For years, I addressed pieces of the puzzle to help clients stand out and belong–with varying degrees of success. One client might get just the Story piece, by working on his LinkedIn profile, while another client only wanted the Self-Mastery tools to manage her daily life better and another client was hungry to learn how to blog, as a way to attract his Tribe.
But if I was to help others “let their flag fly high”, they needed to work not just in one area, but all three. What good is a beautiful flag (Story) if you don’t have the confidence (Self-Mastery) to hold it up high? And what good is a flag held up high, if you aren’t standing where kindred spirits can see and gather round it (Tribe)? What good is any of this, if you never find your place of belonging?
I now provide a holistic solution, informed by both successes and failures with past clients and validated by the path I’ve taken to stand out and belong. Clients receive coaching and consulting in all of the following areas, in sequential order:
Success is an inside job. Your inner world shapes what you experience in the outer world.
Know thyself. This includes identifying your gifts, managing what gets in your way, and focusing your energy on what matters. When you know what saps your energy and what fills you up, it's easier to consciously be "in the flow". When you've eliminated beliefs that no longer serve you, it's easier to step into your full power. When you can clearly hear your inner voice--and trust it-- your confidence grows exponentially.
What I often find is that each person has more than enough talent, experience, and skills to fulfill their desires in life. What keeps them locked into the status quo? Entrenched, self-sabotaging patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. Human beings are amazingly good at shooting themselves in the foot--and then claiming that it was someone else who pulled the trigger!
It is with this truth in mind that I focus the Self-Mastery work on first helping clients break these old patterns--what I call their "Victim" and "Overcoming" stories that they tell themselves. When the Victim and Overcoming stories are exposed, and dismantled, that's when the client can start living from a much more productive place, the place of their Great Story.
Self-Mastery is THE foundation for the rest of the journey, because standing out--truly being visible--can be a scary thing. It means letting go of an identity that hasn’t truly been you, but at least is known. It also means conquering the fear of being seen as weird or quirky and finally, being comfortable in your own skin.
From your best self springs your authentic story--the one that feels true and points you in the direction of your greatest contribution to the world.
Working on your story serves two purposes. First, it helps make meaning of your life--especially if your life has been full of twists and turns. Maybe you felt like you left a job too soon. Maybe you intended to find a job in banking but instead you ended up in advertising. Maybe that trip to Honduras opened your eyes to what youreally could be doing and now, you're back in school, decades after graduating. When you know your story, you'll also know your work in the world. More importantly, you'll have the confidence to pursue it.
Which leads to the second purpose for story--communicating to others your distinct value and the impact you want to have in the world, in a memorable and believable way. We'll use concepts from screenwriting to help flesh out your story, including theme, backstory, and conflict. People not only remember stories. They aretouched by them. Isn't that the whole point?
Here's the really fun part. Connecting to others is easier once they know your story. But it doesn't stop there. How do you attract a following? By being a leader--one who is in service to others.
During the Tribe phase, you'll become a better networker, both in-person and online, and learn to consistently provide value to your network. It's not about taking. It's about giving--generously.
You'll also identify and develop your thought leadership. What is your wisdom that you want to share with others? If you life is a message to the world, what is that message?
Over time, you will have built your brand community--consisting of people who know, like, and trust you, and are willing to tell others about the value you provide. At this point, fitting in is a moot point. You automatically belong because you have a tribe. It doesn't get much better than that.