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Try it Anyway

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“You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy

I’d just given a presentation at the Let Her Speak Summit in Knoxville. It was a great event at a lovely venue with a room full of badass women. My favorite type of event!

At the end of my presentation, I chatted with a group of powerful, amazing ladies. Raquel, their leader, shared some kind words about my presentation. Then she invited me to her event to perform the same speech. It was too great an opportunity to pass up.

I didn’t have business cards on me, so I requested her e-mail address. Remember the first rule of powerful networking: control the follow-up!

The next day, I followed up with Raquel. A few conversations and e-mails later and things were set. They were going to create an event so that I could come and deliver my Naked and Unafraid presentation to a group of Latinas from East Tennessee. I was excited, to say the least.

It would be just me presenting. After my talk, we were going to dissect the "Limiting Beliefs, Fears and Doubts" module of The Why Workbook as an exercise to solidify the concepts for everyone who attended.

They worked around my schedule, made it as easy and comfortable for me as possible. It was a speaker’s dream come true.

Somewhere around our fifth conversation (I guess they thought it was a given) it came up that this presentation would be in Spanish.

Oh, shit.

I’ve never done a speech in Spanish. I’ve never even thought of doing one in Spanish. Here was a great chance for me to become a hypocrite. A perfect opportunity to deny my invitation out of the comfort zone and stay totally secure in my little bubble. I decided to practice what I preach.

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Yes, I speak Spanish. Yes, given that I grew up in a household full of Cuban elders, Spanish was my first language. But I don’t feel as comfortable with my Spanish as I should. I always tell people that, whatever language you have sex in is the language you feel most comfortable with.

Since I’ve been growing my speaking business, I’ve always known in the back of my head that this was a possibility for me. It wasn’t something I entertained because it wasn’t the direction I was heading in. In hindsight, it sounds stupid; why wouldn’t I take this opportunity and open up a new world of possibilities for myself?

The only thing that kept me from exploring those horizons was the lie I was telling myself. The one that went sort of like this: “You don’t speak Spanish well enough to deliver your speeches in Spanish.”

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I’ll be honest: I was nervous. The possibility of bombing my act and freezing on stage was very real. But I just said fuck it and decided to do it anyway. I figured I’d either love it or hate it and have proof that I tried and never ever have to do it again. Denying the challenge wasn’t an option.

“Do not be too timid or squeamish about your action. All life is an experiment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

And guess what? It was a BLAST! I allowed myself vulnerability, I disclaimed myself at the beginning which immediately put me at ease and put my audience on notice. I was a lot better than I would have ever given myself credit for if I’d never tried it.

Now, I can’t wait for the next one. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be, and that’s okay. In fact, now that I think about it, to anyone other than those used to a 305 twang, my English isn’t perfect either.

I couldn’t imagine taking the risk of making a total fool of myself and having so much fun in the process. I was having fun, so they were having fun, and the impact was there and that’s all that matters.

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So if you’re lying to yourself about something you can’t do I’d like for you to ask yourself these questions:

This belief that you’re committed to – is it even true? Ask yourself that questions because if you tell yourself it is, I want you to consider whether or not you’ve ever put it to the test.

What are you missing out on by holding on to this belief? Think about what’s not happening in your life right now because you are committed to this belief. For me, taking that chance has opened up an entire new world of speaking opportunities I might not have even considered before. That’s the gift of venturing beyond our comfort zones. There’s always a gift beyond those boundaries.

What are you willing to do to break free from what is not true? Consider asking yourself who you would become if you were willing to stretch and break free from some of what might be holding you back. Sometimes we’re not thinking about it, but there are little lies floating around in your subconscious that might be keeping you from your greatness without your awareness. Explore those immediately. The life you are destined for is far too important for you to accept any delays in living it.

Happy stretching!

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