I recently finished a weekend working as a public speaker for the National Guard. It was a challenging and rewarding weekend in one. Historically, I have always been a “humorous” speaker. I rely on my personality and effervescence to carry whatever my message is. Admittedly, this was a presentation that I was not as prepared for as I normally am. It was on topics that I don’t normally engage – with a group I don’t know. I wasn’t excited to dig into the serious topics that were ahead of me. I’ve been terrified of speaking on a serious subject – I just didn’t know if I could do it. I remember when I first started my training as a counselor, the professors were eager to point out the magic of silence. It’s in those moments when no one is talking that reflection happens and if you just hold tight, the client will start talking. It took me a little while to get used to having silence sit between me and another person. My kids will tell you I still have problems with that. But, could I have silence in a classroom? Could I have a class that didn’t involve laughter and fun? What if everyone just stared at me? That’s my equivalent of the “naked dream.” It was a rough start, but after we got a rhythm, I felt like I could tell the story that needed to be told.
I wonder about the limits we set for ourselves. Whether it be conscious or not, we all have certain limitations that are completely self-imposed. It’s like that old question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” So many times I have ideas of what I’d like to do, but don’t ever give it a chance for fear of failure. If I’m honest I wrap up my insecurity in a blanket of ignorance. My favorite excuse is, “I don’t know how to do it, and I don’t know who to ask.” Finding the answers is not a hard task, but it’s a good way to keep from having to actually do what I say I want to do. I had a great idea for a television show. I worked hard and did what I thought I had to do. I was given feedback and then…I dropped it. It got to be too much of an effort for something that would feed every insecurity I have. What if people don’t like me? What if people laugh at me (and not in a good way)? What if I do this and figure out that I didn’t really want to do it?
Now I’m building a business with my dear friends. We’re starting a corporate training company with a focus on Leadership, Communication and Customer Service. We’ve been doing this very thing for more than ten years for other people and organizations. It’s time to do it for ourselves. I wonder what limits I will put on myself. I’ve taken on the financial aspect of the business – definitely not my strong suit – and I wonder if I’ll face the task or if I’ll drop it. Will I run with my insecurity, or use it to make me stronger? I hope that I’ve chosen partners who want the vision as much as I do. I hope that now that I’ve recognized this personality trait in myself I will work to overcome it.
Or maybe the Trident Training Solutions, LLC t-shirt will go in the closet with my television script.