|Something happened in a coaching session recently and I just wanted to share it with you.
I was working with someone who is used to public speaking, but he still got nervous before hitting the stage. Every time. He got caught up and trapped in the circle of adrenaline that snowballed through his body and he blacked out (and sometimes even had a panic attack) just before he hit the stage. It was really getting in the way of a huge part of his job.
A few months ago, in one of our sessions, I asked him to see the opportunity to share his story with others as a gift, and not just something he ‘has to do’ for his work. I told him that the next time he had to talk in public that he should exhale fully, take a moment, and say quietly ‘Thank you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my message with others. To inspire them. To motivate them. To educate them. Lucky me that I was the one who was asked. No one else can do this like I can. Because it’s my story, and only I can tell it. Let’s go!’
We practised this for a while, and off he went.
Last week he came back beaming. Like there were rainbows shooting out his eyes. (Ok. I watch cartoons, but still.) He told me that he had started applying what I had asked him to do and he felt a difference after the first time. And a greater difference after the second time. And now it was just how he started each and every talk. This moment of private gratitude. He said he now looks forward to sharing his story, and all the nerves were gone.
I use this myself, and have been applying it for years. I don’t get nervous a lot, but I use it often when I’m tired. It also works well in these situations. Sometimes, when I’m totally exhausted (I realize now that writing a book in 5 weeks, publishing it yourself and releasing it just a couple of months later takes a lot of energy) and I walk to the refugee center to teach, literally shaking because I’m so tired (it also takes a lot of energy to teach there sometimes), I take a moment to be grateful that I get to share the gift of teaching with people who truly appreciate it and really need it. I was asked to be there and teach in my own way. It’s another opportunity to share my light with the world. Lucky me! And then somehow the exhaustion slips away, out of my body, and is replaced with newfound energy and joy as I walk in with a smile on my face and see my students’ eager smiles waiting for me in return.
Try it next time you’re nervous or tired. When you have to do something that might feel insurmountable. Be grateful that you can do it. Take a moment of appreciation. Say ‘Thank you’ to yourself. See what happens.
I’m so curious as to your reactions. Hit the ‘return’ button and let me know! As always, I will always write you back!
Sending you love and an attitude of so much gratitude,
PS: My new book is now available for pre-order on Bol.com or reserve a personally signed copy (with my famous Dirty Bookmark) here. We ship on May 20th! The reactions from the crowdunders, the media and the refugees who have already received their copies has been incredible. I’m so excited to share this with you! 🙂
PPS: Thank you, Buffi.