As a brand strategist and builder for over 20 years, I have had the special opportunity to help women leaders step onto the remarkable path of fulfillment through their work. We start with uncovering what I call the 4 P’s: your People, Purpose, Positioning, and Personality. Today we are going to ask ourselves a few questions to get us thinking about the second P, your PURPOSE.
We can all get caught up in the day-to-day of to-do’s and obligations, and so often we do not take the time or space to think bigger picture. We go through each day hoping to successfully move through our routines. And at the end of several days, months, years, we might step back and say, what happened to all that time? What have I actually accomplished? Am I where I wanted to be?
It is essential that as leaders who want to create big impact, we have to set big intentions to get big results. Secondarily it’s the small operational pieces, the day-to-day, that help us get there. But we have to start with the intention first. And that intention has to come from a place that is actually meaningful to you. So let’s ask ourselves a few questions to pull out what that is.
First, it is imperative that you ALLOW yourself to think big. Don’t let the fears and the insecurities and the blocks and the nonsense you think others will say if they heard you say what you really want to do…blah blah blah. The point of this exercise is to dig deep. Put aside “reality” for just these few moments and connect with what’s in your heart, what has been there for a long time and perhaps you’ve been afraid to let it out.
Grab your journal or a pen and paper. Give yourself a few moments to answer these questions. Notice what resistance comes up and write that down too. (Then read the Common Blocks and see if you can conquer them.)
1. What do you love doing? What lights you up when you think about it?
If you’re having trouble with this one, ask yourself a contrasting question: What really upsets you? What triggers you? Sometimes we can come to it from that angle to get a sense of where our passion lies.
2. Who do you admire and why? What is it about them that gets you excited?
I call these your Brand Muses and often I find that writing a list for myself of who’s inspiring me and why helps me get aligned with what I really want to be doing.
It’s also helpful to think of a few Media Muses: If you could be featured in any publications, what would those be?
And Audience Muses: If you could have any dream client or customer, who would it be?
3. Why do you think you do what you do?
Don’t hold back. Be honest with yourself. What do you feel in your heart could be your purpose on this planet? Who are you trying to help?
4. When you look back at your life, what do you hope you’ll be known for? What lasting impact do you want to have?
Another way I like to ask this is: If someone were to Google you, what do you hope they’ll find?
5. Can you get even bigger? More general?
If you can, try to keep your Purpose as large as possible. This is because you want to have the endless opportunity to create multiple solutions to fill it. For example, our purpose is to “Elevate Women Globally.” This allows us to grow and expand into that in ways we may not even see right now.
One more tip: Anything that sparks a light in you is an indication that you are on the right track. Follow that energy, get curious about it, see where it leads. You are on the path!
Photo credit: Amanda Lee Domenech for Élanoura