From Terrified Of Speaking To Speaking on 10 Stages This year!
Growing up I saw myself as a quiet follower. The black/odd sheep, but nevertheless, a sheep that would follow and try to fit in….but, not stand out.
As I got older, in attempts to build some confidence and to attempt to make some use out of my height, I went into modelling classes. While this awkward, gangly gal was not particularly awesome at any of the things we had to do there, there was one thing in particular I was TERRIFIED of.
Like petrified of and HORRIBLE at. Like literally shaking and sweating (so much) about.
Speaking on camera (in this case for pretend commercials).
The words would jumble in my mouth and not come out right, I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to say. I’m pretty sure it was very visible that I was sweating through whatever nice top I had on. It was so embarrassing. I never wanted to feel that way again.
I knew then THAT was NOT for me, haha. After that experience, I vowed to avoid speaking in any public forum in every way possible.
Not for me, no thank you.
Over the years I began dancing (to electronic music at “raves”), oddly enough it was through this and doing random photoshoots that I began to build my confidence in my body. I still did not trust my voice, but I began to get comfortable expressing myself through my body. I began to trust my tall, flailey body. It felt so good to move that I forgot anyone was around me, even when dancing on stage in front of a thousand people. I stopped caring about anything and everything, except how magical it felt to feel the music and move. *And, no, I wasn’t high…I was probably one of the only ones who never was…*
When I started my business, and started to feel clear on what I was here to do – I began to feel the same way about my voice. I stopped caring so much about anything and everything else, except how magical it felt to know THIS is what I was meant to be doing. Trust that the right people would get what they needed, and so would I.
It started with writing. My favourite thing in the world was (and is) sitting at a buzzy cafe in the morning and writing on fresh pages of paper. Just thinking about it makes me close my eyes, my lips starting to curl into a smile, as I think about all the strangers around me having intimate conversations, or writing their most private thoughts, or creating a brilliant article to be published soon on a blog or in a magazine. Not to mention the smell of coffee…don’t even get me started on the smell.
I’d write about my relationship – to my partner, to myself, to past partners. I’d write about pleasure, expression, sex, communication, confidence. I’d write about doubt, boredom and betrayal. Betrayal of my mind, and belief in myself. I’d write about purpose – finding it, expressing it, nurturing it.
Eventually I got more and more comfortable expressing myself through writing and got up the courage to start speaking behind the safety of video-free internet (oh sweet, sweet teleseminars, God bless ‘em).
Hundreds of teleseminars, audio trainings and audio interviews later, I got my booty in front of a camera. YouTube videos. A new edge.
**Writing this made me think that I should go check out my channel, since there are probably a lot of old videos that could be irrelevant to my current business and should be deleted. Read about what I found in that rabbit hole at the end.**
Then came live streams…for the most part, I felt comfortable doing them in my private groups but when it came time to do my first one on my public page, I was SO nervous. I was back to shaking and sweating. Admittedly there are still times when I feel this way about sharing things publicly. It feels much safer to share in small, private communities where I know the majority of people are there because they want that information from me.
Public seems much more open to snide remarks, sexual commentary, and hecklers. So, I use discernment (as always), as to what to share publicly and what not. Not coming from a place of fear, but from a place of “where am I being guided to share this information?”
If you’ve been following me lately you may have noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of IN person speaking at live events lately. This has been the scariest step of all.
When I started my business, I boldly claimed that speaking on stage was not for me. I’d build my business from the comfort of my couch and cafes, please and thank you.
And, I did. I built it, and I built it good.
Over the last year, there started to be a tug. A tug to have the message I was being guided to share, to be shared in a way that would reach more people, and in a way that’d stretch me once more. In particular speaking more…on stage.
This was met with resistance at first, “hell no!”.
Then, “I’m open to being a yes to this.”
Then came the moment, once again, where things clicked and my body said, “Yes! I can do this, I’m ready for this.”
Once I said, “yes!”, the opportunities opened up immediately. (In the last 6 months, I’ve booked 9 events!).
My sweet spot has been events with 50-200 people. With one moving towards 1000 people later in the year.
I still feel comfortable with the smaller, more intimate events (workshop style = even better). But now, my edge is standing on stage, in front of thousands to confidently and clearly share my message.
In this journey of making a difference and being the best possible people we can be, we are constantly given the resources to do things we never thought possible – all in the perfect timing.
It’s a constant evolution, one that never really ends. Once we reach a certain stage the next level reveals itself, when and only when we are ready (to start working our way to being a full bodied “yes!” to it).
I share this story in hopes that if there’s ever been something that you’ve sworn off, due to a bad experience, someone telling you that you suck, or because you thought it wasn’t for you – BUT, it’s starting to show up for you… remember you aren’t the same person anymore and if you’re being called towards something, you will be given the resources to go for it.
PS. About that YouTube channel…I went down a half hour rabbit hole of deleting videos, and realized that an old video has over 1,024,000 views (and a thousand perverted and/or hilarious comments from trolls), and another newer video with over 30 comments, most related to my appearance and whether or not I’d aged well or gotten fat over the last 5 years.
Luckily I am in a place in my life now where I can walk away fairly unaffected by these comments, but I know that for me in the past, and for most women, many of these types of things people say really stick. There are a lot of ignorant, sad and mean people in the world that either have nothing better to do than troll, or don’t have the level of awareness to have an understanding of other viewpoints or healthier views.
The fact that out of 1034 comments only about 20 of them were relevant and the rest were either trolling or comments about my appearance (OR slut shaming…), reminded me a little bit more about WHY it can feel so hard for women to feel safe to fully express themselves and use their voices, especially publicly. **