Dolly Parton: Life Coach

Dolly Parton once famously said, “Figure out who you are and do it on purpose.”

Wise words, those.  If there was ever a woman who figured out who she was and did it on purpose — and damned unapologetically I might add — it was Dolly Parton. That advice beckons us to obey as if they were out of the mouth of an expert life coach.

But, unlike Dolly, most of us spend our time shoehorning ourselves into other people’s definition of success in pursuit of the gold stars they may deem us worthy of receiving.  And, then we measure our worth based upon our haul.  What a load of crap that is, and we have no one but ourselves to blame.

So, what can we do about it?  For starters, we can have an honest conversation with ourselves about who we are and when we are at our best.  Being someone else’s idea of your success makes you a lesser version of yourself, but striving for your own definition will compel you to be more.

Given the choice between lesser and more, I pick more every time.  Dolly sure knows how to be more: more sequins, more makeup, more silicone, more acrylic, more latex, more of whatever is in those wigs (shudder).  This is who she is, and she is living into it with every fiber (natural or not) of her being.  And, look how many gold stars (and gold records) she’s, ahem, racked up.

But, what’s that you say?  You can be all the “more” you want and sometimes it falls flat?  The “more” version of you was told to shush in class, to follow orders at work, to be a team player?  You have started to shrink rather than grow?  Well, that, my friend, is simply a matter of picking the right stage on which to perform.

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About Laura

Laura helps innovators, idealists, and iconoclasts get “unstuck” — and achieve extraordinary results.

Laura speaks with change agents, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders, and donors to get them past the doubt and indecision that consign their great ideas to limbo. She delivers strategic thinking, well-honed wisdom, and catalytic perspective informed by decades of navigating change across the start-up, nonprofit, political, and philanthropic landscapes.

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