Raise your hand if you were told that hard work was valuable when you were growing up—me too!
While this well meaning mantra of "work hard and you'll be successful" was great for teaching discipline and commitment, it's time to understand that working hard won't get you what you want (and what will instead).
Don't believe me?
How many times have you sat in front of your computer for 12 hours, only to walk away with half finished projects or feeling like you were no further ahead when you stood up than when you began?
And how many times have you been at the movies, in the bathtub, or doing something non-work related that gave you a business altering insight that when you sat down to process it, somehow you churned out a week's worth of work in three hours?
This is the difference between working with or working against your energetic blueprint.
Hard work will only take you so far, and it creates more stress, conflict, and tension than necessary along the way that can actually set you back in your business. If you want to truly slay your goals in 2020, it's time to learn how to work with your energetic blueprint. Because success comes from aligned action—not hard work.
Identifying Your Primary Energetic Type
There are four primary energetic types: The Maven, The Dreamer, The Strategist, and The Professor. Like astrology, you have a primary archetype that will make up most of how you show up in the world, with sprinkles of other archetypes to keep things interesting. Knowing your primary energetic archetype alone will bring you further into alignment so that the actions you take in your business are meaningful and move the needle.
Here's a breakdown of each archetype to help you identify which one you most relate to.
This energetic archetype is who influencers dream of being when they grow up. This archetype is the star of the show in their business and rocks out their authentic expertise. Think Oprah Winfrey, Mel Robbins, Lori Grenier, and Shay Mitchell. Mavens know that their success comes from taking center stage, being willing to leap before they're ready, and sharing both their story and the causes they stand behind with their audience. Mavens are true leaders, and they're dedicated to the people they serve. Strong, honest, and willing to make the tough calls, Mavens are able to build empires that last generations when they're in alignment.
If you're a Maven, watch out for being too hard on yourself. You likely know that you're special (and the rest of the world can see it too), but just because you're a unicorn doesn't mean that you should be further along by now. Your archetype is your potential, and only you can write your destiny. So share your story, take your rightful place on stage, and build a team that can support you with all of the things. But remember, your team is there to support you. Because you have a tendency to be too hard on yourself, that can extend to your team. Remember, when you push your support system away, they can't help you when you fall—and everybody falls sometimes.
The Dreamers are the seers of the world. Think Brene Brown, Gabby Bernstein, Vera Wang, and Sara Blakely. They are connected to emotions, experiences, and the infinite well of possibilities more so than any other energetic archetype, which is what fuels their inspiration and creativity. Dreamers see the whole puzzle when the rest of the world sees fragmented pieces, half of which are turned upside down and scattered under the table. They connect the dots and find solutions where others may only spin their wheels in problems. Dreamers often have creative and artistic businesses, such as copywriters, fashion designers, photographers, or branding experts, but they also can be inventors, visionaries, and social media managers.
If you're a Dreamer, you need more structure than any other energetic archetype to stay in alignment. When you're out of alignment, you're waiting for inspiration to strike. But your gift isn't inspiration—it's tapping into the creative flow on demand. When you wait for inspiration, you surrender the most authentic piece of you to the unknown, creating more hardship than there needs to be. While structure can often make you feel suffocated, it's the key to your freedom.
The energetic archetype of The Strategist is crucial for human and business evolution. Without The Strategist, people would often be left in squalor and turmoil, because it's The Strategist who is able to see the solutions and opportunities in impossible problems. Think Melinda Gates, Mary Barra, Sheryl Sandberg, and Gina Rodriguez. Whether it's a humanitarian effort, building an empire, or solving a world crisis, Strategists are able to see the many possibilities, outcomes, and solutions that evade others. What separates Strategists from Dreamers is that Strategists are able to see step-by-step plans in clear and pragmatic ways, so they can enlist help, delegate tasks, and create forward movement.
If you're a Strategist, you are more likely to struggle with being seen (visibility issues, anyone?). You're also likely to get frustrated and stall your decisions if you can't see the whole solution from the get go. Don't let this halt your business. Remember, forward movement can bring other variables into focus that will help you find the right solution, which would be impossible to see otherwise. It's easy for you to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders because many people come to rely on you for the answers to their problems. While this can be lucrative for you in business, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood when you're out of alignment.
The Professor archetype is equal parts student, teacher, and changemaker. They desire to make a difference in the world, and they spend an immense amount of time learning skills, methodologies, and information that they believe will help them be more effective in helping others. Think Emma Watson, Peggy Whitson, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, and Farnoosh Torabi. When Professors are in alignment, they're epically curious and bring that passion for learning to their clients. When Professors are excited to share, their audience is excited to receive. Professors are able to take information and assimilate it into their being more effectively than any of the other archetypes. This means that they go beyond the information phase and create a practice from the insights they learn.
If you're a Professor, it's important to remember that alignment isn't about feeling ready for you. Your curious nature will consistently make you feel unready to go out and teach others. There will always be another certification or degree to get. There will always be more studies to conduct. But if you spend your life preparing to serve, you don't actually get there and the people you would have helped are starved in the process. Put yourself out there and go for it. The world needs you.
Are You Misaligned or Learning?
Learning your primary energetic archetype is the first step in taking aligned action. But there's a huge elephant in the room that needs to be addressed—learning the difference between being out of alignment and experiencing a learning curve.
Your energetic archetype is there to help you understand how you show up best in the world and your business. If you want to accomplish your goals, your archetype is a great way to see potential potholes and avoid some of the problems that can happen before they pop up. Keep in mind, that being in alignment doesn't mean everything is going to be smooth sailing.
Think about it like this. You've got a puzzle laid out over the table. You've got most of it together, and you have this piece in your hand that you know belongs in this particular section. You try it one way, and it doesn't fit. You turn it—no go. You turn it again—blast! You try one more time (even though it doesn't look quite right), and BAM! Success!
This happens in your business all of the time because you're learning new skills, perspectives, and strategies. So you want to make sure that you have a process to check for your alignment according to your archetype. If you're showing up in your strengths and you're not resisting your weaknesses, then you're likely just learning. When you're in a learning phase, this is when you get outside help to guide you through the process.
This next year is all about building your business and crafting your success from alignment. The harder you work and the more you resist, the harder it will be to make (and keep!) money. Part of slaying your goals in 2020 is coming up with an alignment plan so that you can stay in your primary archetypal energy. That's where you'll work smarter, not harder. In that space, you'll be able to see where you need support and what you've already mastered.
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With so many groundbreaking medical advances being revealed to the world every single day, you would imagine there would be some advancement on the plethora of many female-prevalent diseases (think female cancers, Alzheimer's, depression, heart conditions etc.) that women are fighting every single day.
For Anna Villarreal and her team, there frankly wasn't enough being done. In turn, she developed a method that diagnoses these diseases earlier than traditional methods, using a pretty untraditional method in itself: through your menstrual blood.
Getting from point A to point B wasn't so easy though. Villarreal was battling a disease herself and through that experience. “I wondered if there was a way to test menstrual blood for female specific diseases," she says. "Perhaps my situation could have been prevented or at least better managed. This led me to begin researching menstrual blood as a diagnostic source. For reasons the scientific and medical community do not fully understand, certain diseases impact women differently than men. The research shows that clinical trials have a disproportionate focus on male research subjects despite clear evidence that many diseases impact more women than men."
There's also no denying that gap in women's healthcare in clinical research involving female subjects - which is exactly what inspired Villarreal to launch her company, LifeStory Health. She says that, “with my personal experience everything was brought full circle."
“There is a challenge and a need in the medical community for more sex-specific research. I believe the omission of females as research subjects is putting women's health at risk and we need to fuel a conversation that will improve women's healthcare.,"
Her brand new biotech company is committed to changing the women's healthcare market through technology, innovation and vocalization and through extensive research and testing. She is working to develop the first ever, non-invasive, menstrual blood diagnostic and has partnered with a top Boston-area University on research and has won awards from The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Northeastern University's RISE.
How does it work exactly? Proteins are discovered in menstrual blood that can quickly and easily detect, manage and track diseases in women, resulting in diseases that can be earlier detected, treated and even prevented in the first place. The menstrual blood is easy to collect and since it's a relatively unexplored diagnostic it's honestly a really revolutionary concept, too.
So far, the reactions of this innovative research has been nothing but excitement. “The reactions have been incredibly positive." she shares with SWAAY. “Currently, menstrual blood is discarded as bio waste, but it could carry the potential for new breakthroughs in diagnosis. When I educate women on the lack of female subjects used in research and clinical trials, they are surprised and very excited at the prospect that LifeStory Health may provide a solution and the key to early detection."
To give a doctor's input, and a little bit more of an explanation as to why this really works, Dr. Pat Salber, MD, and Founder of The Doctor Weighs In comments: “researchers have been studying stem cells derived from menstrual blood for more than a decade. Stem cells are cells that have the capability of differentiating into different types of tissues. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. Adult stem cells have a more limited differentiation potential, but avoid the ethical issues that have surrounded research with embryonic stem cells. Stem cells from menstrual blood are adult stem cells."
These stem cells are so important when it comes to new findings. “Stem cells serve as the backbone of research in the field of regenerative medicine – the focus which is to grow tissues, such as skin, to repair burn and other types of serious skin wounds.
A certain type of stem cell, known as mesenchymal stem cells (MenSCs) derived from menstrual blood has been found to both grow well in the lab and have the capability to differentiate in various cell types, including skin. In addition to being used to grow tissues, their properties can be studied that will elucidate many different aspects of cell function," Dr. Salber explains.
To show the outpour of support for her efforts and this major girl power research, Villarreal remarks, “women are volunteering their samples happily report the arrival of their periods by giving samples to our lab announcing “de-identified sample number XXX arrived today!" It's a far cry from the stereotype of when “it's that time of the month."
How are these collections being done? “Although it might sound odd to collect menstrual blood, plastic cups have been developed to use in the collection process. This is similar to menstrual products, called menstrual cups, that have been on the market for many years," Dr. Salber says.
Equally shocking and innovative, this might be something that becomes more common practice in the future. And according to Dr. Salber, women may be able to not only use the menstrual blood for early detection, but be able to store the stem cells from it to help treat future diseases. “Companies are working to commercialize the use of menstrual blood stem cells. One company, for example, is offering a patented service to store menstrual blood stem cells for use in tissue generation if the need arises."