Last week I spend six days in California soaking up sun, the ocean and immersing myself in social innovation. When I seek inspiration and growth, I connect with new people, experiences and conversations.
I attended BlogHer14, a 10th anniversary of influencers driving the social revolution that’s changing the way we think and take action. Arianna Huffington, Guy Kawasaki, Kerry Washington and a host of others joined us to talk about today's issues. From politics to food to lifestyle to business perspectives, it was amazing to be surrounded by 5,000 women and men bonded through the power of self-expression.
Self-expression is the most powerful tool we all possess, if we choose to use it.
I started writing five years ago when I took on the (then) daunting task of running my first marathon. I didn’t share it widely. It was my safe space to think out loud and learn. A year ago a good friend of mine encouraged me to come out of my closet and share it, and thus this corner of the earth was born.
It’s been a journey…and it’s own marathon of sorts.
People ask me why I write. Here are my 3 reasons:
- Writing helps me be a better everything. As a wife and mom,when I have a difficult situation I use it as a way to frame conversations. It has made me a better leader. Most recently, I’m using my writing to become an editor so I can say more with less.
- Writing helps me PACE my work and life. I was born with the rare gift of having excess energy. Like running, writing paces my thinking, processes thoughts and then puts them into meaningful words and actions.
- I. Own. Every. Last. Word. We don’t control much, so owning and sharing my perspectives is no better form of self-expression. Writing makes me who I am…the polished yet messy working mom and wife living, learning, laughing and loving every moment of my journey.
I have a secret to admit.
Self-expression is terrifying for everyone, even staunch extroverts like myself. The common thread we all share as humans is our fear of rejection. But in a world that’s been turned on its head with new forms of expression and social channels popping up every day, what do you have to lose?
- The world needs more courage and your contribution is important to that campaign. We live in the back seat of the bus. And, doubt and fear hold individuals back. But everyone cares about something. And when you give a ****, you need to speak up. Don’t hold back. You don’t need an E-vite to join the conversation.
- I want people who care about something in my world because it accelerates learning. When you write or express yourself in whatever form, you learn and it gives people the chance to learn. With all of today’s channels, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Blogging… the choice is yours.
- Writing builds you as a person and as a professional. It gives you the ability to connect further with your world and the world around you. You have heard “don’t ask, don’t get?” Yea. If you don’t know what to ask for or how to ask, you won’t get. Writing or some form of self-expression will get you there.
So are you ready?
Start today. People are thirsty for your message, hungry to hear your voice, and are waiting to feast at the banquet of your knowledge.
If you’re interested in telling your story (words, pictures, video, whatever the art form), connect with me. Stay tuned this week. I’ll be sharing some forms of expression I caught on my trip last week and I have another remarkable story this Wednesday.