Potent Expression Story 3 – Jenna and the Confidence of Bringing All of Yourself to The Table

This is a story about finding confidence as a result of bringing all of who you are to the table. It’s also about the necessity of allowing yourself to be confused or uncertain on the path to finding the right words.

Jenna has spent 23 years working in Organizational Learning & Development for organizations in sectors such as finance, healthcare, logistics and public health & safety. In 2015, she made the leap into her own business. “The whole jumping off, leap-of-faith was exciting, but also frightening. For the first 9 months, I was in a tailspin. I could not get my words.”

Jenna made the effort to meet with contacts who could help her, but when she tried to explain what her services were, she floundered. “What I wanted to do with people was different from how people thought they would work with me.” She felt confident when she spoke to someone she could take her time with, like her family and close friends, but that confidence evaporated when she felt on the spot. It was frustrating, because she said, “I knew what I was here to do and who I was here to serve, I just couldn’t find the words to describe it.”

She had tried working with another coach, who promised to help her get to her message. But what they came up with didn’t feel right. Jenna said, “it felt academic or cookie cutter. We weren’t getting to the heart of what I wanted to say.” Five months in to the process, she still didn’t have a message that felt right.

Worse, she didn’t feel supported working through her confusion and discomfort to get to clarity. When she raised questions about exactly what she wanted to do, or who she wanted to work with, she felt rushed, as though the outcome (any outcome) was more important than the exploration and discovery of her authentic way of expressing herself. Because she didn’t feel heard, she couldn’t hear herself. She was told to do some research on what people want.  Or to just go ahead and pick a focus.  She started to realize that this approach was “one inch deep. Very surfacey.”

What she appreciated about my approach was that I acknowledged up front that there were going to be moments of uncertainty. Moments of grittiness. Of discomfort. She liked that I brought in self-forgiveness practices like Ho o pono pono and somatic approaches that included moving the body. She liked the inclusion of these elements that speak to the entire person.

And going through the program, she felt met in that place. She felt accepted, like there was room to not have the answers right away.  And she felt honored and encouraged to bring forward her style and her essence. She loved the work in Level 1 —  finding the True Spirit and the True Wisdom. She said, “it was such a unique approach. It really resonated with my entire being.” She loved being challenged to get to that place of recognition, “This is it!” To bring together not just one piece of who she was, but all the parts of who she was.

As she described it, “From there, other things seemed to flow.  The True Spirit work allowed me to feel much more comfortable bringing my spiritual self forward.” With my encouragement, she finally had permission to incorporate that part of her into the work. She was no longer afraid. She realized “I don’t know if this is what people are looking for, but it’s who I am”

Here’s the True Spirit she wrote:

The True Spirit of my work is to support people who find themselves at a crossroads in their journey to fulfill their soul’s yearning to make a difference in the world by sharing their gifts. To help them step away from the script they think they have to follow, from rigid roles and one-sided expectations, so they can be fluid and dynamic as they lean into their own humanity while experiencing a rising level of confidence that comes from an irrevocable knowing of what they stand for (the messages & lessons they are here to share) in a way that’s only possible when they’re able to catch their breath and reconnect to their inner guidance.Crossing a threshold into sacred space, they become empowered to cultivate their full potential; no longer hiding parts of themselves in order to “fit in” or belong and in doing so they can fully acknowledge the gifts in each other as well as in themselves.

Once the True Spirit became clear, Jenna began to tease out her Conscious Leadership model. She began to see all the elements and tiers of that model that she hadn’t been able to put her finger on before.

In Level II, of the training, Jenna loved working on Bridging Statements. We had already worked on the elevator speech but she appreciated having these longer responses to what she sensed people wanted or were looking for. Even though the Bridging Statements used a formula, it didn’t feel restrictive.  She had wiggle room to make them her own.

These are some of the Bridging Statement she developed:

People come to me saying they want their leaders to soften their communication skills. But when I talk to them further, what really emerges is that they really want their leaders to create an environment where people feel respected for ideas, safe to voice their concerns and, encouraged to try new things.

You want your boss/senior leaders to recognize your potential. And what makes that possible is expressing your true essence, honoring the wisdom of others and embracing relationships as sacred. That’s why I mentor leaders in deepening and expanding their relationships in their network.

You want to gain greater clarity about how to advance your career and get rid of the obstacles that are keeping you from contributing fully. And what I know is when you step away from the script you think you have to follow and reconnect to your inner guidance, you experience an irrevocable knowing of how your talents make a meaningful contribution.

Since developing and using her new language, Jenna is sensing a positive response. And some people don’t get it. She now can say to herself, “they are not my people.”

She regained that confidence that she thought she’d lost. She describes how now, she can show up in the world with this “wonderful assertiveness wrapped in love and service. Even the way I speak, my delivery, my tone of voice, sounds so much fuller. It’s no longer airy or tentative. There is a deep resonance for me in what I am sharing. It comes from the depths of who I am.”

The work we did also helped her to look at all the programs and content she has access to in a new way. She says, “before Mojo I felt like a sell out offering other people’s tools and systems. I couldn’t figure out how to give it my voice. Now I feel liberated to show up as who I am, and from there it feels easy to pull my various tools and assessments into what I do. I can leverage time-tested programs that fit but I add my style.”

Since finishing the program a few months ago, Jenna has seen about 50% growth in her business. She has brought on several corporate clients, helping with some of their big initiatives. Another client has put her on retainer to work on strategy and messaging. She is also working with multiple individuals within one organization.  One person works with her, and then someone calls her asking “Can you work with me too?” She says, “I don’t know if I could have done that without the confidence I got going through the Mojo training”.

Jenna wanted to say to anyone considering this program: “This work is ideal for people whose avocation and vocation are the same. When you’re trying to suss out the plethora of knowledge and wisdom that is yours – articulating all the elements of who you are and bringing that forward can be daunting. How do you explain that so it makes sense to people?  Participating whole-heartedly in the Mojo program supports you in claiming all rich and juicy parts of you in a way that empowers you to connect with YOUR tribe. Your work in the world is your calling. Isabel and the Mojo program help you articulate what you’re called to do so the people you talk with aren’t scratching their heads in bewilderment.”

You can learn more about Jenna HERE (http://jennastoliker.com). Jenna coaches and mentors emerging and seasoned leaders to integrate all of their wisdom and bring forward their fullest potential as an authentic and conscious leader.  Through individual and small group coaching, leadership development programs, and nature retreats leaders discover their leadership path without compromising who they are. You can reach Jenna at 248-346-7107 or jenna@jennastoliker.com

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