The Impact of One Email

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

It may have taken him five minutes, maybe less, to send that email, but in that time he was able to make me feel like I could conquer the world. And I have no idea who he is.

You see, last Saturday I gave a presentation at the Toastmasters Conference in Darien, Illinois. My topic was TEDx presentations; how to find them, prepare for them and deliver them. During my talk I mentioned how my personal TEDx speech, the one I gave a few years ago, had technical difficulties. Both the lighting and sound were pretty bad. I expressed my disappointment and said that I haven’t shared that video because it lacked good quality.

Then, out of nowhere, someone I have never met emailed me saying:

Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed it [my TEDx speech] and the sound didn’t phase me one bit. Your message was too powerful for me to be pulled away by a small echo here and there. When the speech was over, your story is what I remembered, the sound blips are nothing. Your brother would be proud of you with that speech. Well done!!!

“Your brother would be proud of you”… Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve been missing the point all along. I was so focused on the technical difficulties that I diminished the power of my message. So, it is with great pride that I invite you to watch and enjoy my TEDx speech: Nancy’s TEDx talk.

And a huge thanks to Matthew for taking the time to reach out to me. Your kind words have truly made a difference.

 

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Fake It Until…

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

You’ve all heard the term: “Fake it ‘til you make it.”

But the phrase that has really struck a chord with me is:

“Fake it ‘til you become it. “

The first time I heard this revised version was by Amy Cuddy on her TED talk. It reminded me of all the times I was afraid to try something new; of all the times I told myself: “NO, you just can’t do that. You’re not young enough or strong enough or good enough!” How many times have I set limits on my own possibilities and my own dreams!

A great example of this is my blog. 208 weeks ago I posted my first blog and I had no idea what I was doing. I’m so thankful that I have great friends who helped me set up the technology side of it.  Then I had to figure out the rest on my own. Did I fake it – YES. Did I eventually become it – ABSOLUTELY! It was a great accomplishment and a huge boost to my confidence.

Fear can be such a debilitating force and it can stop us from moving forward. Yet fear is normal. It’s part of the process. Our goal is not to get rid of fear but to walk through it and see who we become in the process.

So, the next time you feel challenged or fearful or begin to doubt your confidence, repeat to yourself.

Fake it ‘til I BECOME it.

BTW – this is the photo of me posting my first blog. Can’t you just feel the fear and astonishment?

 

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Put On Your Confidence Cape

Positive Attitude-Personal Development-Professional Speaker

Have you ever heard of Power Poses?  This term was introduced by Amy Cuddy and her now famous 2012 TED Talk.  It’s a concept that fascinated me and I was curious to see if it would work.

Here’s how it goes: When you find yourself in a stressful situation, stop and strike a pose like Wonder Woman.  You know what I mean – hands on hips, feet shoulder width apart, head up.  The idea is to hold this pose for two minutes and it can change your attitude.  According to Amy Cuddy, standing in a powerful position like this will actually have an effect on the cortisol levels in your brain.  You will feel more confident, assured and determined. 

Of course, you may feel a little strange striking the Wonder Woman pose while in your office or living room surrounded by people you know, so try it behind closed doors, like in a bathroom stall or empty elevator.  The idea is that you will emerge feeling more powerful and confident. 

Amy Cuddy also introduces several other poses you can use as well, some sitting down and others standing up.  Play around with them and see if they help you.  To learn more about her research, view her TED Talk at: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.

 So the next time you are going to that job interview, getting ready to conduct a meeting of your peers, or trying to get up the nerve to ask for that first date, try one of the Power Poses.  I’ve done a few myself and it really does make a difference.  What have you got to lose?

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