February 10, 2018

I can do anything better than I can

Maybe you've heard the song "Anything You Can Do" from the musical "Annie Get Your Gun." It's a classic duet with the characters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler attempting to prove their ability to outdo each other in a variety of tasks. 

Some people are more competitive than others; I'm not a fan of my competitive side (I take competition a little too seriously, so I choose not to compete with others), but I do enjoy competing with myself!

As a speaker, it can be really easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to and mentally competing with others. While it's often helpful and motivating to find inspiration in the veterans who have achieved the goals we're still striving for, it can also be demotivating to perceive our own levels of success to be disappointing in comparison.

I wrote this in another post, and will share it here as a reminder:

"Where were you a month ago or a year ago in your development? Look how far you’ve come! Look at what you’ve accomplished over time. When you compare yourself to yourself, you’re much more likely to come out ahead. And if not, at least you know intimately where you’re letting yourself down in your own growth and improvement....

When you understand the value and unique perspective you bring to your audiences and clients, there is no longer any need or desire to be like or to copy someone else."

Instead of "Anything you can do, I can do better," how about trying this reframe, from Visa's Olympic-inspired commercial? Athletes compete against others, but also fully embrace the challenges of competing against their own best performances.

(Lyrics below the video.)


If you'd like some help with the mindset part of your speaking toolkit, in addition to pumping up your speaking skills and strategies, you can still sign up for my Shake Up Your Speaking retreat, coming up March 19-21. Don't wait too long, though; there are only four spots left!


Anything I can do, I can do better
I can do anything better than me
Yes I can. Yes I can. Yes I can. Yes I can.

Anything we can be, we can be greater
We can be anything greater than we
Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can.

I can do more than I ever imagined
I can do more than I ever dreamed
Yes I can. Yes I can. Yes I can.
Sooner, not later I'm greater than me

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