Forge Your Own Path

I’ve always been a unicorn.

I built my company in 2007 and launched in 2008 (you know, the year the global economy came to a crashing halt – what timing!). So that was the year I gave birth to OnStage Leadership—talking about authenticity, vulnerability, purpose, and presence, and, of course, leadership—the year that changed my life.

To put this in perspective, Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, and Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, both came out in 2009, Brené Brown’s amazing TEDx talk came out in 2010, and Amy Cuddy’s TED talk in 2012 (and if you don’t know these people, you really, really should, so Google them and start following them now). Nobody else was having these conversations when I started. I was the weird one! These pioneers have made it possible to have these conversations on a much larger scale (and so people who read my work don’t think I’ve totally lost my mind).

But when I started a decade ago, it was an instinct. It was that quiet voice in my head that said, “This is important. This could make a difference. Try this.”

So often we feel like we need to look to others to validate our ideas, our path, and our worth. We wait to start something until we know for sure that it will work. But what I have learned is that sometimes our instincts can lead us in the most magical direction.

As author Diane Mariechild urges us, “trust that still small voice that says, This might work and I’ll try it.”

Don’t be afraid to follow your own path. It might just change your life.

©OnStage Leadership 


Kimberly Davis
Kimberly Davis
An expert on authentic leadership, Kimberly Davis shares her inspirational message of personal power, responsibility, and impact with organizations across the country and teaches leadership programs world-wide; most notably, her program “OnStage Leadership” which runs in NYC and Dallas, TX. Additionally, Kimberly teaches for Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Cox School of Business’s Executive Education Program's Transformational Leadership Program and their Latino Leadership Initiative. She is also privileged to teach for the Bush Institute’s WE Lead Program (empowering female leaders from the Middle East). Kimberly is a TEDx speaker and her book, Brave Leadership: Unleash Your Most Confident, Authentic, and Powerful Self to Get the Results You Need, is the 2019 winner of the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Business and Career; an Amazon Bestseller in Business Leadership, Business Motivation, and Self-Improvement, and Motivational Business Management; and was named as the number one book to read in Inc. Magazine’s “The 12 Most Impactful Books to Read in 2018,” with a cover-endorsement by best-selling author Daniel Pink.

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  1. Nobody knows better than ourselves what we need and what we really want from life. We all have a kind of “inner signaller” who in every occasion knows what is best for us. Following one’s instincts is fundamental; of course, it is always right, in some cases, to listen to the advice of friends, family or professionals but in the end we must always decide based on our intuitions. Going against our intuitions is like denying our nature; the fact of indulging them, however, makes us a happy and completely satisfied person. We therefore always follow the heart and do only what is best for us. Only in this way can we live a life to the fullest and, above all, on our terms.
    For our personal evolution we should be immediate, spontaneous, intuitive. Agree with our underwater world, in tune with our instinct, that set of emotions, thrusts, passions, information that knows a lot about us, our needs and our desires. Which can show us the direction to achieve us.

  2. Kimberly, you never fail to inspire: “But what I have learned is that sometimes our instincts can lead us in the most magical direction.” We just have to be brave enough to follow them. I am firm believer in the energy of the universe. I think it shows us all the time “This is the direction.” We’re often not looking, though. We’re distracted by a multitude of other things — often material things or “entertainment.”

    We rarely pause and watch and listen.

    The other night, a HUGE hawk descended right to railing of our balcony while my wife and I were debriefing the day. It flew off to a multi-story garage nearby, turned and looked at us, and let out that piercing cry that only hawks and eagles do. My wife told a friend of hers the story, and was told this: “Having a hawk in your life means that you should become a key observer. Seeing hawks means that you are on the right path in life, and your spirit animal is there to make sure you keep on this path. … The hawk will help you to gain confidence and realize that you have great potential to take initiative and see your goals and dreams through to the end.” When hearing this, my willingness and intent to observe for signals around me increased 10-fold. And so many things have been falling into place….

  3. Kimberly – no wonder I love so much about you. Standing the thing on its head – if you don’t get validation, if you don’t get approval, if you don’t have people jumping up and down at your idea – guess what? Your idea might be just what the world needs. We all need more Kimberly Davis – and to think that I count among my friends – you, who blazed this trail, and the forerunner to LinkedIn locals and meeting beyond the keyboard – Sarah Elkins. Good on “da boat of you’s!”

    • LOL, Tom! I really need to woo you away from that church and hire you to be my PR person! I so appreciate your rose-colored glasses when it comes to me. You always make me feel so special. Thank you for your kindness and friendship. I cherish you!

  4. Thank you for publishing this piece, Dennis. When I think of how much has changed since that time and how many remarkable people are participating in this conversation, which, back then, was a fools-errand, it blows my mind. This was a good reminder to me that change is possible (since you know all that is whirling about my head this morning, this was a welcome insight!). I appreciate you and all you do!

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