained from the assessment they took but what they stressed was how much more self-aware they were as a result.  Now here’s the thing, leaders are leaders because they already have a level of self-awareness that has positioned them to yield the success they have obtained so far.  The beauty, however, is that the learning never ends.  To truly live authentically and remain true to ourselves, we really have to commit to first engaging in the process of self-discovery (I know, I know, I always talk about this) AND living in a way that keeps you open to learning more and more about yourself over time.  Some may push back here and say “But I am very self-aware and I know who I am.”  And trust me, I believe that a good number of us actually do….just ask the people in my own personal circle.  The catch here however is that if we truly believe that we are always full of potential and always developing, which continues to increase our potential, then doesn’t it just make sense to engage in self-discovery on a regular basis?  Of course it does!!!  (love how I answer my own question and then am even so bold as to tell myself I’m correct :).

So what’s the point here? TAKE EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHO YOU ARE!  I always suggest StrengthsFinders as a great resource for folks.  It’s simple, not really expensive, and the return on the investment is huuuuuuuuge!  Huuuuuuge!!!!  Everyone who starts the LFF Branding Curriculum with me starts here! Do it, do it, do it!

It truly surprises me when folks don’t at least take up opportunities in the space of self-discovery.  Jus last week, I offered a free coaching session to the first person who responded both on my personal Facebook page and one on the LFF Facebook page.  The LFF one actually included a free Energy Leadership Index!!!!  Someone signed up for the free coaching session but the Energy Leadership Index is still hanging out there….(hint hint….it’s still available for the claiming (LFF Facebook 8/22 Post).

On knowing what you want…

Yeah….guess what, everyone  thinks they know what they want, but I have to share that in my coaching and even in my own self-reflection, there are more of us who believe that we know what we want because it’s aligned with what we think we’re supposed to want!  Yuuuup, let that sink in for a minute….

We’ve come to be blinded by circumstances, situations, standards etc. And yes, I’m preaching to myself too!

I challenge you (well, us with myself included) to get into a mental space….clear your head….pretend this world actually doesn’t even exits as it is but you’re in your own perfect environment where you’re totally starting with a blank slate of what to create for yourself.  Without any hesitation, just spit it out:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What are you doing?
  • Who are you with?
  • How do you feel?
  • What makes you love all of this?

Heart pumping yet?  Smiling a little bit?  Know why, you just created what you want!!!!  Now let’s show some courage….don’t look back….start making it all a reality!

Soundtrack of the week: American Authors’ Best Day of My Life

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Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #46- Being Authentic

“We all have to tell our truth. That is our highest calling, to be authentic.”
~Senator, Corey Booker

I honestly can’t believe that with all of the factors that have been presenting and our “conversations” about branding, I have yet to set a factor on being authentic! I think it’s simply because I see this characteristic as one of the primary foundations of living fabulously fierce that I’ve taken for granted its influence and significance on everything else.

So, authenticity….what is it?  You know…being our highest calling and what not. Well, my trusty Google search led to the following find:

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*LFF Interpretation:

  • Exactly what is claimed-showing up as you truly claim you are. 
  • *Being fully trustworthy as according with fact-building and maintaining credibility.

Participating in the Multicultural Women’s National Conference this week, we spent a great deal of time talking about personal branding as I led a session on executive presence and moderated a panel on communications and nurturing connections. Of course during these conversations I spent a great deal of time stressing the importance of staying true to who we are, being authentic, while exhibiting agility and the ability to flex without losing ourselves. For some of us, this comes very naturally. We’ve figured out this balancing act and get through it quite seamlessly. For others of us, it really is a skill we’re developing and honing, mostly because we don’t yet see that we can actually do both without presenting a contradiction. In time, it will be more seamless for us as well. How does this happen? Of course with time, but what else? Well….

  • Staying true to who you are is really all about knowing who you are, what you stand for, what you have to offer this world. When it comes to the professional side of things, no matter what our focus area (s) may be, this is directly tied to our unique proposition value and how that stands out and above the rest. So, this requires a great deal of self-awareness that guides our mode of operating.
  • Exhibiting agility and the ability to flex without losing yourself is where the balancing act comes into play. On some level, this is really all about “when in Rome….”, we all know how it goes. But what it is more about is the skill of flexing your style to operate in a way that draws in the audiences you’re targeting and influencing, not to change who you are, but to leverage the platform you’ve been given to share your authenticity.

Ok, so what does this look like? Here’s what is the most simplest example that we often talk about: being an employee with more of a creative flair in style and dress who operates in a more conservative environment, professionally on the day to day. Being authentic means that I have to
completely change who I am between 9 and 5 and then be more of myself after any times outside of those hours. NOT!!!! What this means is that you just have to flex your style to leverage the platform of a conservative environment to show your authentic brilliance, while not losing yourself to what may feel like uncomfortable conservatism in the process of flexing. Again, a balancing act indeed!

Authenticy: Truth…Agility…Flexing. How will you take on this challenge?

In the spirit of sharing just a bit of what I got to experience at this week’s conference.  Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour’s picture below really captures what I’ve just shared: Balancing Truth with Agility and the ability to flex…. A Fighter Pilot (FlyGirl) now leveraging the motivational speaker platform with corporate audiences.  It doesn’t get much better than that in the game of authenticity.-4