Alert: Exciting news! I’ve been invited to be a speaker for TEDxMalibu!
I’ve been envisioning this experience for a long time and it’s finally here. The funny thing is I almost said no.
Have you ever wanted something for so long that when it shows up you feel you aren’t ready? All those gremlins in your mind—your doubts, fears, insecurities—show up and try to derail you from embracing the opportunity at hand.
This is what happened to me. I saw the email in my inbox, knew what is was and didn’t open it and read it for an entire day. Then, after I did, I didn’t respond!
That is not my usual M.O. I get back to people right away, especially with an opportunity like this.
But in all honesty, I was scared. I was afraid of saying yes. I was afraid I would fail. I was afraid I would make a fool of myself and be judged.
So, for about five days I sat with my fear. I played out worst case scenarios. Could I deliver a powerful message in 9 minutes? That’s right, I only have 9 minutes. No pressure. That wasn’t triggering my doubts at all!
What would I say? What if people didn’t like it? What if the talk fell flat? What if? What if? What if?
Then, I realized: The ‘what if’s’ work both ways.
What if this talk did make a difference? What if just one person in the audience got something out of it? What if this experience was incredibly fun and creative? What if I got to meet and connect with incredible people? What if? What if? What if?
I remembered something Brene Brown shared at Emerging Women Live: She was afraid. She began her talk telling us how terrified she was to be standing on that stage right then. But she did it anyway.
She had the courage to be vulnerable—to share a piece of her soul with us.
She also reminded us of the Theodore Roosevelt quote:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I had a choice. I could choose to follow the fear or take the leap into the unknown. I could honor the shame, doubt, and self-judgment and continue to feed my story of ‘I am not enough’. Or I could honor the courage, creativity and trust in mySelf (capital ‘S’ intended. It includes Spirit.) and live into the belief that, in fact, today ‘I am enough’.
These words are a trigger for me. If you’ve ever heard me speak live or in an interview, you know I am a fan of feeding the true story, I am enough today. So many of us (myself included) buy into the belief that we have to lose 10 pounds before we can wear a pair of skinny jeans or put on a bathing suit and go to the beach. That we have to make more money before we consider ourselves successful. That we have to be in a relationship before we can feel whole.
When we do this we are actively fueling the story, I am not enough. And that is an illusion.
So, my choice became clear. This opportunity is here for a reason. By saying yes, I am walking the walk. I am taking the leap.
Could I fail, yes. Could I succeed, yes. But those are subjective.
My only job is to get out of the way, greet my muse, deliver the message—whatever that may be—and let go.
Sounds simple enough? We’ll see how I do with that in a few weeks. I’m sure I’ll have more to share at that time.
For now, I trust I will be okay no matter what.
If you would like to attend TEDxMalibu live, I would love nothing more than to have your smiling, supportive face in the crowd. Tickets are limited and are on sale now. You can get them below:
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