The Real Risk is Doing Nothing – Partem
Follow your butterflies.
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The real risk is doing nothing.
Do you thrive in front of the camera?
Do you always know exactly how to behave?
Do you always know how to strike up casual conversations in big groups?
If your answer to those questions is yes, we are very different people.
This week was a great reminder of what my challenges are, as I did two things that were way out of my comfort zone: Posting my first blog and taping my first Vlog.
So, I love being a trainer. I love doing research and developing workshops. I love sharing experiences with participants. I feel butterflies in my stomach every time I see someone having an “aha-moment” after an exercise. I love it so much that I gave up my job (that I also loved) to pursue training as a full time a career.
You would think that if you are so passionate about something, it all comes natural. But it doesn’t. As I discovered, being a coach comes with some major challenges for my personality. Challenges that at times make me really wonder why I do this again.
I know why, I want to share our message about ownership and being passionate about life. However, as everyone knows (and as I probably should have realized sooner) the accepted way to get a message across in a workshop is being in front of a group of people and talking about it. Unfortunately, that is exactly something I am not comfortable with at all.
When I just started, it was bad. I would get so worked up, I felt physically sick. My mouth got dry, my voice squeaky and everyone noticed. I really wanted to be a trainer, so I learned some tricks to control my nerves. Like telling yourself that the nervous feeling is not pure angst (it really is) but excitement about what you are about to do. Honestly, this really helps, so thanks Simon Sinek. But, those first minutes I always still feel like I’m sinking.
The second thing I overlooked is that now a days THE way of delivering your message to “your market” and getting sign ups for your workshops is blogging and Vlogging.
I love writing as much as I love training. In fact when I was young I quite liked fancying myself somewhat of a writer. Blogging isn’t the problem. Posting my blogs is. Pretending that you are a reasonable writer is a lot easier when you avoid any chance of people critiquing you.
So when I posted my first blog I did what I do best when I feel insecure: freak out. I was stressing about some editing mistakes I couldn’t change right away. Luckily my boyfriend was there to reassure me that it was ok because (in his words): “Really Varouna, no one is going to read them anyway”
He meant that night (I hope) but it helped me to put things in perspective. It wasn’t like the whole world was glued to their screen, awaiting my blog, pen in hand, ready to start shifting through my mistakes.
Although indeed not many people read it (yet), some did. I got some really nice feedback, that’s helps me improve my writing. Also, I learned that if you want to reach people with your message, giving them a chance to actually read it, turns out to more effective than just keep saving your writings on Google docs. Who knew.
Vlogging is my Everest though. I came up with every excuse I could think of not to go ahead with it. I would have succeeded in bailing, if it hadn’t been for my manager who just ignored my apps about not going through with it and stoically rescheduled the cameraman.
Since my teenage years I resented every picture taken. Off course it wasn’t the photo’s I felt unhappy about. It was myself I didn’t want to be confronted with. Every “say cheese” moment was a reminder that deep down inside I didn’t feel I was beautiful enough, likable enough, worthy enough.
I worked really hard on getting comfortable with myself. Now I am actually quite content with most of being me. With the me that is self-conscious about her southern accent, that always spills food when she is wearing white (or clothes in general), even with the me that over-shares when she feels uncomfortable with people.
But when I did it, I felt happy. As always when I try something I think I can’t do. At least the first day and then I go back to picking it apart. But that initial feeling that is why I try. Despite my nervousness, my discomfort, my insecurity. It might be a cliché, but it works.
Avoidance will never grow confidence in yourself. Sticking your neck out and risk making a fool of yourself or failing will. You need to offer yourself these experiences to be able to discover what you are really capable of.