Week 2 - The Power of Our Stories (Rebecca's Keynote)
Your story matters. It's through our stories, including our struggles that we grow, prosper and flourish — the literal meaning of the word thrive. Hi, I'm Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, CEO of WEthrive. live, executive coach, business consultant, keynote speaker, and host of this podcast, The Badass Women's Council. I'm glad you're here. I want to tell you a little story about when I started my business about five years ago. I was on a quest to simplify the world of personal development and business consulting to literally make it more personal and more simple. So I did what I do anytime I'm trying to solve a problem or figure something out. I went to the whiteboard. I spent several days with whiteboard, flip chart pages, scrap pieces of paper with my ideas and scribbles everywhere. I just kept distilling things down, trying to find the lowest common denominator that I could use to build my coaching and consulting process and build my business on. I was looking for what was the foundation that we all have in common for our career and our business that was tied to those things that we really care about and that we want to improve. I'd spent decades in this world of personal development, and leadership and consulting, and there's just so much consultant speak and puffing our chests about this and that, and look at my model, and this framework and this implementation process. I wanted something that was simple, foundational, powerful. So over those days, I started to map out the client work that I was most proud of, the things that I had done over the last 20 years and just asking myself," What was it about each of my best engagements that truly mattered to my clients?" Because it was their story that mattered. How can I serve and impact them in ways that were valuable and relevant? It was when I asked myself that question and made that statement, that it was their story that mattered. I was just there to help them write a really good one. There was the first step of my process is called," Story," because we each have a unique story, circumstance, goals, challenges. How could I come alongside and help them write the next chapters of their story? So my approach has three parts, story, money and rhythm. We're spending the next seven more weeks, we've been in an eight- week series talking about story, because again, we each have a story. We're writing our story. Our companies have stories and how they all intersect is through our brains, hard wiring to thrive. You see, every day when you wake up, your brain wants you to thrive. It wants you to have a life that's fulfilling, full of meaning and purpose. There are steps along the way that your brain is looking for. So once you get past the whole survival thing and get some food and water and safety, your brain really wants you to feel safe with your emotions and your decisions, which is called psychological safety. Sometimes it's others that threaten our psychological safety, like a bad boss or a bad relationship, but what we tend to overlook is how we talk to ourselves. We are the first responder in our life. We're constantly telling ourselves a story. Sometimes we've got that, what I call the little bitch in our head that wants to talk us out of living our best life or fulfilling our dreams. My advice for dealing with her is always to put her in the passenger seat with a seatbelt and a snack, but she doesn't get to drive because we have to be the ones writing our story. When we can see ourselves with kind and loving eyes and look for opportunities to write our own great story, that's thriving. We're each completely unique in our story down to our fingerprints. It's that uniqueness that's designed to fit and serve other humans and their stories. Our deepest human need is for someone to know our story. We need to be seen, heard and known, and we serve each other by listening, and connecting and filling that need for each other. You can think about it with the difference of marbles and puzzles. You think about a marble, each one is round and perfect, shiny. How often do we look around at others and we think we need to be more like someone else more perfect, but in fact, what we're wired for is to be puzzle pieces, each completely different. Because if you think about a handful of marbles, they may be individually beautiful and perfect, but if you take a handful of marbles and turn your hand over and put those on a table, what happens? They all roll away. Perfect doesn't stick together very well. Perfection blocks connection, but puzzles? Think about a handful of puzzle pieces, each of them completely different, unique on purpose each with their jaggedy ass edges, but if you turn your hand over and lay those puzzles on the table, puzzle pieces on the table, and you spend some intentional time to see how they fit together, there are two characteristics of a puzzle once it's put together. One, it's far stronger and two, it's far more beautiful. We're meant to be puzzle pieces, each very unique with our own story, but we're also looking to see how we fit into the bigger picture. That's where we find that meaning and purpose. Our companies have stories. What's the company about? Who do they serve? All business is done by humans for humans, and humans have stories. How we interact with our story and each other's story is how our brain knows if we're thriving. When we do work that we're uniquely made for and use that work to serve another human, that's thriving. It's in the sharing of our stories, including our struggles that we feel the most connected, the most valuable and relevant. So we're in week two of an eight- week series called," Stand Tall in Your Story." We're highlighting the women of "Rise and Thrive Indianapolis" and their seven month journey that they were on from September of 2019 to March of this year, 2020. I think about the day when they first met each other and came together in September, there was lots of excitement and anticipation, but there were also a lot of jitters, because another part of how we're wired is we're always looking and wondering, how do we fit? Will we belong? Is this a safe place? This is true whether we're in seventh grade or we're 45 and 50, executives, doing great work, we still look around the room and wonder, where do I fit? Do I belong? Is this a safe place? It's part of the neuroscience of our lives, but within a few hours, they settled in and they were learning about themselves and learning a lot about their own story. They immediately started to support each other and really listening to one another, which fulfills our deepest human need to be seen, heard, and known. And that's the way I work with clients through reflection and connection. I don't tell my clients what to do. I hold up the mirror and ask you to reflect and see yourself in big, bold, beautiful ways. It's hard to see ourselves clearly without that kind of connection. Trying to see ourselves without connection is like looking in a funhouse mirror. Everything looks a little distorted, but when we can connect and feel really safe with someone, and they can hold up the mirror for us and invite us to see what they see, it brings so much clarity, and it's with that kind of clarity that we get courage and confidence. So on that first day in September of 2019, these women were told that they would be telling their stories on stage in March of 2020. They had seven months to uncover the story they wanted to tell, and the story that needed to be told. So each month they uncovered more and more about themselves in their own story. What you'll be listening to over the next six weeks is the story they chose to tell. They each gave a seven minute TED like talk that represented them in their story. You can watch these stories on video at standtallinyourstory. live. Thanks to my partners at Cantaloupe TV who provided these book of stories. In there, you'll also have additional information where you can learn more about each of these amazing women in their journey. So today's episode is my opening keynote of event that took place On March 5th at the Cabaret Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I talk about the power of our stories to reflect and connect. So enjoy, and I hope to be back next week and the week after and the week after to hear more and more of these amazing stories. Okay, here we go. For decades, my journal reads, I just want to tell people's stories. Last summer on a beautiful sunny afternoon, I went to Starbucks as we do, and I decided I was going to plan the next chapter, the next phase of my story as a coach and a consultant. I knew that I wanted to ban the burnout that we had absolutely grown to normalize. I wanted to build real community with career women and I'm a badass consultant. So I wanted to boost some of their business. You know what I'm saying? So there I was in Starbucks, I was laying it all out and I'd been praying for God ideas, not good ideas for months. So fueled with passion and iced coffee, Rise and Thrive was born. As I stood at this big harvest table, and I laid out the pieces of paper that identified all of the issues and the opportunities and the ways that I could serve these high achieving women, I realized that if I were to invite other coaches into this experience, we could really cover every aspect of what these women needed and some things they didn't even know they needed. I realized that we could do it in a way that was transformational, and it was there that I set out to find these amazing coaches to set the stage for Rise and Thrive. Now here we are tonight on this stage, ready for these seven women to stand tall in their stories. These women have gone through a seven month experience with seven coaches covering seven topics to help them transform. Well, why stories? I mean, why do stories even matter? Well, we've been telling stories since 700BC. Stories are what unites us. Stories are how we make sense of the world around us. Our stories matter. Our stories have meaning, they have purpose and they have some struggle. Before launching out on my own, I spent 19 years with the Franklin Covey organization. In the middle of a really badass career, I was invited to our Western region to talk about my sales success. It was in that meeting that I shared all about sales pipeline and all the salesy kind of stuff about why I was so successful. So awkward when that happens. Then I said," Does anybody have any questions?" I don't remember the question specifically. It was something like," How do you do this year over year?" But I absolutely remember my response. It was that day that I shared with them that I was afraid every single day, that every day I woke up and I thought this was the year that they find out that I'm not good enough. This is the year they find out it was all just a fluke. This was the year I was not going to be able to keep up. I looked at their faces, and the shock in all in their faces wasn't because I was a misfit. What I saw on their faces that day was gratitude and relief. Then the questions really started pouring in," Really? You? You're afraid? You too? What are we going to do about it? Will it ever end?" That was the day that my personal brand, my stock in the company, if you will, went up, not because I had sold$ 35 million for this company and had every glass award and every accolade that you can imagine. My personal brand went up because I was willing to be authentic and vulnerable and share my story. Our stories matter. So as I was closing out that career after 19 years, I was sitting in my home office alone, and at 6: 00 PM on my last day, I shut my laptop, click, and I looked around and I thought," This is how it ends? This career lasted longer than both my marriages. This has got to be more than this." Truth. So I looked out the window and I had this cocktail of emotions and I thought," Why does this feel uneasy and uncomfortable?" So did what every badass woman does when they're feeling pissed and a little dissed. I went to my kitchen counter and I poured a really tall glass of Cabernet, because I was fixing to whine about it. Right? I sat there at my counter thinking about this experience and I thought," Hold on. I am the same person that sold$ 35 million. I chose to leave. Why was I feeling so" ugh" in that moment? I had been given all kinds of thank yous. They had begged me to stay. They'd said everything that needed to be said, because I gave a six month notice. It was a long ass goodbye you all." I needed lots of time to transition clients and say goodbyes. This was not a last minute decision. So why was I sitting there feeling so uneasy? I chose to leave. I wanted to go out on my own, free to be me, all the things, but it just felt really quiet and lonely. I thought," Hold on, hold on. I am still that same person that sold$ 35 million that didn't stop or end because I shut the laptop." Then it hit me. I needed to choose to use my unique gifts, talents, and abilities in another way. We don't leave them back at the job, we go and we give them in a new way. It was there that I realized that I had been so wrapped up in my sales number, in those glass trophies and all of the accolades that somewhere along the line, I lost track of me and who I was. I had to keep just working through this thing and I realized," Okay, you're still badass. Don't panic. Now you just go give those gifts in another way." That's the deal you all because we don't start over. We just write a new chapter. We write a new chapter if we change companies. We write a new chapter if we change roles. We write a new chapter if we start our own business. We can even write a new chapter in retirement. We still have all of those unique gifts, talents, and abilities that we need to go and give, and serve, and share with who needs those from us. Once I had a chance to get it together, I realized. When you let your value and your worth be a part of something like a sales goal or a glass trophy, that's striving, but when you know your worth and your unique gifts, talents, and abilities, that's thriving. Yes.( singing) Thanks so much for joining us in this eight- week series, Stand Tall in Your Story. Be sure to subscribe because next week we have Courtney Simpkiss sharing her story. If you would like more information, you can go to standtallinyourstory. live, see all of this on video and click the button that says," Business is human," because we're doing this all again. This time, we're inviting men and women to join us on a nine month experience called," Business is Human." All right, make it a great day.( singing)
Our deepest human need is for someone to know our story. We need to be seen, heard, and known, and we serve each other by listening, connecting, and filling that need for each other. Your story matters.
Stories unite us, stories are how we make sense of the world, and stories have the power to help us reflect, connect, and thrive.
Each of us has a unique story to tell, and in this week’s episode, Rebecca Fleetwood Hession — the CEO and founder of WEthrive.live — shares a bit of her story. In her keynote address to the women of “Rise and Thrive” Indianapolis, she talks about the power of our stories to reflect and connect. After 19 years in a highly successful sales career, she chose to leave the company and start a new chapter in her story.
Listen in to learn more about how she realized her value and worth and started to thrive, instead of strive. Tune in each week to hear from another speaker about how to stand tall in your story and rise and thrive during these difficult times.
This year, Rebecca has built a similar experience called, “Business is Human,” which is open to both men and women. Right now, she is looking for 4-5 men and 4-5 women join the group for a 9-month experience in Indianapolis. If you are interested in that opportunity, go to standtallinyourstory.live and tell Rebecca a little bit about yourself.
To check out the Stand Tall in Your Story 8-week series, go to standtallinyourstory.live