Leadership from the Inside Out
Wow, I just came back from Vision Quest Consulting’s Fall Women’s Leadership Retreat and am full of new ideas and energy. I took away many things and I want to share some of them with you.
First, I discovered the extent to which I am afraid of my own power. I am stopped by the thought that if I play full out, people will say, “who do you think you are?” I wonder how playing a big game will impact my relationships. I question whether I can sustain it. I worry that I’ll have to give up too much or that I’ll have to work really hard (truth is, I’m fundamentally lazy).
Others shared aha moments that included, ‘I’ve been living someone else’s life’, ‘I’ve forgotten what’s really important to me.’ ‘I’ve been keeping my gifts and talents hidden in order to fit in and get along.’ And they all declared they would not do that any longer and made plans for rediscovering themselves and living more authentically.
Some women discovered that they can shine their light and play bigger in the corporate arena while others came to the realization that in order to be their best selves, they need to leave their current situation and find a new sand box to play in.
We all discovered or were reminded of the critical importance of having support in our lives; of not trying to ‘go it alone’. We discovered the wisdom of others, the value of being vulnerable and admitting our needs and deepest desires and the gift of contributing to others who are walking a similar path.
One of my most eye-opening ‘ahas’ was the realization that those women who I find hardest to connect with, the ones I judge most harshly, are the ones who are most like me, not, as I had thought, most unlike me. It’s hard to look in the mirror but oh so valuable.
I’m reminded that while it’s important to learn new skills and change behaviors and develop new competencies, our real power comes from increasing and expanding self-awareness and taking action from our hearts and souls.
In the words of Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that
most frightens us. “