The Brush is in Your Hand

(First appeared in WRAL Techwire.)

Amy Sherald, the artist who painted Michelle Obama’s Smithsonian portrait said, “It comes down to painting the work I want to see exist in the world.”

Friends, we are less than 48 hours from the start of a new year and I want to remind you that the brush is in your hand. If 2021 was not everything you imagined, think of January 1st as a factory reset. If you built momentum last year and are closer to reaching an important milestone, January 1st might be the home stretch. Either way, in two days we start with a blank canvas. Now is the time to create what you want to see exist in the world.  

Last week, I encouraged you to embrace your wanderlust and offered seven steps to help you set up for a breakthrough year. This week, let’s go deeper and address the possibility that when you allow your mind to wander, you might get stuck or feel a little lost.


And you’re in good company. Every day I help high-performing women envision their next big, bold, beautiful chapter. And like any good confidence coach worth her salt, we start at the beginning, with a blank canvas.

Today, I want to share a few thought exercises my clients dig into before we work together. They are reflective and personal and reveal insights that help you course correct and get unstuck. So, if you’re game, protect an hour of your time this week and walk through them. Leave your title and role on the shelf and have some real talk with yourself.

*Bonus round: talk through this with a trusted friend and ask them to synthesize what they heard.

  1.  When you think about your work, what gives you life? What drains you?
  2.  What activities do you enjoy without getting bored or tired?
  3.  If you stepped into a room full of family or friends what topic would they expect you to go all in on? What lights you up?
  4.  If you could trade lives with anyone, who would it be, and why would you choose to make the trade?
  5.  If you didn’t have a job and didn’t need to ‘work’, how would you fill those hours?
  6.  What do you want your legacy to be?

Like any artist about to put the brush to canvas, you’ll need to be in touch with your truth. What would make 2022 a masterpiece? What will make this year different?

Ask yourself, is it time for a change? Do you need to invite more joy into your day-to-day? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but you do.

Remember: you are the artist. And you get to choose what vision you want to bring to life. Is it enough to rinse and repeat last year’s creation? Or is this the year you’ll be brighter, bolder and more true to you?

The brush is in your hand!


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