Introduce yourself and your brand to the audience.
I am Brenda Harkins, Founder of the Harkins Leadership Group and the Loud Is Not A Language® communication and engagement model that helps people increase the impact of their influence, the effectiveness of their communication, and the quality of their relationships. It doesn't mean we should never be loud. It means that loud is not sustainably reciprocal, which is required of a language. If we speak loud as a language, we will be shut down. Whether with volume or attitude or arrogance, loud gets simply exhausting. While writing Finding Your Voice I realized the "LOUD" principles from Loud Is Not A Language® need to be applied in order to communicate our unique voices effectively. People need to learn how to speak in a way that others will listen. The best way to be heard is to genuinely listen to others with an authentic desire to hear their story. Even their biases. Because we all have them. So effective communication requires empathy, compassion, an authentic desire to understand, and honoring the perspectives of others. I am hopeful we can learn.
Why did you decide to join this collaboration project?
I was thrilled to join this collaboration project. Too many people can relate to feeling stuck these days. Like there is no way to get out of the place they are in, and no way to get to the place they want to be. I have been on both sides of that coin and discovered how to stop spinning and move forward. That gets me fired up to let others know the same thing. Stuck doesn't have to be anybody's story. We just need to tap into the internal resources available to get us moving. God has gifted us with many resources. I believe this collaboration project will allow us to inspire and be inspired by a variety of those resources.
Provide a brief summary of your story
My story is about going from a lioness to a chameleon and back to a lioness, only with eagle's wings. As a young girl I was a lioness. Strong and free and connected to a tribe. Or a pride, as the lion would call it. My world got all shaken up and I turned into a chameleon, changing my colors to best benefit or protect me in every situation. But hiding and protecting takes its toll. It zaps the life out of you. Leaves you with no joy. And one day the lioness woke up enough to realize what was happening. The courage to risk being real broke through, and the lioness grew eagle's wings and now gets to soar with her tribe of lionesses, roaring the truth to the unknowing chameleons in hopes that they too will risk being real, and soar.
Share one challenge you encountered during your becoming unstuck journey? My greatest challenge was to be vulnerable. I had bought into the lie that showing weakness was the greatest weakness, so I always made sure to appear strong no matter how frightened or weak I felt. Realizing that it is only by walking in courage that we can be vulnerable changed everything for me. Pretending to be something we are not is hiding. And how is hiding courageous? Cowards hide. So yeah. My greatest challenge during my unstuck journey was to take off my mask and be real. Be vulnerable. Be courageous.
Share one tool you applied to transcend the challenge?
Truth. I applied truth to transcend the challenge. And it took courage to apply truth, so I guess that is really two tools, but they are welded together. You need one to make the most of the other. I accessed courage to look at the truth, then accessed it again to admit the truth, then accessed it again to embrace the truth, then accessed it again to transform the truth.
What do you do to maintain the phrase “Stuck Is NOT Your Story: Change Is Possible?
I accept challenges that will stretch me and not allow me to stay in the same place. When I was afraid of public speaking, I accepted public speaking opportunities. When I didn't trust my marketing abilities, I launched an online project. I have come to realize that "mining the gold in people and helping them build bridges to their dreams and destinies" is my life mission. So I don't accept just any challenge. But if it can squeeze into even the smallest corner of my mission box, I will give it a try. And I have learned that in doing so, it doesn't keep my assignments inside a rigid mission box. It pushes the boundaries of my mission box out larger, proving it is fluid, rather than rigid, and full of exciting, yet-to-be-seen possibilities.
What is next for you?
Next for me is a coaching program, workshops and book around "Finding Your Voice." Being a part of this collaboration project has reignited the fire in me to get people connected to their voice, which is the impact God created them to have by being the champion He created them to be. I am looking forward to all of that. But then to also expand the services for Loud Is Not a Language®. That is another tool for increasing your impact, and I want to help the right people understand how to best use their God-given voice to influence the God-given change they were designed to make.
Share words of encouragement for the reader.
Your voice is important. Nobody else in the world can use it except you. Access the courage to look at the truth of your life experiences, then let God redeem the pain and show you a mightier voice than you ever imagined.
What is your favorite quote?
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." - Albert Einstein
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Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s special guest blog, and know that there is always hope no matter what.
Noreen N. Henry
Victorious Living Strategist
7x International Best Seller with 20 Published Books
Certified John Maxwell Team Leader
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