If you’re like me, you light up when you discover TRUE leadership in the world: leaders whose vision invokes a higher purpose and who have a passion for their work that is pure and infectious. Sir Richard Branson is a perfect example of an indomitable spirit on fire with purpose, as is Adam Braun, Founder of Pencils of Promise. And then there’s Malala Yousafzai, whose personal mission and recently-orated letter to the abducted Chibok schoolgirls represent the most inspirational form of courage I’ve ever known.
What each of these leaders has in common is deep-seated self-empowerment.
The simple truth about empowerment is you cannot be truly empowered without a strong foundation of self-empowerment. While there are a plethora of empowerment programs in the world today, many of which are aimed at women, the vast majority of these programs serve to give people something outside of themselves: access to economic resources, training, skill-building, a broader network, mentors, sponsors, and even inspiration. But these critical resources are ineffective without a foundation of worthiness, value, and an intrinsic belief in oneself.
Because, you can give someone limitless resources, but they will have no effect if the person stands in their own way due to fear, lack, self-doubt, unsupportive thoughts and beliefs, or underlying feelings of unworthiness.
The truest empowerment comes from within.
During the last few years my professional focus has moved to this area of focus: helping leaders and entrepreneurs awaken their inner empowerment and let go of everything they have (unwittingly) allowed to get in their way. What I didn’t realize when I made this shift is just how pervasive it is for humans to stand in our own way. Even a simple principle such as focusing on what you DO want and not on what you DON’T want has a profound impact in your success. Yet, how often do we say, “What I don’t want is…” What happens when we do this? We get more and more of what we don’t want. Because all our brain can see is our focus on that which we don’t want…it cannot discern our preference to not have it; it just focuses on it.
This is huge.
So, to be a leader that truly lights the world on fire – whether that be in your family, company, community, or the world at large – it all starts by looking deep within yourself for the source of your purest personal power, and then removing the blocks that have built up over time, the way we dig deep within the earth to find and dust off a diamond.
That diamond deep within us? Self-love. It all starts here.
Loving ourselves starts with reconnecting to our own divine truth of who we are, which then allows us to get clear on our higher purpose. And this, quite honestly, is at the core of what I am now doing. I help men and women get to this place by connecting them to the work of Vanda Teixeira, the woman who helped me get to this place.
Vanda does work that is at the bleeding edge of self-empowerment, and has been invited to the United Nations twice to share her wisdom. She literally takes people, simply through their own process of thinking and writing, through a labyrinth journey into their soul. It’s the most fulfilling, fruitful and expansive journey of your life…the journey into more of you. And while I know it’s not for everyone – as very few people are willing to admit they may be unintentionally blocking themselves in some way, shape, or form – what I have seen in others is nothing short of transformational.
I have seen women who literally look ten years younger because they learned to finally forgive themselves and others, and then left their sadness and anger behind. I’ve seen very powerful men come to terms with the fact that they have been carrying the burden of 1000 others on their backs, and have been afraid to just trust and let go, finding a whole new sense of purpose in the process. Others were finally after 30, 40, or 50 years able to uncover their own worthiness to be fully loved, and to be fully successful. And still others who finally understood their own value, connected with their higher purpose, and are joyfully pursuing it.
All because they gave themselves permission to look deep within themselves for the diamond; to awaken all of their personal power and empower themselves from within. Just as Sir Richard Branson, Adam Braun and Malala do.
This same experience is there for each of us if we are willing to go deep within and allow it to unfold.
This month Vanda launched a new membership program for women around the world who she cannot work with on a one-on-one basis due to limited time and proximity. It enables women (a men’s program is in the works) to connect with this work and empower themselves more deeply and beautifully than they ever dreamed possible.
Ladies, you are invited to join this exquisite program. Please come. To learn more, go to www.ToBeAWoman.co (.co is correct).
Gentlemen, please share this blog post and invitation with the women in your lives as it might be just what they are looking for in this moment. Thank you! ~