zaterdag 23 november 2013

Stop Saying “I Wish” and Start Saying “I Will” (Overig)

Yesterday, three-year-old Silas decided he wanted to learn to ride his bike without training wheels. Since we’re the type of parents who never want to hold our children back (or maybe you could term us “relaxed parents” since we’re okay with letting our children do things that might possibly result in some scrapes and bruises?), Jesse took off his training wheels, we suited him up with his bike helmet, and we helped him get up on his bike and try riding without training wheels.

Of course, he didn’t succeed yesterday and it was a whole lot harder than he thought it would be, but his determination to do this has been inspiring to me. How many times in our own lives do we wish we could do something, but we don’t just go try it, because we’re scared of the falls and bruises that might result from going out there and trying?

Facing My Public Speaking Fears

I’ve been learning this in my journey to become a public speaker. At first, public speaking absolutely scared me beyond what I can express. And no, I am so not exaggerating. Even though I had a lot of passion and a lot of things I wanted to share, I would avoid speaking opportunities like my life depended upon it.

This went on for years, with me turning down opportunity after opportunity because I didn’t want to stand up in front of a crowd and make an utter fool of myself. Now granted, I’m really, really glad I didn’t do public speaking back when I thought I pretty much knew everything.

Falling Down and Getting Up and Trying Again

God has been gracious to teach me a lot about grace in the last few years and to help me realize how far I have to come and how much I have to learn. In the process, He’s been challenging me to step outside my comfort zone and share some of my passion for financial stewardship and intentional living as a public speaker.

The first few speaking engagements I did were really downright awful. In fact, I pretty much read my talks word-for-word with a shaking voice. {If you were in attendance at one the aforementioned speaking engagements, thank you so much for your kindness to actually sit through the sessions!}

But as I kept putting myself out there, kept making mistakes, kept getting back up and trying again after falling down, public speaking has more and more become something I’m truly loving. And I’m excited that I can actually stand up in front of a crowd and ad lib with passion — something I never would have dreamed would be possible a few years back.

Turn Your “I Wishes” Into “I Wills”

If I had given up after those first few abysmal speeches, I never would have discovered how much I actually enjoy speaking to a crowd. And I certainly never would have had some of the opportunities I’ve had in recent months to get to meet and become friends with such amazingly dear people.

I’m far from where I want to be in honing the craft of public speaking (I was telling someone just last week, “I’ve got the passion, I just need to work on the polish!“), but I’m so excited at the progress I’ve made. Instead of running from critiques, I now welcome them because I know this is one of the best ways to improve. In fact, I’ve been making a few honest friends critique me after every speech and I’m getting ready to start working with a speaking coach who will likely take critiquing to a whole new level.

This is how you learn anything in life. You stop saying “I wish” and start saying “I will”. You jump out of your comfort zone and face your fears. You watch and learn from people who are much more experienced. You practice, practice, and practice some more. And you get back up and do it again when you fall down.

You might not succeed at what you’re hoping to and you might not end up where you plan to, but I promise that if you turn your “I wishes” into “I wills”, your life is going to be much more rich, fulfilled, and exciting. And you just might far exceed what you ever imagined was possible! 
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