Life is challenging, amazing, and complicated. However, every experience is absolutely necessary to bring us to this very point. If you pay close attention, you will discover that all points lead to greatness! As a woman who’s earned six college degrees, experienced success in corporate America, and now is the owner of 3 businesses, I began examining my journey to greatness. I discovered there were five steps that I unconsciously repeated, each time leading me to the next level of success. Come with me as I share my journey and answer the questions that will help you discover or reconnect with your greatness.
As a young child, I was always analytical and curious. My friends and family could always count on me to ask many questions, and I was never afraid to ask the hard questions. Primarily because I was working to resolve any problem that presented itself. Over time, my questions and ability to resolve problems improved. Without knowing, my superpowers of analysis and problem solving began to emerge. On your journey to discovery, ask yourself:
While in elementary and again in middle school, my parents were told that I needed to be placed in special education. Not because my grades were poor, but because I didn’t speak much in school. I couldn’t understand why it was such a big deal. My parents would never allow it, but what all of the adults were missing was that I wouldn’t speak until I had something of value to add. Rather than speaking, observing was more of a priority for me. No matter what, my superpower was present, and none of us knew it.
By the time I got to high school, I had discovered my voice and joined the debate team. I had finally learned to stand in my truth and my skills, talents, and personality were all in full support of my greatness. Just being Collette was driving me to new levels of greatness. Here are questions to explore to help you take ownership of your greatness:
As a member of the debate team, I was responsible for discovering the resources that both opposed and supported my argument. My natural ability to be curious worked in my favor because many of my opponents were only concerned with supporting their argument, not fully understanding the opposing side. My desire to never be caught off guard moved me to analyze and anticipate my opponent’s defense.
Again, life was cultivating my gifts, enhancing my superpowers, and thrusting me into my greatness. I was naturally accustomed to being observant. However, adding to that, what I learned through the practice of reading, watching, and listening gave me an advantage that helped me to discover my voice and the importance of using it. These are steps and advice to learn to cultivate the greatness that is you:
Once I discovered my voice, there was no turning back. Additionally, life began to present opportunities for me to express myself and my opinions in many different ways. The little girl that was recommended for special education was now becoming the young lady who was asked to speak, teach and train even at the young age of 16. I began exercising my gifts as a youth leader in my church, a trainer on my job as a student employee for the federal government, a winner of family debates during the holidays and even as a student writer and young entrepreneur.
I practiced using my superpowers often, which helped sharpen my skills and gave me the courage to join a local Toastmasters club, where I excelled. That experience honed my ability to ask the right questions, analyze an array of situations, and use my voice to leave an imprint on my audience, amplifying my greatness. Mom’s old adage, practice makes perfect, was finally proving true in my life.
Now that you’ve discovered, taken ownership of, cultivated, and practiced your superpowers, it is time to deliver your greatness to the world. And yes, we fully expect you to do so. Delivery is where many of us get stuck. We over-analyze it and find ourselves experiencing analysis paralysis. Some of us become so afraid of failure that we never move to deliver our greatness. Others wait for someone to offer them an opportunity to deliver. I’m challenging you to create your own opportunities, face your fears head-on, and embrace the idea that failure is the greatest teacher. So fail forward, learn from the experience, make the proper adjustments and take the leap again.
Know that you don’t have to go at it alone. Find someone of like mind who would be willing to journey with you. This may mean joining or starting a meetup group, networking group, or local club. Collaboration is the gift that keeps on giving. It also shortens the learning curve and accelerates your success. For those of you who have a desire to monetize your greatness, know that the key is giving away the “what” and selling the “how.” For example, if you are exceptional at writing and desire to be a writing coach, give your audience the 10 Steps to Writing Your Life’s Story and sell a service that will allow them to hire you as their writing coach.
After a close examination of each step, I recalled each person who introduced or reinforced the steps in my life. These steps helped me become a sought-after professional speaker, entrepreneur, and influencer. I also realized these same five steps that I passed on to my son, who is now a Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law student. Remember, these steps will continue to repeat themselves on your journey. Don’t be afraid to, as they say, “rinse and repeat.”
So, I challenge you to examine your life, the good and bad experiences, to see how these five steps have played a role in your success. If you’re struggling to see evidence of these steps in your life, I challenge you to start today by answering the questions for yourself and then set out to deliver your greatness to the world. Connect with me on Instagram at @colletteportis and share with me how these steps have made an impact on your life’s journey.
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