How to get started:
Feel like you’re at a crossroads? Ellevate 101 introduces you to the community that can give you a career kickstart.
We’ll walk you through some light intros and give you space to connect about shared career experiences. You’ll also learn how to use your Ellevate program to continuously make moves towards success at work.
Our next live welcome session is .
Create Your Own Table
We all have creative energy within us. We have art and science within us, whether that means a new way to look at a forecasting model, a painting that lives in our heart, or a new way to express an old idea.
Do we ask for permission to create or express these things? Do we bide our time, waiting for the right moment? Do we wait for the invitation to share what beauty lies within?
My life has been a juxtaposition of waiting to be invited, and inviting my damn self. The more I recognize how outdated systems, structures and paradigms are – the more fire I have to create something entirely new. The more I see how taboo topics – like inner critics – benefit from being discussed out in the open, the more I want to create whatever platform, experience and opportunity necessary to get the word out.
September marks new beginnings in so many ways – and for me it’s driven by my birthday. This year I’m making a commitment to create as many tables as I possibly can.
When was the last time you created your own table?
- Perhaps it was you when hosting the last holiday gathering with your family, which trumped long-held traditions.
- Perhaps it was when you decided to start that passion project at work.
- Maybe you decided to leave your job or start your own side hustle. Cue “room where it happens”.
- Maybe the table you created was your own book of poetry – which has or has not been published yet.
We carry around deep-seated desires, which have been brewing for YEARS. Sometimes we wait. Sometimes we inch closer. Sometimes we take big leaps forward like the kangaroo. We experiment with pushing envelopes and finding the SPACE for our ideas in rooms, and places not designed by us. These are all important steps forward. AND, this is not what I’m talking about.
When I say when have you created your own table – what I’m really asking is…
When was the last time you honored your desire to bring something to the world in your own way, and on your own terms?
It’s a bold question. Building your own table means you are doing something that’s never been done. Waiting for someone else to create the table, deprioritizing our dreams, or pulling up to a table that you aren’t fully aligned with … are just some of the ways that we give away our power.
I recently celebrated five years of leaving the table that I knew in corporate. This reflective period kept bringing me back to the idea of how freaking empowering it feels to build your own table – which for extreme clarity, doesn’t require changing your job either.
Here’s the secret about doing this bold, courageous act … when you give yourself permission to receive support for your creativity, you unlock your next level of potential.
Build it and they will come mentality
Earlier this month I created my own in-person event, for many reasons. I wanted a place to debut my newest keynote talk – Goodbye Inner Critics, Hello Inner Confidence – and gauge audience reaction. I also wanted to create content to take my business to the next level. I had created different events and content platforms before, but this one was DIFFERENT. In a way, it was a coming-out party. I had something to say to the world, and I was marking my perspective and claiming my playground.
What I didn’t realize was an important ingredient I needed in the journey of saying yes to my own table. Because this wasn’t me putting a PowerPoint presentation together and stating data points. This was me, sharing my personal stories with the goal of changing the world. This was not me, hiding behind millions of Instagram reels – but rather looking into the eyes of humanity two feet away and showing them my heart, so that they could feel their own.
What I didn’t know that I needed, was to feel truly supported for this next phase of how I show up in the world.
I have been on a journey to be in community and to find my tribe for many years and this unrecognized need was something entirely different.
Breaking from rugged individualism
I was ready to take on responsibilities that would compromise my ability to give the best talk possible until I had offerings, or perhaps more accurately stated, the dedication of support from my husband, and various friends. These dedications sounded like ‘stay in the space as long as you need’ and ‘I’ve committed my whole day to what you need me to do’ and ‘let me take you out to dinner afterward to celebrate”, as well as powerful questions like “who is on your support team?”.
WOW. JUST WOW.
You see I was willing to create my own table, build the legs, and polyurethane the damn thing all on my own. I was willing to excavate all of my experiences and learnings about how to love my inner critics – and thought that the act of putting it out in the world was something I also had to do on my own.
I never realized how important, empowering, and amazing it feels to know there are people who are WITH you in support of your creation. This is something a bit different from the day-to-day communities and tribes we need to truly fulfill our potential. It’s different than the thumbs-up sign on a social media point. This kind of support is the kind where people are joining your crusade, and walking beside you as you blaze that trail.
If there is a table you are just burning with desire to create, there is likely a group of people in your life that want to see you build it – perhaps even more than you do!
Why do I bring this up? We live in a world where rugged individualism is embraced, and perfectionism is worn with a badge of honor, but yet ‘self-made’ is never truly a one-person job. We want to think that we can pull up our bootstraps and do anything ON OUR OWN. That is bullshit – especially if you want that table to be the best one it can be.
Whatever that table is that you are thinking of as you read this – I’m guessing it’s not been fully built. Maybe it feels overwhelming, scary, or impractical. I’d place a bet that you also have an inner critic (or two) running rampant about it, and I’d guess that there are very few people in the world who know about what is waiting to get out in the world.
Receiving is also an act of giving
At first, I resisted the dedication – but I quickly realized that saying YES to receiving was also giving others an opportunity to be an integral part of what I was creating. The event I created? It turned out better than I could have ever imagined – and this I attribute to the receiving of support – not just from my support team, but in the receiving of the reactions from the audience. They were a huge part of letting in the love and unlocking even more within me.
Here’s the kicker – the givers of support also received. They received inspiration, not just from the actual talk – but beyond that. They found inspiration in my willingness to invest in my idea, myself, my business, my dreams, and my passions. You see, creating your own path is contagious.
This is the ripple effect of what happens when we honor the truth of the inner whispers of what we desire. What we are called to take action on – be that calling a friend or starting a podcast. It’s the ripple effect of knowing that honoring your desires is actually part of something bigger than yourself. Letting people in on this can show you what’s possible when you surround yourself with people that are truly generous, without being jealous.
You can apply this to leadership.
When we work within existing systems, it’s easy to throw up our hands and say “that’s above my pay grade” or “there’s nothing I can do about it”. But when something is in your heart to create – we have to think beyond the sandbox we’ve been trained to play in. That incredible scene comes to mind from Top Gun – Maverick – where Tom Cruise’s character stole the plane and successfully completed the training course. Risky? Sure. Payoff? Incredible.
- How have you looked to influence others around what you strongly believe in?
- Do you cultivate support, or do it on your own and relish in the individual glory?
- What have you created out of need or passion that changed the game?
- When have you been generous in your support of others?
We are not always invited to the tables we want to be at – but have you considered how to forge your own pathway? This is another creative muscle to flex and I guarantee you will be shocked at what you attract into your life when you do so.
A new level
I’ve built a lot of my own tables in my life. But now, it feels different. It feels different to build tables knowing I’m supported, not just by those physically present, but beyond. Beyond geography and even beyond what I can see. This feels sustainable and magical, and it’s unlocked a new level of confidence to rise to the surface. I want this for you too.
What table do you want to build?
I offer this up as your next action; let me know what that is. I’d love to hear about the path you want to pave.
Looking for more?