The other day my younger daughter auditioned for a play at a local theater. When she came back I could tell that she was a little bummed. “I just don’t think I gave my best performance and I don’t want to be counted out…” she said. “I’m going to audition again tomorrow”. I asked her what she felt kept her from giving her all the first time and she shared that she was just so worried about what other people would think.
It made me think about how that theme is so prevalent for so many of us and not just those in the younger gen Z. To be honest, when I was younger I honestly didn’t care as much what other people thought (maybe in the same way that we often did things in our youth without as much worry about the consequences) but as I have gotten older I am a little more concerned with how my messages are received. You become a little more guarded and maybe just a little more worried about how you fit in with societal pressures.
I started thinking about how I used to get so overly worked up and nervous before a speaking engagement. I would over-prepare and practice, practice, practice. I’d use affirmations and say a little prayer but I would still walk away not feeling as confident as I wanted to. Then I learned a few tips that helped me get out of my own head, feel less vulnerable and feel more like myself when doing something new and challenging like public speaking. Here are my top three tips for enjoying your moment in the sun with confidence.
- Remember why you started- if you’re getting all worked up about a performance, a speech or even an event, think about your why. Something is pushing you to seize this opportunity and get out of your comfort zone. What’s your why? Do you love the topic that you’re speaking about, are you attending a networking event to try to expand your business or land a new job? Did you just launch a blog because you believe you have a message for other women or moms that is important for you to share? Remembering your why makes it bigger than you and helps you to think a little less about yourself and more about that important thing you are trying to convey.
- Separate the message from yourself-in that same vein I think it is important to separate the message from yourself. When I do a speaking engagement I try to remind myself that it isn’t about me. People aren’t there to see or judge me, they are there to receive something. I focus on giving more than receiving and try to remove my ego from the equation.
- Speaking of ego, my third and most important tip would be not taking yourself too seriously. I think that overthinking and letting the ego rule can rob us of the experience causing us to narrow in and focus on every little stumble instead of truly seeing the big picture and even worse it can be paralyzing, causing us to give up too soon or not even try.
I’m so proud of my daughter for getting back up on that stage and being both brave and humble enough to try again. If there is something you want to do, don’t let taking yourself too seriously stop you from trying. More often than not we are judging ourselves so much more harshly than anyone else ever will. And the honest hard truth is most people aren’t thinking that much about us anyway.
I’d love to hear what you do to help you calm your nerves and feel more confident.
Until Next Post,
xo Tonya Parker
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