Do you ever feel confused?

 With all this talk about purpose,

do you wonder what your direction is?

Do you wonder, am I doing what I’m supposed to do?


Life story = Direction = Soaring Presence!

Sometimes the very thing you’re looking for is right under your nose.

I struggled with debilitating stage fright for many years. I couldn’t stand on a stage in front of anyone without my left leg shaking to the point of distraction. I’d lose my train of thought. I’d have no power behind my voice. I felt so embarrassed, and yet there was nothing I could do about it. I felt powerless.

In spite of the fear, I continued to get on stage because there was a part of me that loved it. I did this until I couldn’t stand the fear anymore. Then, I quit doing the thing I loved – singing – for 10 years. I just couldn’t take it.

But, I used to watch singers on TV, or listen to my friends talk about their singing experiences and I would be just miserable because I wanted to sing too. So, I made a decision to start again.

I remember the first time I grabbed a girlfriend and said, let’s go sing karaoke. Here I was, a professionally trained singer who had stood before millions and I was more nervous than anyone else in the room. But, with the help of therapy, spiritual reflection, and specific mental/emotional tools, I was able to get back on stage.

Today, I feel very little stage fright, if any at all. To me, this is miraculous. I never thought this would happen, but it did. Now, I get to LOVE what I do. It is glorious to be free of fear! If you experience any level of stage fright, you know what I mean.

As a result, my stage presence soared. This freed me to bring all of my enthusiasm, my gifts, and my ability to inspire, to my audience. Here was the other surprise – it also improved everything else I did in life, because it changed the way I thought about myself. Not only did my stage presence soar, but my overall presence. I became more confident in all areas of my life.

What I didn’t know was that this journey would point me in a direction where I could help others who also experience stage fright. I had learned what to do. Now, I could help others feel more comfortable and enjoy being on stage, or speak to a small group, or simply one on one. I could help others feel good about themselves.

I had connected the dots and written a new story for myself – one where I was the victor over a debilitating fear. When you discover and create a story that connects the dots between who you are and what you have to offer, you are using your life story to point you in the direction of your gifts. This can serve as a jumping-off point for a whole new level of success.

Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronics, is the author of True North and Authentic Leadership. In True North, he states, “Successful leadership takes conscious development and requires being true to your life story . . .”

To discover your life story, consider these questions:

1. During your early years, which people had the greatest impact on you?

2. Starting with your earliest memories, which experiences marked key turning points in your life?

3. Has there been an instance in your life where you have felt like a victim?

The answers to these questions can lead you to your direction. They can help you identify a much deeper relationship to your work and your mission, and drive you to even higher levels of meaning and success. Knowing your life story can make your life and your work make sense, and more than that, ignite your presence so you can pass on that flame to everyone you encounter.

Authentically yours,


Life story = Direction = Soaring Presence!