August 29, 2008

It's not fair

How many times have you thought that to yourself or even said it out loud? "It's too hard." "I've done everything right, but I'll never be good enough." "It's not fair."

It's true. Life isn't fair, and you won't always get what you want, no matter how hard you try. But if you don't try at all, you're certain not to get what you want.

Dr. Bob Wilcher, in an article in Santa Barbara's Daily Sound, said, "If you put in a sloppy effort, then you'll get sloppy results. That is the way it should be. This is fair. If you put in a lot of effort you are not guaranteed to succeed, but just by participating and focusing on something you significantly increase your chances. I'd much rather say I gave it a shot than just accept failure."

He was talking about fitness, about people complaining about how hard it is to get fit and then giving up too easily. I think it goes for just about anything, including public speaking.

How many times have I heard people say, "I'm just not good at it," or "I just don't like public speaking?" Then when I ask them how often they speak, the answer is "never."

Well, that's pretty much how things work. If you don't do it, you're never going to get better at it or learn to enjoy it.

Even worse, we so often compare ourselves to others, when we can't ever follow the exact same path as another person. Then we get discouraged because, for whatever reason -- genetics, life experience, discipline, luck -- they get better at it, but we don't.

Dr. Wilcher goes on to say, "So instead of thinking life is so difficult and unfair, get out there and make something happen. Don't just go with the flow. Become who you want to be. From a fitness standpoint, I know you can get healthy if you really want to. You just need a systematic approach like anything else."

He follows up with a great analogy:

"Most people can understand that becoming wealthy means saving a little bit every month over many years so that you get the compound interest effect. The same is true for your health. You have to do a little something every day and your body will reward you over time."

And the same is true for public speaking! Take baby steps. It's okay to be a beginner. Keep working at it. Find ways to practice and gain experience.

It won't happen overnight, but it's the only way you will improve. So stop saying you can't and it's too hard. Tell yourself you're going to make the effort, you're going to work hard and you're going to succeed!

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