“If you want to go FAST, go alone. If you want to go FAR, go together” – African proverb. Our ability to connect has never been more important. In times of challenge and change the ability to connect has never been more essential for us to navigate the uncertainties and MO’ve from a place of just surviving to showing up and thriving through the experiences we encounter. Learning the art of connecting will be your “superpower” from now on and make you a hero and staunch champion in the new era and serve and support you through whatever you are stepping into. “The Power of Connection” was the theme for the inaugural canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series–which I am so proud and grateful to be part of on August 14 and 15. The first two days of the virtual series brought together 2,000 of our members of the canfitpro community online to learn and to be together. In the following blog post I will share with you my key takeaways on how to make the power of connection your superpower. These takeaways fall into three principal methods which are: connecting with yourself, connecting with others, and connecting with something BIGGER.
1. Connecting with Yourself
Before you can connect with others, you must connect with yourself and who you are first. This will require some introspection and developing self-awareness, and it all begins with knowing your WHY. This is the MO’st important step in your journey and what will initiate your MO’vement and generate MO’mentum towards your dreams and goals. When you know your WHY, the way will appear and shine a light on your true authentic purpose so that you can show up as a more brilliant, authentic, and powerful version of yourself. Your WHY brings intention to your actions and shifts you from the mindless “doing” into a state of being which is more authentic, inspiring, and empowering. Ask yourself: “What gets me out of bed in the morning?”, “What drives me?”.
Knowing your WHY gives you a greater connection to yourself and your reason for being. Your WHY is your unique superpower which will help you comprehend and connect with who you are and who you want to be better and knowing that and that knowledge will help you show up and connect with others in a more authentic way. Do you know your WHY? If perhaps you don’t start with answering the following two questions “Why makes me passionate?” “If there were no boundaries or limitations what would I be doing and why?” Articulate this second answer in a statement beginning with “I exist to (fill in the rest with a statement that describes how you serve the world living passionately in alignment with your purpose)” For example, “I exist to positively influence women worldwide”.
2. Connecting with Others
Although this year’s canfitpro eventshave had to shift to online, we are still finding ways to connect with each other. This transformation in platform and delivery is a true testament to the strength and resiliency that resides within the fitness industry. We showed through making this MO’ve that nothing can keep us apart! Connecting with others is super powerful. Why? A key factor to resiliency is the strength and depth of our relationships and that comes back to connection. Furthermore, resilient people respond. They feel a sense of agency, or rather have a feeling that they are creating and owning their life.
Recognizing each other’s successes and greatness and the contributions we and others make in our industry is important as a way to connect with others. Celebrating our accomplishments and achievements lifts us up and is an inspiring not only to the one being recognized but to others. This is builds positive MO’mentum for all. One of my favourite moments is the closing ceremonies in August where we give out the Fitness Professional of the Year awards. The winners this year are Tony Felgueiras–for Fitness Instructor Specialist–and Ruby Smith Diaz–for Personal Training Specialist. Both fitness professionals have incredible stories, and they have made enormous contributions to improve the lives of Canadians.
To tie this all together, I am reminded of what another speaker for the event–Dr. Rumeet Billan– she spoke about her research on “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. This was one of the featured session within canfitpro’s Women Who Influence Track. Dr. Billan’s research focuses specifically on resiliency and on the destructive effects of the Tall Poppy Syndrome of how cutting one another down in workplaces is affecting productivity, workplace culture and the wellbeing of employees. The behaviour and repercussions of Tall Poppy Syndrome create a culture of distrust resulting in disengagement and destroying our connection with others. In response to this, and to help rebuild workplace culture, Dr. Billan encouraged us to lead by example, develop awareness for yourself and others. So how can we connect with each other and lift each other up and acknowledge one another more, rather than cut each other down? This is what will nurture and allow deeper levels of connection with other to flourish.
3. Connecting with Something BIGGER
In these first two days of the canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series, we appreciated the importance of belonging to something greater than ourselves and realized the difference we can make as a fitness community. Furthermore, we realized that the power of connection is not only about coming together to see one another, but it is also about strengthening convictions in our potential and ability to make meaningful contributions by investing in ourselves and our knowledge, skills and experiences as fitness professionals. Having a cause to care about and contributing – of any size, means or amount – is critical. When we contribute to a vision and a mission together that goes far beyond the individual bonds and transcends into a collective endeavour – that is infinitely more powerful and inspiring than we can imagine. This is the power of connecting to something BIGGER than ourselves and is a force and superpower we have for creating change in the world. The closing keynote “UNSINKABLE: Building Resilience and Courage in a Changing World” delivered by Silken Laumann, four-time Canadian Olympian, was a very fitting and compelling to remind us of this. Silken has made many contributions to Canada and championed many initiatives and causes to unite and support fellow Canadians. I am incredibly inspired and deeply respect Silken’s latest initiative called Unsinkable which is a story-sharing platform. In her keynote, Silken spoke of how we all have a story and nobody’s story is more important than the others. Contributing our story takes courage, but in doing so you are sharing an authentic part of you and brings immense value to your contribution. As we connect with each other through our stories, it reminds us that we are all going through these challenging times together. This is a truly universal experience we are having, and we need to connect with one another to get through it. It is the power of connection that will keep us resilient and make us unsinkable. The Unsinkable platform resounds with the power of connection and I hope that it will continue to grow and thrive with the help, support, and contribution from more Canadians! To learn more about the unsinkable platform, their important mission and vision, to read some remarkable stories and to support, go to https://weareunsinkable.com/. Please support this cause my friends as this will give you a greater sense of personal “superpower”.
The power of connection is within, amongst and surrounds all of us. Our future depends upon the relationships we can forge and how we can build and maintain those relationships. This is a superpower that we can all use and tap into. When we choose to use that superpower, it will strengthen us and make us more resilient. How will you show up and serve, harnessing your unique gifts and talents and contribute as a leader in the different roles in your life now that you have this knowledge and insight? One last thing, the canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series story is not over yet! There are still three events left in 2020 which you can be part of: September 19, October 17, and November 14. For more information and to register, go to: https://www.canfitpro.com/convention-2020/. Check out the great deal and discount for signing up for the ALL ACCESS PASS which gives you access to all three session dates as a deep discount and receive recordings from sessions post event!