“I hope we don’t get stuck. It could be slippery”, muttered Property Consultant, Des, as his 2WD station wagon struggled up the wet grassy slope and slid. It was his third attempt.
Not the best day for property research. It was a grey and overcast. The sky threatened to release its heavy burden.
However, everyday is a good day to help a friend. Carmel was home hunting in Maleny, Sunshine Coast and we were her support team.
“The place has potential ” I thought as I smoothed a rogue crease out of my tailored white linen pants. I shifted my elbow from Des’s dirty window saving my crisp lemon yellow blouse from unwanted marks.
I was looking forward to our meetings with five vendors and a delicious lunch at Monica’s cafe.
The car lurched and broke my daydream. The wheels were spinning. We weren’t going anywhere.
Eager to help, Chris and I hopped out of the car. One on either side at the back of the small 2WD station wagon and pushed. The car took off. Mission accomplished. The tyres spun. A spectacular catherine wheel of mud splattered me in brown sludge.
I was too stunned to speak. Then, the old familiar voice of self-doubt pounded in my head:
* People will think I’m a fool!
* Everyone will notice and they’ll judge me!
* How embarrassing! I can’t go through Maleny looking like this!
Carmel burst out laughing.
“Oh no!” A mud-free Chris cried out, looking concerned.
“I’m so sorry” Des didn’t know where to look.
The voice of self-doubt pounded even louder in my head. I wanted to shrink away and become invisible.
Then, I thought to myself, I have a choice. I could let Carmel down. I could insist on cancelling all our meetings and forego a fabulous lunch.
Or, I could find the fun in this and see it as a great test for self-endurance and self-acceptance.
What would you have done?
Of course, you would’ve stepped up as I did, wouldn’t you?
Of everywhere we went and everyone we met that whole day, only one person appeared to notice. Carried by his Dad, a little boy, neatly dressed in his matching shorts and shirt stared at me with obvious longing to wriggle free and play in the mud.
Chris laughed“I bet he’s thinking – Wow! She’d be a fun friend!”
As with public speaking, we sometimes find ourselves in situations where our self-confidence may feel rocked and self-doubt creeps in.
- What do You do in those mud splatter moments?
- When You speak, are You concerned what others may be thinking?
- What if, in that moment, You truly believed You couldn’t fail? How would that feeling impact Your next speech?
Whether you do personal or professional speaking, it can be a terrifying experience to stand up and speak. You may be afraid you’ll look foolish, forget your words or worse. The truth is, most people are so involved in their own lives that they don’t notice if you stumble over your words or forget. If they do happen to notice, their attention is drawn to it for only a moment before they return to their own thoughts.
Dr Susan Weinschenk on speaking style – “people imitate your emotions and feel your feelings. If you are smiling, they tend to smile…People like to watch and listen to someone who is animated and excited about what they’re talking about. If your topic gets you excited, don’t hold back. Show how you feel. That feeling will be contagious!”
Three essential steps towards your self-acceptance as a speaker.
The three key things that I do if I get myself in situations like this and this is so relevant to public speaking. As you apply them, notice how your speaking skills and self-confidence grow bringing you more calm, certainty and clarity. You’ll reach your audience of one or many with even more positive inspiration, energy, and enthusiasm.
- Release Self-judgment – if you could commit to having a no judgment rule, how would your life be different? Remember you did the best you could in the circumstance. This gives you the space to move from fearful to fabulous as you grow and accept yourself.
Deepak Chopra explains…“When the self is divided and in conflict, there is always a hidden aspect of judgment against the self… Self-judgment is the voice inside that says: “You can’t handle it. Remember the last time you fell apart? This time will be the same.”
- Make a choice – in every moment you have a choice. You can choose to move towards your highest intention or purpose. Or choose to move away from it. With the story above, my highest purpose for being there was to uphold my promise to Carmel and help her. I chose Carmel and my purpose for being there above being splattered with mud and feeling uncomfortable. Once I had made that choice, the muddy clothes didn’t matter.
- Managing Your Self-confidence barometer – by becoming totally present you can create a state of mind that is completely in each moment. It takes practice to free yourself of distracting thoughts. However, when you’re focused and achieving your speaker goals you create resourceful emotions, such as, joy and feelings of accomplishment. Being present is being in the knowledge that you’re on track and moving toward your desired outcomes and dreams as an authentic speaker. Your successes positively impact your self-confidence barometer. The opposite is also true.
If you love these points, I have five other essential steps that I’m happy to share with you.
If learning more about self-acceptance is important to you, a great book to get hold of is Nadine Love’s, Hot Confidence.
Here’s to Your self-acceptance journey as You speak from Your heart and share Your message!