How have you changed this week? This month? This year?
This past year I joined two speaking clubs, Toastmasters and Ultraspeaking to improve my off-the-cuff presentation.
Most people when they join these clubs have a question in their minds “Are you as nervous as I am when I speak?”
Part of the power of the club is to recognize that everyone is nervous, yet they’re still doing it. Some people have serious fears or struggles speaking, and yet they’re still there.
The other key learning is that no one really recognizes you as being as nervous as you think you come off. When people reflect back to you that they didn’t think you were nervous as you spoke, even though you felt that way, you change your perception of the fear.
What would the freedom of being able to allow yourself to speak up more in groups do for you? What would giving a toast at a wedding to a best friend, or family member do for your mutual connection?
We avoid areas of discomfort (like public speaking) because of fear, shame, guilt, and embarrassment.
But if these small moments of avoidance keep adding up, suddenly we’ve dulled our ability to fully shine and create meaning in our lives. This dulling slowly saps our energy, and possibly our motivation.
“An overly comfortable life leads to apathy and lack of motivation.”
– The Comfort Crisis
It helps to see discomfort, nerves, or resistance as energy to harness rather than the energy that tells us to stop.
Without resistance, we’d have nothing to work with.
Without fear, we’d have no compass for what opportunities for growth we have.
If there’s something you want, but fear is standing in the way, know that it’s there for your benefit. It’s there because you care to do it.
All of us have a “growth edge” – an area of opportunity that would light us up if we got past the fear or stepped into it. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, it can be small, tiny steps that start to move you forward in that direction.
All of us have the opportunity to change, to alchemize our struggle. To find and harness new energy from the very thing we fear.
How are you changing this week, or this month, or this year? How can you bring more energy into your life by tiptoeing into a new or unfamiliar territory?
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