January 5, 2018

I can't believe I did that



When's the last time you said "I can't believe I did that" (and not about something naughty, like toilet-papering your neighbor's house when you were thirteen or shrinking your best friend's sweater in the wash and telling her it was in your lost luggage somewhere over the Atlantic)?

When's the last time you took a risk—a good risk—and felt your heart grow three sizes with anticipation and hope? When's the last time you did something you were scared to do and stockpiled a whole new stash of confidence in your back pocket?

For me: Yesterday. 

I was scrolling through one of the Facebook groups I'm in for authors, and came across an article promoting a storytelling event in my area. They were looking for participants to fill four upcoming events in 2018 with the themes "Love, Romance and Other Disasters," "New Beginnings," "On the Road," and "Holidays and Family."

I'm not a storyteller. Or, to be more accurate, I tell a LOT of stories, but they're not memorized and they come out different every time. I tell stories in my everyday life, I tell stories as a trainer, I tell stories in my book. So I'm not unfamiliar with stories, but I am unfamiliar with the formal art of storytelling. Not to mention the fact that most presentations I give are several hours long, if not days long, and the stories told at this event are 8-10 minutes long. I can barely say my own name in ten minutes.

But when I saw the theme "New Beginnings," I immediately knew I had a story to tell, and without hesitation, I filled out the application form and hit the submit button.

What is wrong with me? I would never do this. While I am indeed an Activator (Gallup StrengthsFinder® #1 strength, in fact), I do not just willy-nilly apply for every speaking engagement that comes my way. I like to ruminate, cogitate, ponder, consider and chew over every submission to make sure it's right for me and for my business. Like most people, I find it scary to get out of my comfort zone, so when a new opportunity comes along that I'm not sure I can pull off, I spend a lot of time procrastinating before I make a decision.

And exactly for that reason—because it's scary to get out of my comfort zone—I regularly take the opportunity to push myself, and I did it yesterday.

There's a note on my office white board that says, "Your next comfort zone awaits." I can't very well expect my clients to take big leaps in confidence if I'm not constantly putting pressure on myself as well. So, yep. My application will be reviewed and, whether not I get accepted to tell a story, I will have a new stockpile of confidence in my back pocket just for having applied.

So, back to my original question: When's the last time you said, "I can't believe I did that" because you took a risk and took a baby step toward getting out of your comfort zone?

And if it's been a while since you challenged your speaking skills and comfort level, could you use some help getting there? Perhaps you don't even have a speaking comfort zone yet! But if you do, you know you need to dare yourself and fracture the walls of that safe space in order to grow and upgrade your skills.

I've got the perfect environment to offer you, both encouraging and challenging, where you can explore your next level of skills and confidence, in a small group format, over a leisurely couple of days this spring. In a mansion. With llamas and chickens.

Check out my Shake Up Your Speaking retreat, March 19-21, in Ojai, California. It's exactly where you need to be if you're ready to stop procrastinating on your speaking goals and take a transformational leap forward.

I'll keep you posted on whether I get selected to speak at the storytelling event. It's a challenge I hope I get to tackle!

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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

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