So I did a thing this weekend.
There was a moment before I signed up that I paused – do I really want to do this? There will be hundreds of people there.
Going with my gut never steers me wrong, but it does sometimes defy my comfort zone.
A coach I follow holds a speak-off, this year with events in multiple cities. In Dallas, 5000 registered to speak. Not everyone checked in, but picture this: Hundreds of people sharing their stories of overcoming challenges and a desire to help others. Inspiring way to spend a Saturday. Each of the four events choose 30-35 speakers to go to the semi-finals in December.
I was chosen!
It was affirming for my work and topic to be so validated by professional judges.
Yet it’s not so much about the contest as the challenge of getting to this place. You know I broke through my 40-year Diet Yo-Yo and shifted my practice to help others unpack their emotional eating and other baggage.
In 2017, Michael suggested I think about speaking. My book was out, I was doing groups as well as one-to-one work, but we wanted to find a way to reach more people. His idea: Public Speaking.
My response: “Love, I’m never going to be a speaker.” Nowhere near my comfort zone. Why would I want to speak in public? Who would want to listen? Yes, I’d taught school and led some church activities, but public speaking? No, thank you.
Then – of course, other things began to crop up – as they do when we’re guided. One of my coaches suggested a particular stage, something called a TEDx talk. They said it would be a very friendly and likely small audience. Note: 300 is not small. Had I known what TEDx meant, I would have been too intimidated, but almost 12 months to the day after Michael had suggested speaking, I was in Delaware doing my TEDx talk – legs shaking and all. It was way outside my comfort zone, but that talk has brought me clients on six continents.
I do not know where this opportunity will lead. There will be about 150 semi-finalists, all vying for three spots at the finals speaking to something like 40,000 who attend Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Conference in February. No pressure.
Still, it’s stepping into a space outside my comfort zone. I’m never at ease with it, but it brings growth.
I know I’m not alone – where might you need to step outside your comfort zone to make progress?
Next week, I’ll share some ideas on how to do that.