Dr. Judith Wright writes about the four loving truths in her book The Soft Addiction Solution. We all have core mistaken beliefs about ourselves and the world that limit our potential. The four loving truths are a powerful antidote that helps us consider another possibility about who we are and what we can expect for and from the world.
I am a gift
The fourth loving truth is “Gifts are given to me to develop and utilize in the divine symphony of life.”1 It is a vision for myself that I used on and off this week as a beacon toward which to orient before making new business phone calls and walking into new business meetings. I operationalized this by orienting to the phrase, “I am a gift.”
This vision of myself as a person who is a gift to others led to physical changes as well as shifting how I felt about myself. Intentionally remembering the assignment and orienting to “I am a gift” was a choice I made that changed my way of being – I felt lighter, more alive, open to possibilities, attractive, and relaxed in my body.
What is my vision as a leader?
As part of orienting to the idea that I am a gift and I have gifts and talents to share, I also used my assignment to envision that businesspeople I met with throughout my work week would enjoy and grow from being with me.
What hindered my growth in the past were old beliefs about myself as unattractive and incapable. This work to see and affirm myself is directly related to my growth and development as a purposeful woman leader and coach.
Executive leader in action
On Friday, I had three important new business meetings for my company, Davidoff Mission-Driven Business Strategy. That morning, I recognized I was off my game and I was indulging in old beliefs about myself that said I was not good enough. On my way over to the first meeting, I called a friend and fellow salesperson to express my feelings and create a vision for myself as a powerful leader in the meeting.
What emerged from the call was a recognition and resolve that I am an effective leader and coach when I show up as I am, who I am, and it’s not about old beliefs that I have to look or be a certain way and have all I’s dotted and T’s crossed.
I relaxed into seeing myself as a gift to the executive director I was with. I was very present in the meeting. I asked questions to learn about her organization and the challenges she faces. I coached her with a vision of possibilities to increase enrollment for her organization. Interestingly, afterwards I realized I was very assertive in my leadership with her in a way that I had not been earlier that morning. She then asked me to join her board and offered me a potential project!
My gift as a leader
I parlayed that success of seeing myself as a gift in my next meeting. It was a meeting at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce with several senior business leaders. We were there to meet, hear from, and provide thoughts to the new President of the University of Illinois. I contributed significantly to the conversation and challenged the President in a direction I thought he was making assumptions about which would limit his success. After the meeting, one of the executives acknowledged my contributions.
As I continually reoriented myself to the fourth loving truth and to the idea that I am a gift, I realized that not only did I shift my beliefs about how powerful of a leader I am – I actually became the leader I wanted to be.
1. Wright, Judith. The Soft Addiction Solution: Break Free of the Seemingly Harmless Habits That Keep You from the Life You Want. New York: J.P.Tarcher/Penguin, 2006.
Jacki Davidoff is principal and senior consultant at Davidoff Mission-Driven Business Strategy. Davidoff is known nationally for its extensive experience leading strategic planning, goal setting, and marketing for national and local nonprofits, businesses, and foundations/associations through the lens of organizational transformation and emergence. She has been actively involved in numerous nonprofits, serving on boards and in leadership roles in mission-driven organizations including Amigos de las Americas, Heartland Alliance for Human Rights and Human Needs, the Peace Museum and Green City Market. She grew up in Houston, Texas and earned her BS in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Transformational Leadership and Coaching.