I recently did a whiteboard session with a skilled mindset coach and he got me to do one exercise that was harder than all the rest. It wasn’t writing down my strengths and weaknesses, it wasn’t unpicking my thoughts, it wasn’t even gathering honest feedback from those closest to me.
He asked me to write a 2 minute speech introducing myself, but not like you know it. The speech could not feature my achievements, education, skills, job title or relationship status. It had to just focus on me.
So I thought about it, and thought about it some more. I stripped away those adornments that seem to bind me into comparing myself as better or worse than others. Because they’re just adornments to the real me.
And here’s what I came up with…
Hi, I’m Amy. Nicknamed Amy-lou or Lou for short. My name is just like me: small and sweet and kind. And to most those qualities may seem light or even weak, and you might underestimate me on first glance (or even second) but they’re a hidden strength.
Why? Well let me tell you…
I can get into people’s hearts without them even realising it by treating every person I meet with respect & love. It is the team I work with everyday, the barista serving me coffee, the sex-worker in the street, the villager in rural Thailand, or the CEO I’m doing business with.
I chase growth opportunities, because there’s always more room to grow. I’m not talking of the financial kind, but rather environments that stretch me, or put no roof on my development. It’s why I quit my full-time job and began this role as a 26-yo intern with no skills, no insight, just an instinct that this would be an environment I’d grow in. And it has – after 8 months I was a finalist in an industry award.
I’m purpose driven – and that drives me to do bold things sometimes. When I’m out on a limb, and it’s sink or swim, those are the places I have a love-hate relationship with most. I’ve been driven to move to the UK, then Greece, then Thailand – and I know it’ll drive me across the world again, but it’s also driven me to where I am today, right now.
I’ve realised that sweetness is most effective in the bitterest of places. Those places or issues or people that most like to avoid – I like to meet head on. And that’s where I thrive.
It’s not perfect, but neither am I. So what’s your speech, when it’s stripped of everyone else’s labels and made up of 100% you, just you?