That’s All Folks!

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I didn’t expect it.

But there I was, standing in line at the Starbucks in the Washington DC airport. And I begin to cry. People around me must think I’m crazy. But it’s a minor breakdown – and it will pass soon.

The Toastmasters International Speech Contest is all over now. Out of 30,000 speakers competing, I’ve advanced to the final 98. Yes, I’m left standing with 1% of the greatest speakers in the world. We all started this journey over six long months ago. There was so much hard work, so many rewrites of my speech, and so many people who gave their time to me. But that’s all behind me now. And I don’t have a physical trophy to show for this last round of the contest.

Yes, I already know all the encouraging words that people will say:

You are a winner for getting this far
You did a great job and we are all proud of you
You are a better speaker and a better person because of this experience

My head knows all that. But my heart feels tired and rejected. You see, it was more than just a contest to me. It was exposing myself to the world, stepping out of my comfort zone and risking failure. It was accepting help from so many people and wanting to make them proud. It was taking a chance to see if I was “good enough.”

At first I try to hold back the tears and rationalize what has happened – and why it happened.

Then I decide to just let it be. You know what? I’m sad and I’m disappointed and I’m discouraged. And I decide to feel all those emotions and any others that may surface. I decide to embrace them and just let them happen. With time they will pass and I will rise, once again, stronger than ever.

Over 20 years ago, I saw a banner that said:

Feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.

20 years ago!!! And I still remember that saying today. So I decide to put it into practice. I will wrap my arms around all those crappy emotions, let the tears fall, and just plain feel. And I will be ok.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Thinking Professional Development Professional Speaker
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4 thoughts on “That’s All Folks!”

  1. Geryl Kramer says:

    Nancy- a friend once asked me- If you weren’t afraid to fail…what would you do.
    You did it- and that’s what counts. Also one thing they say is Men just keep going- women tend to personalize failure more. We are all proud of you

  2. Nancy Depcik says:

    Interesting thought – I’m going to ask the men I competed with what their thoughts are. I’ll share them so we can all learn from this .

    And thanks for your words of encouragement. Yes, I did push beyond my comfort zone, and now it won’t be so scary the next time I do it.

  3. You can only lose something you dreamed of having when you stop dreaming. Never stop dreaming.

    And knowing you, sis, you never will.

    Love you and admire all you have done.

  4. Nancy says:

    Wiser words were never spoken. I never thought of it that way. Thanks for giving me a new perspective, and new energy to continue on my path. You have given me so much strength though all of this.

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