It’s finally here!
Today I leave to compete in the International Speech Contest in Washington DC. It’s been six months of preparing, practicing and sometimes panicking to craft the perfect speech and deliver it all in seven minutes. If I go just one second over, I am disqualified. And that would be the greatest loss of all – to beat myself.
So I practice and practice and practice some more. And when I feel like I can’t do this speech one more time, I practice it again. My goal is to be the best I can be. I’m not even thinking about my competitors because it’s not about them, and it’s not about me – it’s about my audience. This is my chance to make them laugh, to inspire them, and to make a difference.
I will share the stage with some of the greatest speakers in the world. And when I do feel that self-doubt creep in, I take a deep breath and tell myself this is where I am meant to be. All the stuff, good and bad, that has happened in my life has brought me to this moment. My goal is to stay “present,” to have fun, and to enjoy this new experience.
It’s not easy. I am stretched beyond my comfort zone. But I once heard that every time you do something new, it becomes easier and easier with time. The task has remained the same, but YOU have become stronger.
This is my chance to become stronger. It’s my time to pay back all the people who have supported me, helped me and loved me. I am here because of them.
And as Rachel Platten says in her song:
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
To be continued……