Even Oprah had to become Oprah. Meaning she struggled to find her voice and her power just like rest of us.
The difference is she did it and she kept working to grow and grow and grow herself until one day she was Oprah -the fully actualized, comfortable–in-her-own-skin, Oprah.
When you look at the actualized Oprah compared to the Oprah first coming onto the scene you might not be able to pin point exactly what’s different. There are obvious things like better hair, better clothes, and better story lines. But aside from that there is a quality to Oprah that has changed over the last 25-30 years.
In the video clip below you can see a side-by -side comparison of Oprah the day her show went national and 25 years later when her show was winding to an end. What is the difference? This is something I’ve been obsessed with as someone who has struggled to feel comfortable having a voice and truly stepping into my power.
At the 1:21 minute mark in the video you see her early show and you can tell that she is bubbly and upbeat and has a great speaking voice and she is not fumbling her words but there is a quality to her that makes me feel less comfortable than the later Oprah.
I kept wondering what that thing was, what is it that makes me less comfortable? Was it the feathered hair, or the oversized shoulder pads? Was it the tiny audience that she was trying to make look larger? Eventually, it hit me. She was uncomfortable. She was unsure of her message and unsure of what the audience would respond to. She was spending a lot of energy thinking about pleasing her audience and the television viewers.
All of this apparent in the overly high-pitched tone, her neck pulling towards the camera, her eyebrows being elevated and her smile that never relaxed. She isn’t comfortable in her own body.
Not that entertainers shouldn’t think about their audience’s experience but what is more comfortable for an audience is that whoever they are watching is having a good experience and thus taking care of yourself and enjoying yourself makes the audience have a better time.
As Oprah became Oprah, she shared more of her authentic self with her audience and they began to feel as though they knew her like a personal friend. (I know I did. I spent many afternoons with the Oprah show crying, laughing, and literally feeling like I had just hung out with a friend.) Oprah gave herself permission to matter and not view that as a selfish act but as a lesson to us all to matter. That when we take care of ourselves the people around us become more peaceful and have permission to take care of themselves and follow their passions. She became the peace in the room and you could feel it in your own living room.
So, who are you? What do you want to communicate to the world? Get really centered around answering this question and before you know it you will be the peace that enters the room.