Name Leslie McDaniel
Random question: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Have you ever made one of those crayons from melting together broken and mostly-used up crayons? That’s what I would be: a new, multi-colored crayon made up of all the past decisions, experiences, pivots, and insights that have brought me to this point. I recently heard someone lament that their best years were behind them. I disagree, and this is the reason I’d be this newly created crayon. Our best years are always ahead of us because we get to create them. Even when things don’t go how we’d hoped, we can create something beautiful and new from the mess.
Are you a bold introvert? Have you always been one? I do think other people see me as bold, although being bold doesn’t come easily to me. As I’ve gotten older and gained more experience in stepping into the unknown, my boldness has grown. Not long ago a friend pointed out all the ways I’ve boldly stepped into the unknown to go after my dreams. She pointed out that I always gain any knowledge or skills I need to accomplish my goals. That moment helped me recognize boldness in areas of my life I had previously written off as just doing what needed to be done. So even though I’ve gradually become more bold over time, she helped me see myself through the lens of boldness.
What do you do? In addition to writing a weekly email for INFJ women called The INFJ Life, I’m a certified professional coach who helps INFJ women bring their vision to life. Through the empowering process of coaching, my clients identify beliefs that may be holding them back from seeing their vision happen. This process brings new insights about how to move forward. I also use my knowledge and experience as an MBTI®-certified practitioner to help my clients gain a deep understanding of their personality and celebrate their unique strengths. Both of these things are invaluable in making a vision a reality. The process of coaching is different than advice-giving. It’s much, much more powerful. Coaching brings insights that neither of us could come up with on our own. When I help other INFJ women move forward toward their vision of making a difference in the lives of others, I know I’m also helping them live a more fulfilled, connected, and meaningful life. That, in a nutshell, is my vision.
What are you most proud of? I’ll be honest: I struggle with the word “proud.” Through my own journey of self-understanding and acceptance, I’ve learned how important it is to recognize my accomplishments. I encourage my clients to do the same. This helps us increase our motivation and maintain a forward momentum. As I’m writing this, I believe this is the thing I’m most proud of. I’ve come to a deep understanding of my own value. I’ve discovered that this inner “knowing” is critical to all the other things I want in life. This includes a deeper connection with others, confidence in my abilities, and meaningful and fulfilling work.
Do you feel that your personality trait has helped you achieve your goals? My personality type is what drives my goals, so I do believe it has also helped me achieve them. My goals have always been oriented around inspiring and encouraging others. My personality drives me to do things differently and to innovate. It’s future-focused and motivated by helping others in ways that impact them far beyond the present moment. This is the way I’m wired. These things are like breathing to me, and I must have that next breath.
What advice do you have for introverts that are worried about chasing their dreams? Making your vision happen is not easy. Pursuing this dream can cause you to come face-to-face with your deepest fears. So if you’re interested in developing as a person and becoming the best version of yourself, pursuing your vision is an amazing vehicle to get you to a new level. Which would you rather feel: the pain you feel now of not chasing your dreams, or the pain you might experience on the journey to your dream? You simply can’t avoid pain in your life, and you’re stronger than you think. You can prove that to yourself today. Just take one small step forward. Then evaluate. Then take another step or two forward. Keep repeating the process and before you know it, you’ll be on your way. You will gain confidence and knowledge with every single step. I’ve been paralyzed by fear, perfectionism, and insecurity and yet I find myself as this beautiful new crayon, making my mark on the world in ways I never knew possible. You, too, are becoming a new crayon. So go ahead—make your mark on that fresh piece of paper that we call “today.”
Leslie is a certified professional coach who helps INFJ women bring their vision to life. She believes that few things are more powerful than someone at ease with her strengths, gifts, and quirks as she confidently lives out her purpose. With a unique combination of creative skills and experience, Leslie brings a multi-perspective approach to helping others with the accountability and support they need to move forward. Her knowledge as an MBTI®-certified practitioner helps INFJ women understand their personality, celebrate their strengths, and claim their potential. Leslie serves other INFJ women through individual coaching and her weekly email, The INFJ Life.
You can find out more about Leslie over at www.lesliemcdaniel.com