We all hide stuff from people, right?
We’ve got stories we don’t want people to know, dreams that we’re afraid to share – we don’t want to seem too much or too little, so we tailor our messages to the world.
We’re all saleswomen and marketeers at heart after all.
We want people to see the side of us that’s socially acceptable. We want to belong. We want to rock the boat enough to be pioneers but not so much that we get tipped out of the boat and left ashore, or worse, left to drown.
So much balancing, tinkering, working out what’s needed to be just right. Just enough.
Me? I’ve been a master of what I call ‘Chameleon Behaviour’ for the majority of my life. Remember that line in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere asks Julia Roberts her name and she says, ‘Whatever you want it to be’? That’s how I’ve lived my entire life.
The truth is, it has served me well in many ways. I’ve been pretty successful in the grand scale of things, but blimey, has it got a shadow.
I don’t want to be like that anymore
One of my talents is speaking truth into a room.
The way I coach is to invite people to speak their dreams, to create big and bold in the world, to make huge impact, to love unconditionally and to break the rules where the rules no longer serve.
Imagine my shock when my husband turned to me this weekend and in a stroke of sheer loving brilliance said, ‘How are you playing big, Danielle? What rules are you breaking right now?’
He didn’t mean it to be as provocative as it was. At least I don’t think he did. We were talking about my personal brand and how I show up in the world so that my mission is created.
I shook my head with a wry smile and said, ‘Nice one. I’m not breaking any rules and I’m sure as hell not playing as big as I want to right now. Nowhere near as close’.
I have a clear mission with three prongs. I took a long time crafting it and whilst it can take some challenge (there’s a lot of loving chat going on about why it’s as small as it is, and couldn’t it be bigger?), I know what it means and where I’m heading. I share it in my Remarkable Women membership community and it’s on my email signature. I talk about it at selected events where I think it would be useful to the room.
But I don’t tell everyone. In case they think I’m a little bonkers (and I haven’t even touched on the real bonkers bit yet).
What’s my mission?
50,000 Heart Centred leaders changing corporations from the inside and changing the world. Uncapping my own true potential. Creating a movement of Remarkable Women.
Bet you didn’t see that coming.
Because I don’t talk about that too much in our blogs or on our Facebook page. I allude to it on LinkedIn sometimes, but it’s hidden in a story. Not talking about it is kind of the antithesis of everything I invite YOU to do in the world.
Why don’t I talk about it?
Because I don’t know how to introduce it to you. I don’t want to alienate those of you who don’t want to change the world or corporations. I don’t want you to feel that I’m not your friend anymore. Which is pretty odd really, because we’ve probably never even met.
I don’t want you to think I’m cocky and a little mad (wait till you hear the next bit, you’ll get it) and I don’t want you to be sad and feel that maybe I’m not talking to you anymore after all.
I don’t want you to leave. So I’m modifying and tailoring and talking about some of the things I love to talk about and not others. I’m pretending that the bit where I call for more love in the professional world and more human leadership and more tapping into our brilliance to change this planet for the better doesn’t exist.
Which makes no sense, because it’s who I am.
It’s a pretty shoddy example to YOU
It’s no good telling you that you should speak your dreams and find your tribe and play boldly and break the rules if I don’t model it myself. It’s no good telling you it’s OK if some people don’t like you, because there will be others who will be so grateful that you showed up this way, if I don’t model it myself. Because then I’m asking you to do what I say and not what I do and we all know where that leads…
Here’s where it gets really loopy…
For the last few months, I’ve been signing my LinkedIn posts and my email auto-signature with the hashtag #TMRWIS. I’ve been secretly revelling in the boldness of it, whilst knowing deep down I’m not really being bold at all, given that no-one has any idea what it means (although a couple of people have asked, I’m guessing most have not even noticed).
One of the ways I encourage myself (and the women I work with) to play bold is to adopt a new identity. One that encapsulates everything they want to be in the world in a single phrase. And then to use the initials of that phrase as their new identity. (This is not a new concept and this particular method comes from Steve Hardison and #TBOLITNFL).
#TMRWIS stands for The Most Remarkable Woman in Scotland.
(Oh Good Lord, do I want to delete this whole post and never send it to you. Breathe. Keep going).
It doesn’t matter whether I am The Most Remarkable Woman in Scotland or not, it matters that when I act as though I am, I play much more boldly. When I’m stuck, I can ask myself ‘What would the most Remarkable Woman in Scotland do right now?’, I access a whole pile of new insight and courage that I would not have otherwise. The Most Remarkable Woman in Scotland would not take on work that doesn’t light her soul on fire and she wouldn’t say yes to things she really wants to say no to. She wouldn’t tone down her message to make sure everyone likes her and she sure as hell leads the way in terms of breaking the rules.
Most of all, you would know who she is, inside and out. That’s one of the things that makes her utterly Remarkable.
So here I am today, telling you that I have a mission. And it’s to create organisations that are full of love. It’s to uncover what I am truly capable of and it’s to create a movement in the world of Remarkable Women who are uncovering how brilliant they are, leading with love, creating huge impact and living a life of joy.
And I’ll be doing that, by showing up honestly and authentically, true to who I am and the dreams that I believe are possible to create.
Even if it makes me more than a little nauseous.
Even if it means you don’t like me anymore.
Even if it means you think I’m a little crazy.
Because if it means that just one of you steps up and says, ‘I want to be truthful about my dreams and who I am in the world and who I want to be’ then I’ve done my work.
Even if I might secretly wish it was all of you, if one of you decides it’s time to unleash your brilliance, then who knows what might change in the world as a consequence.
And I’m so ready for that change.
Here’s to being Remarkable Together.
#TMRWIS (The Most Remarkable Woman in Scotland)