I Didn’t Know I Was Me

I didn’t know who she was.  The features looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her.

It took me a few moments before I realised that the image staring back was me.  I only came to that conclusion because the nurse standing next to me was a different complexion.  That sounds like the beginning of a mystery novel, but it describes the most significant moment of my life.  The aftereffects of my second stroke left me with retrograde amnesia and facial blindness.

The silver lining is the rare gift I received, the opportunity to press pause and get to know the girl in the mirror.

I realised that when you strip everything away, all you have left is the essence of you, and that was something worth exploring.  What I discovered was something I had previously overlooked.  I discovered I was me!

Let me explain.  We go through life from one experience to another, navigating our way through any challenges or obstacles that get in the way.  We rarely give conscious thought to who we are or who we need to become to achieve the things we are striving for.

Think about it, when asked to describe ourselves, we talk in terms of titles we hold or roles we play and not about the essence and flavour we bring to the table.  Having no conscious ties to the past, I was relieved of this burden.  I just needed to explain who I was to me and why that mattered.  No role or title was going to help with that.

I was forced to walk through life in a different way, being observant of what happened when I showed up, how I felt, what came naturally, what I was passionate about and what incensed me.  The collective response when I shared my discoveries was “we know”.  It turns out others already knew who I was.  Things I thought I did were actually part of my DNA, i.e. my smile is not externally driven.  I smile because it’s part of my make up.  For me, happy is an inside job, and as long as I am breathing, I am happy, so I smile. 

As I peeled back layers and got to know the girl in the mirror, I realised that the key to every success we desire in life or in business hinges on knowing who we are.  A flashback to meeting Nelson Mandela reinforced this point, and my Sparkle equation was born.  Know who you are + Understand the value you bring to the table + Show up unapologetically on purpose.  I have discovered that when these elements are in alignment, magic happens, you stand out in the crowd, are magnetic to opportunities and become unforgettable.  Life has thrown me a curveball, but my Sparkle has made a way.  The essence of me is consistently alive and vibrant.  I am on a mission to help others discover their Sparkle so they show up on purpose with greater impact and influence.

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