Finding an elevator pitch that works - Exploring your Authentic Praxis
Your authentic praxis, (the place where your theory connects with your practice) is where your talk gets walked and you make it happen. This is where the rubber meets the road! Being able to articulate your individual vocational tag-line, or ‘elevator pitch’, with authenticity, is a great place to explore your authentic praxis. To articulate your ‘elevator pitch’ from an a place of authenticity, you first need to consider who you are and what you do. For me, listening to my inner voice was the difference between an ‘elevator pitch’ that was honest yet felt empty, and one that expressed my personal praxis authentically.
When I was a university lecturer, it was easy to know what to say when people asked me what I did, but once I left the university, I found it wasn't quite as easy. After a lot of reflection, this is what I came up with: "My work is to Illuminate, Inspire and Ignite the Courage to Be, Do and Love in people. And it is! But let me explain... For ages I'd been refining this 'elevator pitch' line, basically as I said, so that when people asked me, I knew what to say... but also to give myself clarity around it. I knew what I did, because I was living it, and once I had it nailed I moved on. Until… one day I was saying it to a group as part of an exercise, and realised how 'empty' I felt and kind of 'hollow', so I got to thinking... Really? Is this really what I want to do?
If you know about my work it is pretty much ALL about authenticity, happiness and work and I know I have to walk my talk and live what I espouse to get authentic praxis… so, why wasn't I feeling fired up saying it then? I know deep in my heart, my purpose really is to help people find their authentic voice or true SELF again. I believe we often lose sight of the heart of our being, of our individual essence. I liken it to our inner light diminishing, or fading, and we end up going through the motions that daily life demands of us - plugged in, yet tuned out. So when I felt this emptiness inside as I said my 'pitch', I knew I had to I change my words... and really get to the nitty gritty of this feeling. And so I did! Sounds so easy huh?! How did I know what to change them to? Here’s what I did.
I asked myself. And then I got busy doing something else. The next morning as I made my cup of tea, I heard my inner voice (and I listened to it) when it said, "Your purpose is to bring people home to themselves." I argued with my inner voice (I often do, even when I know better)... and questioned it... Why the word 'home'? I listened and heard, that 'home' is where the heart is. Why the heart then? Hearts are where feelings are centred. This both made sense (in my head) and felt right (in my heart). Why? I believe the root of everything is LOVE. I am a big believer in self-love - in fact, most things 'self'... self-belief, self-acceptance, self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-compassion, self-empowerment... not such a believer in self-doubt - except when I see it for what it is and can escape it's web before it catches me... Getting to a place of LOVE takes lots of these 'self' things.
Finding your inner place of 'home' is a special journey that takes time and energy, allowing healing and accepting and understanding along the way - it's a sacred journey - and yet it can be shared.
In the bath last night, I read Maya Angelou's book, Rainbow in the Cloud, and the final sentence in the book resonated with me deeply. She wrote,
"We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do."
I've heard it said many times that the longest distance you will travel is from your head to your heart... to your 'home'… to your self.
Life has an expiry date and I want to live mine as fully as I can - as my BEST self. And I want this kind of authentic joy for you too. So, yes… My work really is to Illuminate, Inspire and Ignite the Courage to Be, Do and Love in people. But mostly… it's to bring people home to themselves!
What do you say when people ask you what you do in the world? What's your 'elevator pitch'? Does it sit well with your 'authentic praxis'? (ie. do you walk your talk?) I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Have a great day, G xx