For years, I’ve been in love with the word “transformative.” It was the best word I knew to describe what I witnessed in resilient kids and adults. Once they began to see themselves differently and tell a new story, they were transformed!

Truth be told, maybe I was wishing for my own transformation, as well!

But I was wrong. It came to me on a dog walk (when most of my “aha” moments come), while listening to Jonathon Fields’ interview Geneen Roth, author of This Messy Magnificent Life and When Food is Love. They got into a discussion about the difference between transformation, in which something (or someone) transforms into something else, and liberation, in which something (or someone) is freed to become fully what it is.

That’s what I saw last weekend at the Aligning Boldly retreat. No one became someone else, they were simply liberated to be who they are! The feeling in the room wasn’t one of change, but of liberation.

Same for the legions of “transformations” I’ve witnessed over the years. I’d often say, “you can only become what you already are,” then I’d contradict that by talking about transformation.

And I certainly know from my own circuitous, extraordinary life journey, that the challenge wasn’t to become something else (as often as I might have wanted that!), but to allow myself to be me!

To be liberated from our old stories and habits of thought, and to be liberated to be seen in the world for who we are; this is what it means to be awake, alive and inspired.

Phew! Glad I got that straight. Now, where is that “find and replace” command on my website?


Are you showing up as you intended? Strengths in Focus helps formal and informal leaders, teachers and change-makers like you cut through the clutter to remember who you are so you can inspire as you intended.