Lesson #2 from competing in the International Speech Contest: How do I gain control and prepare for something when I don’t even know who’s judging me?
That’s what I had to figure out as I made my way to the big stage of the International Speech Contest. You see, in this event, there are international judges who will decide if I am good enough to be given the title of the Best Speaker in the World. They had all the power. So how was I going to prepare my speech to impress them and make them pick me?
I was driving myself crazy!!!
How do I dress? What words will impress them?? How can I make them sit up and notice me over the 97 other speakers competing???
Then hit me….I can’t control them. So why am I beating my head against the wall? Why am I focusing on the things I can’t control?
So I took a deep breath, and little by little, I began to take the steps that would lead me to being my own champion. I picked the outfit that I was comfortable in; I wrote the speech that I wanted to share with my audience; and I made sure that I was a winner in my own eyes. Then I practiced, and practiced, and practiced some more with the speech that came from my heart. When I walked off that stage after the contest, I knew I had done it my way, win or lose.
And isn’t that all we can ever do??? Just take a deep breath and focus on the things we can control. The rest is up to fate, or whatever you want to call it. Whether we are preparing for one of the biggest events of our life, or simply trying to get through the day, take one step at a time. Some days, maybe only a baby step. But you are in control and you keep moving forward. You choose the best path for today. And in the end, it doesn’t matter what others think. In the end, you are the only judge that matters.