When thinking about what I want to write for my first post, I must talk about my obsession with perfection and success. We are a country that loves our Fast Food. Similarly, we want our Fast Success. We want to be rich, powerful, in love, and perfect—right at this very moment. Personally, I wanted to be the perfect speaker by like yesterday! Yet, we forget that reaching success is a process. It takes a journey (that oftentimes has bumps and hiccups). Look at any successful individual, and you will realize that they did not get there overnight. Yet, we want to skip the most fundamental concept – the process. We want to skip right past our failures, the motivation, the persistence, the hard work, and just be completely awesome.
When we are not completely awesome, we tend to be hard on ourselves. We develop self-doubt, we tell ourselves that we are not good enough, and we belittle ourselves. With my obsession with wanting to be a successful speaker, I consistently beat myself up. If I stutter, use an inappropriate gesture (I’m not talking about the middle finger here), or have a Rick Perry moment – I completely beat myself up, telling myself how silly and horrible I am instead of understanding that the failure is part of the process of becoming successful and good at what I do.
In learning this, I have finally decided to embrace and love the journey of becoming a wonderful speaker. Success and perfection (if there is really such a thing) will not come overnight. It’s going to take work and lots of hard work. But, I’m excited about that. In the process, I will celebrate the small, powerful accomplishments.
On the course of this journey, I have learned a few things:
I used to be a teacher. Not only do I love teaching, but I love learning. In your process of becoming good, learn everything you can from anyone and anywhere you can. Read books, get a mentor, join a professional organization. It will be through the process of leaning that you will find your success. It will be hard work, but it will be worth it.
Learn From Your Failures
We’ve been lied to. Failure does not equal success. If I failed my math test, did not go back and review any answers or learn the material, I should not expect to succeed on the second attempt. I put no effort into learning from my failure. Automatic failure does not equal success. On your journey, you will fail (sorry to be harsh, but it’s true). However, you will also have loads of success. No one has become awesome over night. It is what you do with your failures that will make you amazing.
I want to replace the success equation with this one:
Success involves understanding your shortcomings and then putting forth the effort to make the change. Far too often, people fail and then forget the rest of the equation.
Realize that YOU (yes, you) are Truly Amazing!
Not only are you amazing, you do have the potential to becoming good at what your heart desires. You have been uniquely placed on this earth for a reason and because of your unique place in this universe, you should not compare yourself to the journey of others. Instead, focus on the journey that is yours.
Welcome to the blog, welcome to the journey, and welcome to the world of public speaking.