How often do you go for it?
When do you take a risk?
My heart started to cave in and my lungs began to heave. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Then, inside my chest, this constricted heart started pounding too. All tight and wound up, I couldn’t believe what I was about to do. I had chill bumps on my arms, yet my underarms were sweating. I regained focus and reminded myself to breathe. A deep breath in followed by a powerful exhale. I imagined all the nervousness going out of my body in that one exhalation. It worked for a moment, but then it was back. My body shuttering before my mind could even diagnose the reason why.
I suppose it is like muscle memory, but instead of helping me blast off the wall after a flip-turn in a swimming pool, it was feeding off a high-school memory that tried to forever trap me into thinking I would stutter if I opened my mouth.
Do you fear public speaking? I do. Oh goodness me, I do. Well, I did until a month ago.
For the month of May, I joined a video challenge led by Marisa Murgatroyd of LiveYourMessage.com along with 300 other people. This forced me to make videos and get out of my comfort zone. Going through this free challenge with amazing camaraderie of others in the same position, I was able to face the limiting belief that one high school experience had burdened all of my presentations over the past 18 years. (Did I just give away my age?) Through practice, determination and support from that group, I am somewhat comfortable talking in front of people.
It just so happened that one of my online mentors, business researcher, Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers.com was offering tickets to an already filled one-day workshop in New York City. Except, there was one stipulation: the only way to get a ticket was to make a video explaining my business hiccups, and bonus points were given for making him laugh and acting like him. Derek has over 100,000 email subscribers and my initial thought was, ‘there is no way I’ll win; too many people with far better skills will submit videos.’ Then, my ambition and fearlessness kicked in and I changed my perspective, ‘what do I lose if I try?’
So, I made a silly video in my best Derek Halpern impression. This is me just going for it:
Turns out, there weren’t as many go-getters on his email list as I thought. Only around 35 people submitted videos. Of those, 5 won tickets to his event. I was one of them.
In addition to all of the valuable and timely information I received about launching online and connecting with people, I learned that I don’t need to worry about making a fool of myself (because I’m really good at it). The rewards of being a fool when nobody else is willing are what will take my life apart from safety zone to zone of genius. This may not phase you and many others that are already operating optimally, but to some, I hope this is a good reminder. What will you do this week to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk that may deliver even greater rewards?
I still get the sweaty, shaky feeling I described above when I’m about to do something social, but instead of feeling like it’s something I need to hide, I embrace it. By embracing what I am feeling, it gives me the juice to go for whatever it is that I want to achieve.
Here are some pics of the Social Triggers Live 2013 event in New York City that featured guest speakers such as my favorite financier, Ramit Sethi, who was featured opposite Warren Buffet in the Forbes 2013 Investment Guide. I got to meet Ramit in the line to the bathroom before he went on stage, and yes, it was a highlight of my trip. Derek was extremely helpful giving one-on-one help to everyone in the audience during breaks. Plus, I was blessed to get to hang out with an all-star wedding planner, Rosie Meleady of theweddingplanner.ie -check her out if you want a destination wedding or wish to be a wedding planner.