OWN Your ImageHow to come into your OWN is a discovery process with many moving parts.  Allowing those parts to move in sync and strategically carry out the evolutionary process of embracing oneself, for better or for worse is a journey.  It is up to our choices how we connect with our introspective self to tap into the OWNership process.

To OWN something we must first process a trans-action (conjunction). Below are definitions that shed light on the initial process of OWNership; referencing http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/action?s=t:


a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin ( transcend; transfix  ); on this model, used with the meanings “across,” “beyond,” “through,” “changing thoroughly,” “transverse,” in combination with elements of any origin.



The process or state of acting or of being active: The machine is not in action now.


Something done or performed; act; deed.


An act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity: a crisis that demands action instead of debate; hoping for constructive action by the landlord.


Actions, habitual or usual acts; conduct: He is responsible for his actions.


Energetic activity: a man of action.
Operative words, thought, deeds, actions, move you toward OWNing many aspects of your life, property, feelings, business…in fact…we automatically OWN all things in varying levels of OWNership…the question is…do we “take responsibility for our OWNership?”  You can OWN a house and neglect essential repairs and it will eventually decrease in value and may be declared unfit, seized by the state and torn down due to the irresponsibility of you, the OWNer in terms of maintenance.  Thus with any possession we are required to take responsibility to see the best result come to fruition and remain active after production.
Beginning discovery of ownership is often time-consuming, exhilarating, hopeful, stressful and joyful simultaneously!  Welcome each aspect of the journey as drops of wisdom.   Every gray hair as a lesson learned.  Every wrinkle as a road traveled that left you with a story to tell.  Every bump in the road as a part of the joy-ride! 
Use the concepts in this written transformation to confirm your transaction of OWNership over the next 31 days…

Let your 31 day journey begin: 

Window to Dreams

Window to Dreams (Photo credit: gaspi *yg)

  1. OWN Your Feelings:  Feelings are personal, inward thoughts that sprout from an incident, past hurt, pain inflicted, joy experienced, anticipation of someone or something pending, emotional highs and lows.  Feelings are beyond our control at the onset; What we do with our feelings is completely within our control.  OWNing your feelings is to embrace the good with the bad in the pit of your stomach or deep within your heart…reflecting upon “WHY” these feelings are present. At this point there is often finger-pointing at another person…however…only you can control the outcome of what lives inside you.  Even if you have experienced all that is right with the world or the sin that we all commit as humanity…as no one is without sin…you must OWN your feelings to express fully…or heal internally.  How do you OWN your feelings? (Comment below)
  2. OWN Your Security:  OWNing your security is easier said than done.  To be secure could mean many things…a safe harbor…a true friend…a happy marriage…a loving home…a thriving career.  What happens if one or all of those securities are stripped away from your surroundings, life, or being?  This is where wisdom is born through adversity…where an in-depth search to find inner strength will begin…where life is based upon each breath you take one second at a time…where joy is found deep from inside…where reality is born and newness begins inside your very being called “Security.”  How do you OWN your security?  By OWNing the very essence of who you are…relying on your inner strength to stretch your possibilities as a person beyond your belief…learning to believe in yourself knowing that God has given you a unique tool box to build, eliminate, create, ignite and display yourself with shoulders back, head high and peace within…that is OWNing your security!  How do you OWN your security? (Comment below)
  3. OWN Your Thoughts:  Thoughts are influenced by our environment, the company we keep, the books we read, the foundation of our value system, the culture experience while being raised.  Have you ever heard a song that brought back a memory that stirred a happy or sad emotion?  These are thoughts triggered by something heard.  Have you ever seen something or someone who reminded you of a specific moment in time?  These are visuals that spark a thought of history.  How do you OWN your thoughts for today…and tomorrow?  Bringing thoughts into captivity is determined by self control…what you allow to exist within your thought process typically grows into a perception or a reality.  The end result is positive or negative depending on the essence of the thought factor.  Capture your thoughts and take OWNership by evaluating whether they are to be tossed as garbage, recycled by re-framing or nourished to grow.  How do you OWN your thoughts?  (Comment below)
  4. OWN Your Words:  Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me is the biggest misnomer ever believed.  Words are as sharp as a two-edged sword and should be used with care.  Does this mean you need to become a doormat…ruthlessly walked on daily?  Absolutely not!  Speak up for yourself…be assertive…and OWN your words.  How do I OWN my words? Start your sentence with we…end with us…and stand up for “I.”  Assertive speech versus aggressive confrontation.  “You seem upset, John” OR “You look happy, Kathy!” is assertive conversation.  This gives the other person an opportunity to correct your perception or affirm your suspicion.  Another form of expressing your feelings through assertiveness is beginning your sentence with “I feel.”  “I feel encouraged today because you spoke life into my situation” OR “I feel disappointed because you didn’t follow through with our agreement…how can we work through this?”  On the flip side of the coin is the aggressive confronter.  “You are really making me angry with your demands.  I regret entering into this agreement” OR “You are not fulfilling your job because you were on Facebook all day…you are fired…effective immediately!”  Not to say the person does not deserve to be fired…:)  However, another way to say this is, “I noticed you were on Facebook today and would like you to help me understand why…since this is against the company policy you agreed to…and on company time?” “What can we do to increase your productivity on the job?” “I am requesting you to put in writing what you suggest we do to raise morale, increase the bottom line and get the job done with our team…including boosting your performance.  I will look forward to hearing your ideas!”  Based upon this conversation…the employee will be in the position to set the tone for the next conversation…take responsibility for their actions…or choose to make no adjustments and enter into a conversation which will be much more direct with an undesired result…but still assertive from their superior.  OWNing your words means taking responsibility for the words that come out of your mouth.  We all say things we wish we would not have said…so we approach the person with whom we have offended and take OWNership of those words.  We can never take back a word once it is spoken into the universe…but we can learn from words we should have never spoken and steadily make strides to talk with power and understanding…a delightful mix.  How do you OWN your words?  (Comment below)
  5. OWN Your Action:  OWNing your action is a moment by moment expression of faith…moving forward…step by step toward the vision you foresee, fulfilling the mission of your life.  To act is to OWN.  To OWN is to act.  Without action there is nothing created and nothing deleted.  Lack of acting produces a stagnate environment with no outlet.  Act as you would advise your children to act…a great way to assess your actions in terms of right and wrong by weighing acts of value based on integrity of your actions.  How do you OWN your action?  (Comment below)
  6. OWN Your Choices:  We are confronted with choices constantly…to go or not to go…to speak or not to speak…to buy or not to buy…are options we are given daily.  Have you ever seen a Pizza Hut commercial that created a mouth-watering response of dialing a number and ordering your favorite pizza with custom toppings…delivered?  I have!  This was a choice to fill my body with unhealthy food that tasted fantastic…and gave me instant gratification that landed on my hips a week later!  The result of my choice caused health issues, inches added to my waistline, unsightly acne, and loss of energy.  Granted…the choice was presented in a delectable image providing the exact response of the intended result of Pizza Hut’s marketing guru.  However…the unintended consequence of eating pizza often could have shortened my life in the long run.  This is an elementary example explaining how things may look great on the outside…and be filled with unwanted ingredients on the inside…the smorgasbord of life’s choices.  Am I anti-pizza?  No…I enjoy one piece about once per year because I believe most things in moderation (“most” and “moderation” being operative words) will not be harmful to my personal health or mindset.  However…a lifestyle of daily pizza in my diet will result in an outcome with a less desirable effect than I choose to live with.  OWN your choices by evaluating the result and not the immediate experience. How do you OWN your choices?  (Comment below)
  7. OWN Your Expressions:  Express yourself in a way that authenticates who you are.  Be comfortable in your skin.  When you express through song, acting, writing, art, speaking, supporting, parenting, mentoring, teaching, preaching…you are exposing your soul for the world to see.  Do you feel comfortable with your expressions?  Knowing who you are is the prerequisite to expression with an attitude of OWNership.  Releasing your innermost drive in a responsible way is OWNing your expressions.  How do you OWN your expressions?  (Comment below)
  8. OWN Your Education:  My friend and colleague, Shelley Baur says, “School is never out for the pro!”  Regardless of your age…young or old…beginning education combined with continuing education is a life-long journey.  When asked a question you do not know the answer…rather than stating, “I do not know.” I recommend an answer similar to this; “I do not know the answer to that question and I will find out and get back with you by Friday.”  By admitting your lack of knowledge and pursuing education about the matter at hand to be determined by a specified deadline…you are OWNing your education.  In the 21st Century we are blessed to have education on-demand 24/7 on the Web.  Take advantage of continuing education through book knowledge, development of skills workshops, online courses, college courses and of course the school of hard knocks!  Self help and motivational books are highly recommended to keep your mind sharp and active!  How do you OWN your education?  (Comment below)
  9. OWN Your Experience:  Experience is your best friend or BFF in today’s vernacular!  Think of various moments in your life that you would consider an experience; delightful or frightful.  Hindsight teaches us by example.  Wisdom is heightened through each experience we encounter.  OWNing your experience is to sift bitter from sweet.  To combine the negative with positive to create “life experience.”  OWN your experience by sharing a piece at a time – affording others the opportunity to gleam from your experience.  Some of the best advice I ever received was this…”Do not broadcast your experience when you are going through it…rather…wait until you get to the other side.”  In other words…share as a victor…not a victim.  Let your walk become your talk.  How do you OWN your experience?  (Comment below)
  10. OWN Your Obligations:  Case and point:  I was scheduled to speak at a conference on the topic…”Come into Your OWN” when there was a family emergency that left me with a choice…go to the conference and fulfill my obligation or stay with my family and fulfill my obligation…tough choices!  To OWN my family obligation I chose to stay near.  To OWN my professional obligation I called a dear friend of mine who is one of the best speakers I know…and invited her to speak in my stead.  She asked…”What is your topic?”  I responded, “Come into Your OWN.”  She quickly accepted…understanding  my dilemma; and being a women of impeccable character with extreme integrity.  Without stopping I called the conference coordinator and began the conversation by stating…”Do not be stressed…you have enough to stress about…I will not be there tomorrow due to a family crisis…however…I have a dynamic replacement and she has agreed to come and speak.”  By OWNing my obligations, I felt released as I could spend time with my family who was in need of my presence, the conference coordinator breathed a sigh of relief because she was not left holding the bag, and my friend came through with shining colors and rave reviews from her outstanding presentation.  How do you OWN your obligations?  (Comment below)
  11. OWN Your Agreements:  Verbal or written…agreements are constructed in many ways.  Side-bar conversations or legal documents…the results are the same…you have made and accepted an agreement.  When you make an agreement by accepting the terms you are either a person of your word or not.  This is where Character is born in a relationship.  A signature shows that you personally accept terms of agreement…while a handshake and responsible follow-through reflects terms of character.  There are circumstances that bar us from completing our agreements which points to renegotiation…acknowledging that a revision must occur to continue within an ongoing agreement or considered null and void by both parties.  Character determines how you begin, renegotiate and end agreements…clearly defined by your actions.  How do you OWN your agreements? (Comment below)
  12. OWN Your Vulnerability:  Vulnerability is important to your emotional health…and is something that only you hold the power to give away.  To become vulnerable is to show the heart and soul of your innermost thoughts, fears and desires to someone else. This is a gift that only a select few should receive.  OWN your vulnerability by taking inventory of where you are most vulnerable and guard your valuables by hand-picking those who are privy to the heart-felt contents.  How do you OWN your vulnerability?  (Comment below)
  13. OWN Your Transparency:  Transparency is determined by how “real” you are…showing your core value system…determined by your belief strategy.  Realness is as simple as your heart-felt smile, an honest conversation, being opened to giving and receiving constructive criticism for a cause.  Core values are found deep within daily activities of to-do lists and priorities.  Beliefs are a result of study, assessment of surroundings, origin of family, church and culture. True transparency is discovered when you are comfortable with who you are, where you have been and where you are going.  Past glory mixed with mistakes paint a picture of your present day…building on mountains and valleys of life creates a holistic view;  increasing your comfort level with self and promoting you into the promises of tomorrow with a better understanding of the here and now.  How do you OWN your transparency?  (Comment below)
  14. OWN Your Integrity:  Integrity is best defined by Shelley Baur, Author of Integrity-Based Communications when she states, “Speak Your Truth Quicker, Faster.”  Of course…she doesn’t stop there…she goes on to explain how this is done with integrity.  I describe integrity as fulfilled agreements, vulnerability, and transparency mixed into one capsule producing wholeness of oneself.  Considering a situation from an unbiased point of view and acting accordingly. Seeking council as the Bible clearly states…”In the multitude of council there is safety.” In my opinion, these are the traits of a person with integrity.  “How do you OWN your integrity?”  (Comment below)
  15. OWN Your Reputation:  “Your reputation precedes you.”  This statement has a variety of connotations.  Take as a compliment or an insult.  Truth be told…your reputation can be sprinkled with truth or lies, gossip or reality, jealousy or admiration by the written or spoken word.  With today’s technology on the rise, cyber-bullying has damaged many reputations with one click of a post.  Of course you can report the issue…block the content and person from your profile…However…the residual damage is done.  Information online…true or untrue…can be shared repeatedly and found through search engines pointing to your name.  One take-away is, “Do not believe everything you read.” Consider the source and evaluate the content…making an informed decision and not jumping to conclusions.  I recall when Joel Osteen was bullied in cyberspace.  A status update in his voice was released stating he was leaving the ministry…this was a hoax written by someone other than Joel.  He taught us by example to ignore some (not all) statements that are made and let your character and stability stand as a testament of your intentions.  Quality of damage control is determined by your response.  Whether met with silence or reaction; according to your level of recognition…you may choose not to respond to everything written about you as this would be impossible.  When you choose to counteract, do so with a press release or a thoughtful reply that remains positive yet factual.  “You only have one reputation…build it well”…is a statement that also rings true.  The foundation of who you are is established according to the strength of your character in a crisis or celebratory moment.  In the end, your reputation will stand next to character and write your biography according to your positive or negative contributions to humanity…you OWN it! How do you OWN your reputation?  (Comment below)
  16. OWN Your Strengths:  To find your strength…dig deep!  With noise of daily activities…it is easy to depend on other people, technology, family, and public jobs for strength.  Consider looking around one day and one or all of your support systems are stripped away from your infrastructure and you stand alone.  Left with a choice to fight or flight…options present themselves through your imagination a/k/a creative thinking…taking action based on the foundation of your inward strengths.  “Hit the ground running” is a philosophy I live by to take action when I am hit with an unexpected circumstance beyond my control.  Once the initial shock is consumed and acceptance has delivered raw facts of the situation…I begin to explore opportunities inside and outside my comfort zone…this is a stretching mechanism that enhances strength from within…displayed without.   You will discover strength through positive and negative experiences.  How you exhibit strength will depend on your attitude of determination when face to face with the unknown.  How do you OWN your strength?  (Comment below)
  17. OWN Your Weakness:   Well known lyrics speak to weakness;  “Lean on me…when you’re not strong…I’ll be your friend…I’ll help you carry on…oh no…it won’t be long…’til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”  Words ring true for each of us at various points in our lives…on the giving and receiving end.  The ability to understand and shore up your weakness is an absolute for success in any form.  Collaborating with power players in areas of weakness provides a complimentary aspect to your individuality.  Your weakness becomes your strength when you accept your inability to effectively operate in  a specific area of expertise and invite another to fill the gap.  How do you OWN your weakness?  (Comment below)
  18. OWN Your Emotions:  The first step to OWNing your emotions is by understanding why they are present.  From happiness to sadness, understanding to confusion, hope to resign…feelings and portrayals of those feelings are emotionally released by expressions.  The way your emotions are contained or released is often determined by reaction versus response…denial versus acceptance…perception versus reality.  OWNing your emotions is a daily responsibility that begins and ends with you.  Emotional management is an ongoing project that will remain open-ended.  Since change is constant…emotions will vary.  Take inventory of your emotions to discover your introspective drive or lack thereof.  How do you OWN your emotions?  (Comment below)
  19. OWN Your Community:  Community starts with family and friends…then colleagues, collaborators, connections and acquaintances.  OWNing your community begins with seeing the need and offering the service.  Service is the operative word.  Having a servant’s heart is the foundation of OWNership.  You can manage effectively and powerfully…expecting excellence from all levels…and remain pure with intentions of development of others through community involvement and leadership.  Stay focused on the needs of your community and continue to plant the seeds of growth beyond the home-front.  How do you OWN your community?  (Comment below)
  20. OWN Your Responsibilities:  Your Mother was right when she told you to “Take responsibility for your actions!”  Responsibility begins with self.  Taking control of your negative habits and turning them to positive attributes.  Using moderation in all things and correcting yourself when indulging.  Keeping your word and following through unless renegotiated.  Communicating with those whom you are pleased with and people who have disappointed you due to lack of responsibility on their part.  Standing up for what is “Right” in your own eyes and appreciating the opinion of others.  Giving credit where credit is due and taking credit for positive AND negative outcomes…stepping up to the plate to admit you or your team dropped the ball and the buck stops with you!   How do you OWN your responsibilities?  (Comment below)
  21. OWN Your Talents:  Talents are gifts given that are meant to be used for the glory of God.  Some talents are manifest early on, while others are discovered by digging deep and learning more about who you are and what God intends for your voyage on Earth.  Every day is filled with moments to display your specialties…to develop yourself to the fullest while providing a service to others simultaneously!  Some people hide their gifts due to lack of self-confidence.  Insecurity breeds dormancy.  Stand tall and tell all by action or voice that you are beautifully and wonderfully made to share your gifts with others.  Unwrap your gifts!  Do not leave your talents packaged and pretty with no purpose. Focusing on purpose will launch your plan!  How do you OWN your talents?  (Comment below)
  22. OWN Your Relationships:  You are known by the crowd you hang with!  Guilt by association or credibility by alignment?  Which do you extend to your circles?  Keep your confidential sphere of influence close.  Confide only in those you trust fully and have earned trust given.  Choose your relationships wisely instead of embracing out of neediness.  Research people who enter your life to ensure their integrity…keeping in mind that a person’s past is not their present…or their future.  However…information is power and knowing is better than being blind-sided with a guilt by association verdict.  Assertively confronting your potential friend, colleague, collaborator, partner about their past will cause a sigh of relief when all is on the table…this is the true test of stability in relationships…the fight or flight scenario will come into play at various times.  No…I am not condoning running to every Tom, Dick and Harry to air your dirty laundry…as they may hang you out to dry.  Under the right circumstances that call for full disclosure…you should be opened and honest as well as the second party with you.  How do you OWN your relationships?  (Comment below)
  23. OWN Your Spirituality:  We are all spiritual beings coming from different directions in our values based upon our belief system.  OWNing your spirituality will mean a variety of things to each person.  To OWN spirituality…for me means to do the right thing based upon teachings of my upbringing, remain in a spirit of prayer as a reminder that I am not in control…but God gives me wisdom to consider options and make decisions based upon my observations, research and knowledge and take responsibility.  Meditating through prayer, quite moments, appreciating God’s creation. Reading inspirational, self-help and educational books that take me to the next level in the understanding of spirituality with the Holy Bible at the center of my library.  How do you OWN your spirituality?  (Comment below)
  24. OWN Your Finances:  OWNing your finances is easier said than done…that is why I have a CPA!  This is an area where I gain strength from others in my business.  On a personal note…once a single Mom…I had to manage financials and find a way to still provide not only food and clothing for my children…but a home…not just a house…toys…not just a room…security…not just a lock on the door.  I would beat the bushes selling Bibles, purses, sun-shades…in addition to the two jobs I was working…and take the children with me as a training moment for when hard times come to them… as adults!  You may be knocked down but you do not have to be knocked out…unless you choose to be.  Keep the faith…continue to put legs on your financial aspirations by taking responsibility in whatever shape, form or fashion presented with integrity…with mindfulness of God’s provision mixed with your action.  How do you OWN your finances?  (Comment below)
  25. OWN Your Sustainability:  Sustainability is best described by my friend and collaborator, Mary Singer of CRG Sustainabilble Solutions.  In our collaborative book, “The Power of Of Collaboration in Business” Mary speaks to this subject in her chapter, “Collaboration + Sustainability = WE Impact.”  She states, “WE transform our lives by collaboration and WE sustain by caring for our people, natural resources and how we dispose of what we use.  Working together for the good of all is really a way to streamline processes and allow teams and programs to achieve results.  Be encouraged and find a way to collaborate.  It will sustain your business and life with insight and best ideas developed and shared by others.  Collaboration + Sustainability = Performance for economic and social success.”  How do you OWN your sustainability?  (Comment below)
  26. OWN Your Appearance:  “What you see is what they get.”  When you face yourself in the mirror each morning…know that you are seeing the image that others will view upon your arrival.  You may say…so what?  However…in the professional world of business your appearance is highly ranked from in-person gatherings to online social media intelligence.  The photos you post online are as important as the tailored black suit you wear to the interview.  Just because someone doesn’t say…”Why didn’t you iron your shirt this morning?” doesn’t mean they are not thinking that same thought.  One of the most important statements I ever heard is, “Just because your superior does not say anything about your irresponsible behavior doesn’t mean he is not documenting mentally and physically…keeping track of positives and negatives for a later report.  Remaining groomed is not the only term of appearance that matters…self esteem or lack thereof is contagious.  If you see yourself reflecting a positive influence…making a difference in your surroundings…then others will.  If you view yourself as insignificant, less than or an afterthought then others will.  OWN the appearance of your body, mind and soul.  This will bring the whole picture to light for the world to admire your appearance.  How do you OWN your appearance?  (Comment below)
  27. OWN Your Image:  Your image is you….from inside-out.  Take inventory of your closet for outward appearance and your soul for inward reflection.  Would you want to do business with someone who dressed, talked, acted and portrayed the image you put forth?  If so…you just received 5 stars from the image department.  If no…you are the only person who OWNs your image…so take OWNership!  You decide what to display when you enter a room…in-person or online.  Your presence will either bring warmth or the cold shoulder (not saying that is right) based upon how you exhibit who you are.  OWN your image by creating excellence…using yourself as a clear canvas to beautify inside-out…with maintenance along the way…and a good understanding that each hard knock creates character…and with every wrinkle a story is told!  How do you OWN your image?  (Comment below)
  28. OWN Your Story:  Your story is your life…embrace it!  Those privy to the whole story it is up to you…and told in your OWN time.  Be proud of your story…the good…the bad…the ugly.  OWN it and release it as Delmar Johnson of Delmar Johnson Enterprises says!   Use your story to guide others through with Mentorship.  Give back to people through the experience of your triumphs and adversities!  Tell it…or don’t tell it…it’s yours…you OWN it!  How do you OWN your story?  (Comment below)
  29. OWN Your Career:  A career path is a long and winding road with unexpected detours and diversions.  The key word to a successful, long-lasting career is “Adaptability.”  In this ever-changing world one must be flexible and opened to change, innovation and creativity.  Without these elements…stagnation will stunt growth.  How do you OWN your career?
  30. OWN Your Profession:  Who do you profess to be?  A profession is OWNED by the spoken word and expressed by knowledge.  How do you OWN your profession?
  31. OWN Your Business:  There are two sides to this coin…personal business and professional business.  Personal business should be kept to a minimum in discussing.  Confide in a small circle of trusted friends which should be counted on two hands. The first steps to OWNing your professional business are taking responsibility for details, implementing, delegating and producing.  How do you OWN your business?

How can I obtain these levels of OWNership?  

New Year's Eve

The process of OWNership is one of the most difficult, mindful experiences one can have.  You must go through the process to get to the promise.  The promise is discovered by stepping up the plate and taking responsiblity for your life in any form or fashion…by taking the first step toward the promise-land you are personally embracing the concept of how to come into your OWN and discover the WHY…this takes time!  There will be time on your hands until your last breath so take this opportunity to OWN yourself…bringing wholeness to your existence and purpose to your presence.

Sherri Henley is Founder and CEO of BOCI with extensive experience in development of people, businesses, organizations and communities to their fullest potential of OWNership; specializing in collaborative leadership, social media intelligence training; speaker and author.  For booking contact Business Over Coffee International (BOCI) @ 901-820.4469 or email connect@businessovercoffee.com 

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