What I Learnt from my First Ever Speaking Event
A few years ago I truly believed success belonged to other people.
People with balls.
People with money, connections, time and resources.
Not me. Oh no! I was destined to sit in a job that paid the bills while dreaming of a life where I made a difference, where I could step up and stand out and share my story, helping others and be totally at peace with where I was and where I was going.
Then bit by bit I set myself challenges, small ones at first that got bigger and bigger and bigger and my most recent one was to stand up and speak at Entrepreneurial Leaders Live 2018 in Brighton, a day filled with inspiration, breakthroughs and learning put together by the wonderful Helen Packham.
And I learnt a lot, from my own personal perspective of how I meet and conquer my challenges to taking away a golden nugget from every speaker there and everybody I met.
So I thought a little summary was called for to capture my own golden nuggets of wisdom.
I can do anything. (translated to mean “If I can you can too”)
Facing fear is something I’m getting used to now and in a very strange and slightly uncomfortable way something I almost look forward to. Because there’s a part inside of me that knows every time I face something that scares me and smash it out the way I replace it with something even scarier and more challenging and it’s almost addictive.
To quote Helen herself “face your fears and eat them up like pacman” and that’s what I feel like I’m doing chomping through the fears of life.
So set yourself a small challenge, then go do it. Rinse and repeat!
Progress is key.
It was as terrifying as I thought it would be. Until I did it.
I was a wreck. That morning I was sick, yep sick, hanging out in the bathroom for an hour sick! My brain and body were pulling out all the tricks to try to get me to quit. To stay safe and not be seen. But I had made up my mind and no matter what I was going to go there and delivery my session, hot sweaty mess or not.
So I pulled myself together, and off I went.
Anxiety and palpitations part of the process.
And I did it.
I stood up and shared my story then an exercise with the room where everyone got involved and the emotion was palpable and not just mine.
Before I knew it it was all over and I was sat back down in my seat ready to enjoy the rest of the day.
WTF just happened!
Fear is simply a thought.
People cannot see the panic on the inside.
I thought I was a mess, I felt shaky and tearful and like I was just about holding on. I could feel a part of me wanting to run for the door and escape but then I looked out at the audience, connecting through eye contact and it became about them, not me.
The people that were listening to my story and relating to the emotions.
They didn’t know what was happening internally, they couldn’t see.
They were with me and it was like a magical cloak fell over me.
A cloak of confidence in my message and my mission.
My heart slowed down, I opened up to the energy of the room and it carried me.
Be open to the energy.
My message is bigger than my ego.
When I was focused on sharing, on inspiring and on making a difference it flowed.
When I knew with absolute certainty that my message had the power to impact people in a positive way empowering them to make those changes in their own lives in order to flourish and grow there was no stopping me.
But when my mind came back to me and my thoughts turned to how I looked, was I making sense? were people listening? I stumbled and faltered and let the fear back in.
When this happened I took a step back and a deep breath and looked out at the faces looking back. Connecting with people through the unspoken words, sharing energy, giving and receiving love then I knew this was my path.
It’s not about you but it’s all about you.
We are all the same.
Listening to the speakers tell their beautiful, emotional and courageous stories made me realise, we are all the same.
It doesn’t matter what clothes we wear, what car we drive or where we go on holiday.
What matters is our hearts and our souls and what we go through and grow through in life.
How each and every one of you has a story to share, a story of hope and courage that can inspire others.
We are one.
People relate to the story but connect to the emotion.
Listening to some very different tales of things I will never experience didn’t leave me disconnected and uninterested, they drew me in, connecting with me on an emotional level.
I will never explore the North or South Pole as Ann Daniels did, but I felt her determination and strength from the depth of my core as she shared her tales of life and death.
I will never experience the loss of my mother to suicide, or the depth of the emptiness that Katie Philips shared, but I felt her courage and rising as she came through and learnt to love herself again.
I will never experience burnout where even opening a can of beans seems a mammoth task as GP Katherine Hickman described, but I felt her awakening as she learnt through meditation and tiny habits the key to a happy healthy life.
I will never face the dragons in The Dragon Den, (and slay them) like Jules White, but I felt her passion and drive, and then her pain as it was taken away. And then back up again as she drew on her strengths and rebuilt herself and her career with dignity and poise and a whole heap of heart and compassion.
I could go on, the list is endless. The story each speaker told, although fascinating is not what I was left with, it was the emotions I connected with.
We connect through emotion.
Human connection is essential to growth.
In order to grow we must connect with others. Form friendships, relationships and connections from which we can draw on in order to move forward.
To give and take and share from in the good times and the bad.
Authentic, honest and genuine relationships.
Connection is growth.
Love wins every time.
The feedback, love and support I received I will treasure and draw on for a long time to come, the love I sent out was given back to me tenfold. I truly believe what you give you get and that is a magical process of energy exchange.
I want to do it all again. 😊
To view my talk Click Here