How Will You Answer Alicia Keys’ Most Powerful Question?

Gloria Feldt
5 min readJan 3, 2023

Issue 216 — January 2, 2023

Alicia Keys — yes THAT Alicia Keys — and yes I follow her on all social media — asked this New Year question on social media, and I love it:

“What energy are u bringing into this year?”

Think about it. And think about each word in the sentence. It’s dripping with meaning on so many levels.

What energy are you bringing?

Energy is the building block for everything. It is fuel. Fire. Motion. Action. Intention. Intentioning.

And then the rest of the question. What energy are YOU bringing into this year?

You and me, she’s addressing, though she answers it for herself in the video reel posted on Instagram. What are you bringing? Not what are you wanting or wishing for or anticipating. But what are you specifically taking action on to bring into this year?

These are powerful questions.

The obvious corollary would be: what energy are you not bringing into this year?

But let’s start with the first.

Take a moment to stop reading. Think about your answers and write them down. Do you keep an intentions journal as I do and as I teach my course participants to do? If so, write it there. Maybe at the top.

Me? I wrote in response on Twitter before my account got hacked a few hours later, so perhaps there was too much power in it for the current Twitter guys to handle: “Big thinking. Big actions. No playing small.”

What’s your answer? I’d love for you to reply below or in DMs if you prefer. I really want to know because sharing this new year energy will multiply it and make it more certain to happen.

You know how we often ask when you or someone else is contemplating taking a risk, “What’s the worst that can happen if?” We ask it to encourage ourselves or them to take the leap, give it a go, not worry about being able to handle the consequences.

For me, last year was in fact the year that the worst did happen when my husband Alex, the love of my life, died. Would I not have brought the energy of that love into 2022 if I had thought I would lose him on July 17? Just the opposite. I would have loved even more energetically if that’s possible.

In a strange way, that loss has emboldened me to move into 2023 with more courage and less fear.

To think and act big and to stop myself when I start to step back and play small because it’s easier or because I might be embarrassed to fail. What IS the worst that can happen, after all? That I learn some important lessons? Gain skills and strength from having had a big vision and practiced big actions?

You might know that last year when I was intentioning who would be at Take The Lead’s Power up Concert and Conference, I was intentioning that Alicia Keys would be there sing “This Girl is on Fire.”

That didn’t happen — YET.

Last year I also was intentioning that Dierks Bentley would sing happy birthday to me. You see, I have rather eclectic musical tastes. Guess what: Dierks did sing happy birthday to me at the concert! That was amazing.

So in 2023, I’m bringing the energy that says Alicia will be with us on Women’s Equality Day, August 26, 2023. Why not? I’ve listened to her memoir More Myself so I know she is totally aligned with Take The Lead’s mission of intersectional gender parity in leadership. She’s a leader in the music world and has much wisdom to impart to ambitious women who aim to clarify and then achieve their highest intentions. She has experienced both racism and sexism and has much to say about how to stay true to yourself while navigating those rocky shoals that derail many women and people of color on their career journeys.

Another time, maybe next week, let’s answer the correlated question of what energy are we not bringing into 2023.

Because it is as important to acknowledge what we will release and say goodbye to as it is to say what energy we are bringing into the new year. But for now, I will leave you with more soulfully elegant wisdom from Alicia Keys, via this post:

GLORIA FELDT is the Cofounder and President of Take The Lead, a motivational speaker and expert women’s leadership developer for companies that want to build gender balance, and a bestselling author of five books, most recently Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead for (Everyone’s) Good. Honored as Forbes 50 Over 50 2022, and Former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she is a frequent media commentator. Learn more at www.gloriafeldt.com and www.taketheleadwomen.com. Tweet Gloria Feldt.

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Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a nonprofit women’s leadership organization.