Did you ever have that feeling that you were made for something bigger but you just couldn’t quite work out what it was? And even though you heard that voice deep within you silently steering you in the right direction you shut it down before it got too loud or had others shut it down for you?
This is me. Actually, let me rephrase that, this was me until 2 days ago.
I have just returned from the most life-changing two-day conference I have ever attended – the B1G1 Business for Good Conference on the Gold Coast. A conference about how small business can change the world in a big way.
When the first questions to come out of the conference were “What do you wake up for in the morning? What is your purpose?” I froze. I had nothing. Worse still, I had to share my answer with a stranger that I had just met at my table! That stranger was an amazing woman by the name of Nicky Mih, the Founder of Free to Shine. She told me she woke up every morning to keep girls safe. Her purpose was to protect vulnerable girls in the rural villages of Cambodia from falling victim to sex trafficking. Queue the first of many waves of emotion I was about to experience this weekend!
The next wave of emotion came when speaker Glen Carlson asked us to get real. To share what it was that stopped us from doing what we wanted to do? This one wasn’t so hard. I knew exactly what stopped me. I am riddled with self-doubt and excuses and couldn’t see how I could make any difference. I’d convinced myself that I was fine with that excuse… until I had to share it with a stranger! How do you tell a stranger that you aren’t good enough? But …a little reluctantly… I did.
Every time I had to admit my shortcomings to yet another stranger, I was greeted with the same reaction, every single time. A hug, a smile and a reminder that I could take action and make the impact I was born to make.
Enter Heather Yelland. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her, but if you haven’t, do yourself a favour and make it your job to know. In fact, make it your job to know all of these amazing people. If I’m going to be completely honest, nothing in my life phases me too much. More to the point, I don’t allow it to. Heather resonated with me more than any other speaker I have ever seen. Why? Because she believed in people. She wants every human to discover the truth of who they are and embrace the difference they were born to make. How amazing is that? She spoke about her elevate children program, her employees and her company in a way that I have never seen before. She spoke her truth, and boy was it beautiful.
I sat fighting back tears the entire way through Heather’s speech. When it ended, all I could do was seek her out and ask if I could hug her. Yes, more hugs. As I stood alone in the queue for lunch and thought about her message, I fought back even more tears. Not because I was feeling overwhelmed and out of my comfort zone like I was at the beginning of the conference, but because I was starting to believe I could be a part of something amazing, and I had started to connect with what was lying deep at the core of me.
With the conference coming to an end and the last session about to begin, I stumbled upon one more beautiful and amazing woman, Sarah Wentworth-Perry. And what a blessing that was! She made me laugh, spoke to me about self-love and worth and had the 3 women standing around her absolutely captivated without even trying. She shared her morning rituals (she may have even demonstrated them right there on the reception room carpet!), reminded us we need to give ourselves, not just others, the gift of recognition and love. She reinforced the feelings I had earlier in the lunch queue that I was only quietly starting to acknowledge… that I could do this.
As the conference came to a close, I had finally come to the very realisation that was the underlying theme of this year’s conference – that it was time for me to play the bigger game.
I was asked some very important questions at the beginning of the conference. What do I wake up for in the morning? What’s my purpose? Well I finally have the answer. I’ve always known I have had what many call “a servant’s heart” and that I was put here to be of service. One thing I am 100% sure of now is that this is not my biggest weakness like I always believed it was. Today I recognise that it is actually my biggest strength, and every single member of the B1G1 community reinforced that this weekend.
So I leave you with the question, or more the challenge, that the Founder of this amazing global giving initiative Masami Sato left us with:
We are all playing a game. Life. It has a start and it has an end, that’s a certainty. But if you were told your game was going to come to an end, what would you choose to do?
It’s time to start playing a bigger game.
(For those of you not familiar with B1G1 – I encourage you to read about their story when you get a chance. Feel free to drop us a line at wattsnext if you have any questions – as a life time partner of this amazing movement we would love to spread the word)