Hand ’em a lens

Last week, I was very happy to attend Align It Live, the 3-day event in Las Vegas my coach, Darla LeDoux, hosted.

Align.panelSome of the beautiful truth-tellers in our mastermind group
sharing their stories on Darla’s success panel.


On the first morning, Darla showed a clip of Jared Leto accepting his Oscar in February. (Just click here to watch if you haven’t seen this). She asked what we concluded about the actor based on these 2 minutes of watching him. People volunteered that they determined he’s family-focused, smart, brave, calm, confident, and compassionate—someone they could trust and wanted to spend time with…

We loved him. The world loved him.

And we all made a lot of snap judgments about him, too.

As people always do.

Darla then said something that turned out to be
a game-changer for me:


“We don’t exist except for the lens
people see us through.”


A truth about our species: We’ve all got automatic and complicated lenses through which we view the world. This is not a bad thing… it’s a survival thing.

Climb down inside your ancestral self for a moment…

Your lens was a super-powerful and necessary tool. You had to rely on it to tell you who to trust and who to run from.  It helped discern quickly between “safe, known tribesperson” and “dangerous, unknown stranger.”

And today your lens still does just that. Your busy brain and gut are perpetually scanning the stranger’s shoes, smile, grimace, clothes, hair, body type, expression in eyes, posture, bumper stickers, signs of marital status,… Whew, right?

(And that’s even before she opens her mouth.)

Your lens shows you who to like and who to avoid… and who is your peer, teacher, or competitor.

Looking back at that Oscar speech, we can see where this whole idea gets meaty and interesting… especially for entrepreneurs like you who lead with your story.

Before we could really dive into all that judging, assessing and conclusion-drawing we do, Jared Leto handed us a lens.

That’s what you do when you share your story, too.

Your audience’s minds are going to start working like frantic squirrels trying to figure you out when you appear before them (whether on stage or online).

Looking through the lensSo, why not hand them a lens to help them see more quickly if you are their tribe?

One of the things I love about working with people on the theme of their story (what I call their Golden Thread) is that it gives them a lens that helps them look at their own life. So instead of seeing your life as this tangled line-up of random, tender, or embarrassing, when you look through the lens of your Golden Thread the anecdotes that are most effective to tell simply rise up and make themselves known.

Now for the game-changer. I see that the lens is not only for the storyteller…. It’s also for the audience.

Sure, people watching you are going to respond in their automatic way to your hair/shoes/car/hands/voice/sense of humor or _____(fill in blank).

But when you share your story masterfully, you may just over-ride that knee-jerk response to help them see the YOU that exists beyond their lens… and more importantly, how you connect with THEM and help them transform.


 Darla's masterminders

A few of us past and present masterminders.
All with big messages and new insights to share—it’s good not
everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Want to find your Golden Thread?

Email madeleine@inthewriteplace.com to schedule complimentary half-hour clarity session to start exploring.