To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I wrote my first blog post a year ago, I just knew it was time to begin writing.
You see, I attended the SOBCon conference last year on a simple, gut level belief that I was meant to be in that room, and what SOBCon helped me realize was that there was a whole world of opportunity out there that I had not been allowing myself to dream about. For years I had let the limitations of my kidney failure – and ultimately the transplant process – limit my view of the difference I could make in the world.
Getting Beyond the Limitations
My experience at SOBCon, along with the guidance of a truly wise friend, helped me to see that it was time to start expressing myself. And when I say, “myself,” I mean the real me.
The many years I had spent successfully climbing the corporate ladder had left me out of balance. I was clinging to all of the masculine traits that I possess that had enabled me to be successful, and was suppressing most of my feminine side.
What I had failed to consider was the possibility that by being more in balance, by expressing my true feminine side, that I might have been even more successful…that perhaps by limiting my self-expression I was actually holding myself back!
How many of us do this? We purposefully (or perhaps subconsciously) choose to act in a particular way that we believe will enable us to be successful in our endeavors, and in choosing to act a certain way we unknowingly suppress parts of ourselves that we would share with the world if we had no limitations upon ourselves.
I realized that for years I wasn’t bringing my true self – my complete self – to the table.
So I woke up and realized it was time to start writing.
For me, the confluence of events was a message to begin expressing myself through writing. But the message I heard was a test – to see just how deeply “I got it.”
The very first post I wrote was entitled, “What CEOs Can Learn From the Goddess of Vision.” May I say… you can’t use the word “Goddess” in your blog post title and talk about the Egyptian Goddess Isis without tapping into your feminine side…at least a bit? The post virtually wrote itself – a feeling of true, naked self-expression.
And then came the test.
I shared the post with three exceptional bloggers who also happen to be friends of mine; gentlemen that I respect completely and whose opinions I trust emphatically: Mack Collier, Anthony Iannarino, and Steve Woodruff.
What each of them said is irrelevant. What’s important is that I received the gift of two very different views:
- What took you so long? Post this immediately
- You’re taking a big risk by talking about goddesses…I don’t want to see you get laughed at
Of course, it was only in retrospect I realized that this was a gift – and an incredible blessing. Why? It forced me to understand at the depth of my soul how important it was to express myself – my true self, goddess power and all – rather than to continue to conform to a view of what was expected of me as a successful business leader.
The moment I hit “publish” on that blog post -without changing a word of what I’d written – was my moment of freedom. It was the moment I committed to finally being myself. And what a year it has been.
If any bit of my experience resonates with you; if you have a hunch or just know in your bones that you’re not yourself in your work, then I am imploring you to take a very close look at how you may be imposing limitations on your own self-expression.
How to know if it’s you that you’re really expressing:
Here’s the thing. After I received the feedback from my three dear friends my gut told me to follow the concerned advice. I took a “red pen” to my post and eliminated all references to goddesses and to Isis…and in the process the blog post lost its soul.
Now, it still had a valuable business message, but it didn’t have any of me in it.
Every cell in my body realized this and I lost all enthusiasm for the post I’d written. I decided at that point that I wasn’t ready – I was not going to launch my blog.
Facing your own truth
When I told one of the three gentlemen about my decision, he wrote to me in a way that virtually grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me in the eyes, and he gave me two critical pieces of advice:
- If you change the post then don’t publish it, because it won’t really be reflecting who you are
- You have to write from your passion, and not worry about what others think, or it will sap your energy
It was by reading his words that I understood the depth of the gift I’d been given from all three of my friends. They’d forced me to the fork in the road where I had to decide which path I was going to take moving forward.
I chose the path that had my name written on it.
Whose path are you on?
Join me tomorrow night as we talk about this in Leadership Chat… “How to know you’re on the right path as a leader.”
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Thank you for reading and for being part of this community – it means so much to me.
You can find me on Twitter at @LisaPetrilli and on LinkedIn. To hire me for Visionary Leadership programs, Magnetic Marketing Consulting or for the Social Media Concierge program, email me at [email protected].
Photo is The Self + The Path by h.koppdelaney.