Simple, yes. Easy, no.
As someone deeply entrenched in the Strengths Philosophy, I believe that everyone has something special to offer the world and a unique voice with which to express that purpose. However, we so often undervalue ourselves that it is difficult to step into our own spotlight and shine like we are meant to.
I love this quote from Marianne Williamson. In many ways it sums up what I believe:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are more powerful than can be measured. It is our light, and not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask, “Who am I to be brilliant, magnificent, talented and fabulous? Actually, the question should be: who are you not to be? It’s no use for the world to be small. It does not have anything illuminating to reduce us so that others do not feel insecure by your abilities. We are all destined to shine like children. We are born to manifest the glory that is within us. And it is not just some; But all. And when we let our light shine, almost without realizing it, we are helping others to do it too. To free ourselves from our fears, we also end up releasing those around us.”
Is it just me or does this give you goosebumps, too?
For almost three years now I’ve been running an online class called Strengths Branding. It’s a four-week class meant to help others find their unique voice and express it with confidence and conviction. As a professional, this is an extremely necessary and powerful piece for your personal brand and how to connect emotionally with your ideal client, those who need you most. As an individual, it builds a solid foundation of confidence, allowing us to no longer give power to our naysayers and boldly claim our rightful space. My formula, if you will, is appreciate, communicate, illuminate.
In order to fully step into your spotlight, you must understand your value; not only understand it but embrace it. Our talents, as defined by the Clifton StrengthsFinder, are the best way to understand ourselves quickly and profoundly. When I first discovered my talents back in 2003 it was if someone had given me a user’s manual for myself. It was my A-Ha! Now my personality made sense. I understood “why” I like talking so much with so many different people. Why my mind is filled with so many ideas. Why I’m so emotional and passionate when I speak. It was a powerful and meaningful moment for me. I believe everyone should receive this gift.
And even then, I still didn’t fully grasp my value. I understood what I loved and why I loved it more clearly, but I still didn’t recognize it as special. Teaching this Strengths Branding class has helped me do just that. Finally, just shy of 45 years old, I appreciate and have stepped into my spotlight.
Once you appreciate just how special you are, you explain it to others with clarity and confidence. StrengthsFinder not only tells you your talents, it gives you a language to embrace and draw from. Each talent has a universal understanding of “I am, I do, I value, I contribute, I need, I dislike”. Using this as a base for your communication also leads to greater understanding of others as well as higher compassion. We no longer judge others through our own filters, but through theirs.
Professionally this enhances our ability to communicate value to our clients, in our sales techniques, how we lead others. Additionally, in our personal lives, it improves relationships, inspires forgiveness around misunderstandings and grants us serenity in knowing what we are doing has purpose.
This is the ultimate gift. Once you fully value yourself and communicate your WHY in an expressive and passionate way, you have no choice but to shine. This is the light that will lead others to you. It is the light that will guide you even when times are tough. It is the light that will not dim. You have found your spotlight and you will stand out from the crowd.
When you step into your talents, your true essence is revealed. In that essence, is the revolution that ignites your evolution. It’s your A-Ha! Your compass. Your validation. And it has been in you all along.
I don’t want to just help you recognize your voice, I want you to serenade the world with your song.