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Learning how to feel like Wonder Woman

Success Coach Diane Consolino has her audience adopt a Wonder Woman-like “power stance” to get them feeling confident at the Power Your Potential Women’s Conference.

(ROCKWALL, TX — October 3, 2017) Last Thursday, September 28, I had the opportunity to attend the Power Your Potential Women’s Conference hosted by the Professional Women’s Alliance. Each of the speakers, which included author Ellen Miller, a panel of financial experts, and Success Coach Diane Consolino, provided their unique perspective on how to embody the spirit of a modern-day Wonder Woman.

Ellen, who has published two devotional books specifically for women and regularly updates subscribers with her “Truth Nugget” blog, opened the conference by speaking on the unsuspected power found in vulnerability. In order to begin the path to achieving our long-term goals, she says we must first be honest with ourselves and others about what we need or lack. By reaching out to other women in our personal network, we can all become stronger by helping each other in turn.

Author Ellen Miller (left) offered signed copies of her books for purchase to guests of the Power Your Potential Women’s Conference hosted by the Professional Women’s Alliance on Sept. 28.

She demonstrated this principle by inviting audience members up on stage to be brutally honest. The first time, it was lighthearted. “Who needs a pedicure really badly?” she asked the crowd. One of the women who admitted her feet could use a little pampering was rewarded with a $100 gift card for a mani-pedi. The next opportunities were more serious: “Who is dealing with a complicated work problem?” and “Who is working to become financially independent?” Two of the audience members who were brave enough to raise their hands and come up to the stage were rewarded with a free pair of Nike shoes for long, contemplative walks and a $100 bill coupled with a book on personal finance.

Ellen’s good-natured personality and use of generosity to illustrate her talking points made such a positive impression on me, I marched over and bought two signed copies of one of her devotional books. One now sits on my nightstand, and the other was a gift for my mom.

The panel of financial experts followed Ellen, each with a specific concentration in ways that women can take charge of their own finances. Sheila Johnson spoke on the benefits of having a financial advisor who can guide you toward your goals. She explained how she had a financial awakening at a young age when she realized she had debt without any assets, and felt like she had no value in the financial world. She committed herself to financial freedom and honed her expertise as a result of that turning point.

From the left: Lou Johnson, Katie Brewer and Sheila Johnson each spoke on ways women can take charge of their finances at the Power Your Potential Women’s Conference hosted by the Professional Women’s Alliance.

Katie Brewer, the creator of Your Richest Life, spoke on financial planning at various stages of life. She divided a person’s financial journey into three age categories: early career (20s-30s), middle age (40s-50s), and old age (60s-70s). As a newlywed and a recent college graduate, I found Katie’s advice helpful and insightful. She expressed that most people start considering their financial planning more seriously later in life, when they are thinking about saving toward retirement, but that it is imperative to build good habits early on. She said the lack of readily available information on personal finance planning for young professionals was the inspiration for her company Your Richest Life.

Lou Johnson focused on financial matters after death, and the importance of creating and updating a written will. Her information surprised and enlightened me on a subject I hadn’t thought about much previously. At the end of their presentations, all three members of the financial panel answered questions form the audience.

The final speaker was dynamic Diane Consolino. Diane began with a personal narrative about her own journey from self-doubt to confidence. She compared the way children are raised: boys to be boys, girls to be “perfect.” She attributes this early mindset that we are expected to be polite, complacent, and capable at all costs to our lack of faith in ourselves professionally when we feel that we fail to measure up. Men, she asserts, are trained early on that it is okay to make mistakes. Women, on the other hand, set unrealistic expectations for themselves and beat themselves up for being anything less than perfect. We let ourselves be interrupted and overlooked, even when our thoughts have value. Diane challenged each of us to give ourselves credit when it is due. She taught us how to walk into a room like we own it, and she showed the audience a “power stance” that actually triggers your brain to feel more confident. Interestingly enough, the power stance resembles a cartoon image of Wonder Woman herself.

I found Diane’s presentation so encouraging. I believe that women are often overlooked professionally, taken less seriously because we do not always have the willpower to exude confidence and inspire respect. But the change begins within: we have to work hard when we are passionate about our goals, feel deserving of confidence and respect, and sometimes give ourselves a break when it is warranted.

My time at the conference was well-spent, and I hope to carry the wisdom I garnered there forward with me in my professional life.

The Professional Women’s Alliance is a committee of the Rockwall Area Chamber of Commerce that will empower and unite women through business and community events. Membership is open to local professional women. To learn more about this organization, visit www.rockwallchamber.org/pwa.

Story and photos by Julie Anne Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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