How To Hone Your Power Message
I was first introduced to Brittany Packnett, a social activist in the Ferguson marches, at Blavity’s #Summit21 event in Atlanta. She hosted one of the workshops on the Impact Tract titled “Honing and Amplifying Your Power Message.” I took notes, as I always do, at these types of events because I believe there’s no sense in going if I can’t remember a damn thing that was said when I leave.
Anyhow, Ms. Packnett got my entire life together in roughly 30 minutes with her time on stage. I’d like to share my notes with you from Brittany’s presentation, my thoughts and reactions, and how I plan to implement her advice to hone my own power message.
“If you’re not in alignment with your purpose, your message doesn’t matter.” – Brittany Packnett
This hit home for me because I began my journey to "alignment" roughly two and a half years ago when I decided to see a therapist. I went because I was feeling a “blockage” of sorts where I felt like life had plateaued. I can’t really explain it, but I decided that an expert would help me figure out what this “blockage” was, how it was consciously and subconsciously affecting me and most importantly, how to remove it.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the first step leading me to understanding my purpose, my purpose to encourage people to pursue the best version of themselves through the growth mindset and implementing success habits so that they could, in turn, pursue the best versions of their lives. It was eventually leading me to my "power message."
I was getting aligned.
I think most people believe that alignment happens in a spark – that there’s this one moment in time where it just happens like *boom* and then you’re aligned with your purpose. That’s not the case. It’s a process and honestly, I believe it’s a lifelong process. We’ll always need alignment and realignment, and the journey itself is our "life chiropractor." But to get back to Brittany’s declaration, it doesn’t matter whether you believe it happens with a spark or over a lifetime, the reality is that the message you want to share with others won’t be heard if you’re not in alignment with YOUR purpose.
See, sometimes, we try to live other people’s purpose because it looks like it seems to be working out really well for them. They get to get up on big stages to speak, they have an army of followers, they make their own hours, they’re recognized by their peers as an expert, etc. and so we copy them.
The problem with living someone else’s purpose is that you have to wait for that person to make a move before you can make one. You must get in alignment with YOUR purpose so that you can share YOUR power message, a power message that is YOUR truth.
“Your power message has to be the truth and it has to be your TRUTH!” – Brittany Packnett
The most unfortunate thing about social media today is that you have to plow through so much bullshit on the internet to get to a truly, authentic message.
“Your message has to be more real than a platform.”
I love the story that Brittany shared of Oprah’s beginnings in television. When Oprah first got on the talk show scene, her biggest competitor was Phil Donahue. Phil’s show was controversial and sensationalistic, and Oprah believed she needed to be that way to get the ratings. It worked. Oprah got the ratings, but her soul became unsettled when one of her guests found out on live television, on her show no less, that her husband’s mistress was pregnant. This news crushed her guest.
She knew then that she had to use her platform for something bigger than humiliating and shattering the world of her guests. That is when “Live Your Best Life” Oprah was born and as they say in showbiz, the rest is history.
Your own power message has to be more real and more powerful than the platform you use to share it. And it may take some time to get to a clear power message. You may write it and then rewrite it, honing it until it reflects your absolute truth.
No one can argue that Oprah isn’t “living her best life.” Am I right or am I right?
YOUR GIFT AND YOUR TRUTH
“If you see the gap, that means you are purposed to fill it.” – Brittany Packnett
This was a very satisfying revelation. Oftentimes, we believe that because we can see a “gap” in something then others can too. No one saw the gap in the transportation industry quite like the founders of Uber or the gap in the hotel industry like the founders of AirBNB.
There is a gap in your industry that only you can see if only you will trust your gift in being able to see it. One of the barriers to trusting our ability to see a gap is the idea of “lack” and “scarcity.” We think that when we see it, everyone then sees it and so then there’s no need for us to pursue it. Another barrier is our confidence in being able to “fill the gap.” We think we can’t do it, and that maybe it’s already being done.
But that’s the furthest thing from the truth and from your truth. “Your truth is what you are uniquely positioned to tell.” If you’ve been following my Growth Mindset Shift Tips then you know that one of them is “scarcity doesn’t sell.” It basically means that if you don’t believe in your message and its need to be told then nobody else is going to “buy it.”
You are a unique individual no matter how average you may believe you are. Only you are living your life and only you have your perspective therefore only you can share your truth and your power message in your own way.
But again, in order for your message to matter and to be received well, Brittany suggests that you ask yourself these things before you tell it:
-Is it authentic? (is it really yours or a carbon copy of someone else’s power message)
-Is it responsible? (is it the truth…especially in a world of false news)
-Will it activate? (will those receiving your message take action because of it?)
-Is it accessible? (can as many people as possible understand your message?)
YOUR POWER MESSAGE HAS TO MOVE PEOPLE, LITERALLY.
What’s the point in sharing your power message if it isn’t going to get people to do anything?
Brittany knows that, “Your power message has to move people and it has to move them:
-to do good
-to do better”
I would imagine that Oprah would not have gotten as big as she is had she stayed on the Donahue path. Sensational, controversial topics entertain people, yes, but they don’t get them to actually do anything. So, what you end up doing is looking for the next big sensation because sensations have no lasting power.
But when your power message becomes “live your best life,” people are moved to do things that lead them on a path to living their best lives. They pick up books that will inspire them because you recommended it in your book club. They look to lead healthier lives because you share your truth of the battles you’ve faced on your weight loss journey. They vote because you share the impact that it really does have on incremental positive change. You get the gist, right?
When you are writing your power message as it relates to your purpose, make sure that it’s not full of fluff, that it’s your truth and that it encourages your people to do.
COMMITTED TO MY POWER MESSAGE
I love workshops with homework! At the end of her presentation, Brittany gave us 3 minutes to draft a power message. This was my first time doing this. Luckily, she said it could be a mess. She just instructed us to write...and if we thought we were done, to keep writing, using up the entire 3 minutes she allotted us to write out a power message. I’ll share what I wrote and show you the picture of it because it was truly a mess. But then something magical happened. That mess led me to my message. I had no idea what my power message was, I just kept doing as instructed and wrote what truthfully came to me. Here it is:
“You can change your mindset. You have control over your life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of giving the control and the blame to someone else. You are the victor. It’s easy to be the victim because then you don’t have to be responsible for your circumstances. Being the hero of your life takes real fucking work. It requires rejection, failure, the will to triumph and most times it’s thankless. BUT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE. Only you! Only you can control your life. You do this through your mindset. If your mindset is not set up to be the victor or the be the owner of your life, you CAN change your mindset. Everyone can. If one person can then any of us can.”
So, there it is.
Then we were given some time to share our power message with a partner who then was able to ask clarifying questions and offer feedback. Finally, we were told to commit to one thing as it related to our power message. My commitment?
To use my personal experiences as an example of how the growth mindset can greatly improve your life and how implementing success habits has had an effect on my own success because if it can work for me, it can work for anyone.
Oprah’s commitment to you is to encourage you to “live your best life.” My commitment to you is to encourage you to “be a light.”
P.S. If you want to hone your power message through the power of writing it down then I highly suggest JOINING my 21-day Journal Challenge. You’ll receive powerful journal prompts over the next 21 days that lead to developing a healthy relationship with your mind and thinking powerful thoughts. It’s free but most importantly, it’s effective.