“Oh yes, but what if you FLY?”
Hello my favorite reader in the world. How are you doing on this spectacular Monday? I am so happy to connect with you again. And thank you all for your lovely responses to my “Shine!” email from last week. I have the shiniest newsletter readers in the world! I loved from hearing from so many of you from across the globe!
Recently I was coaching someone for a Very Important Thing. The expectations were high –an international audience, live streaming, with some people wearing suits AND ties AND other people wearing HEELS and PEARLS…you get the picture. My client was nervous. Very, very nervous. He kept getting lost in the details of his speech. He was having a hard time breathing. He was shaking.
I totally get this. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to be really nervous. And I’m sure I’ll be there again.
You know what? Being nervous is part of the game most of the time. It’s not a bad thing. If you didn’t give a shit, you wouldn’t get nervous. Being nervous means YOU CARE. But how do you DEAL with being nervous? That’s the zillion-dollar question. I always say that if your fear is greater than your passion, your ambition, and your talent, the fear wins. Every time. You’ve got this dragon living inside you who lives on your doubt. Every time you question yourself, hesitate, or compare yourself to others, you feed that dragon. And sometimes it gets to the point where that dragon has totally taken up your WHOLE body from the inside and the words coming out of your mouth are actually the DRAGON speaking – “I can’t do this.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m going to screw it up. Again.”
I’m a dragon slayer. That’s part of my job. (You know my younger sister, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, right? This slaying thing kind of runs in the family….although my parents SUCK at naming their children.) The way to kill the dragon is with compassion and love. Tell that dragon that it has no place in your mind, because you are better than that. You rock. You’ve done so many wonderful things in your life, and giving this presentation/taking that test/sailing through your job interview will be one of them. Breathe low and slow. Try to exhale as slowly as possible; slower than you ever have before, and feel the tension leaving your neck and shoulders. Remember why you’re there. You’re sharing something. Just telling a story to someone else. Speak from the heart.
It’s also quite helpful to keep in mind that if you DO make a mistake, you’re showing your humanity. Your vulnerability. Your human side. And that’s the side people connect with. No one ever walked out of a presentation and said “Oh, did you see those digits? I really felt that spreadsheet in my heart.” People remember the passion you shared your story with. Your motivation to share. The tale that only you can tell. People relate to other people. And you, dear reader, are one of them.
Kill that dragon with confidence. B-R-E-A-T-H-E. And know, if you do slip up, it only shows that you’re one of us.
If you’d like to watch a really inspiring TED talk about this very thing – check out my new BFF Amy Cuddy. She talks about what you can do with your body before a stressful situation. I made a worksheet about it to help you activate new words and phrases. (Because just watching is not enough – you’ve got to use it or lose it, remember?) If you’d like to see it, feel free to mail me!
(Oh, and when she gets ‘vulnerable’, the energy of the room changes. The connection is there. You can feel it. Watch and you’ll see!)
I’m off to slay some more dragons for some very special people. And then I’m off to NYC and Chicago for a couple of weeks. I’ll reconnect with you in May!
Until then, my favorite reader ever, take good care of yourself.
Sending you love and starving dragons!