Monday, November 16, 2009

Hold On To Your Neighbor

Recently I had an important speaking engagement. I had chosen to speak on the value of making mistakes, how mistakes are important lessons that help us grow and make us who we are, and how we should learn to simply view mistakes as neutral experiences that we can deposit into our knowledge-bank account and watch as our wealth of wisdom gradually grows every time we make a mistake. (You may be familiar with one of my earlier articles on this topic)

I’m used to speaking and I enjoy it. I rarely get nervous and overall I feel very comfortable on the platform which is a good thing when you are a speaker!
But sometimes you become so used to doing what you do that you begin to think that you can get away with murder...

I guess this is what happened to me on that particular occasion. I stopped paying attention and allowed myself to run on autopilot.

Now, in some cases I guess autopilot works. But sometimes it turns out that the battery is drained and so the power fails. Complete system failure!
At the time, thought to myself, "why was this happening"?!

I hindsight it was simple. My system was totally overloaded. My head was in a hundred different places at once, and I wasn’t able to hold a single thought long enough for it to manifest into anything coherent or useful at all.

Sometimes we need to sit back, take a deep breath and simply allow our batteries to charge. We need to listen and pay attention when our entire being is screaming at us to SLOW DOWN!!! Are all of those tasks on the to-do list really dead necessary!? Do we really need to grasp at any opportunity that comes our way?

There’s nothing wrong with saying no. It’s OK to admit that there are limits to how much we can take on and cope with at any one time. If we spread ourselves too thin, the things and maybe even the people that matter the most to us may suffer. If we try to do too many things at once, chances are that none of them will get the care and attention they deserve – none of them will get done properly. And there’s nothing more frustrating than not doing your best or being the best that you know you can be.

That day I was reminded how important it is to stay present and stay in the natural flow of things. And I was certainly reminded that no matter how experienced and well trained we are, falling asleep behind the wheel is not a good option – you might steer yourself straight into the ditch!

I made several mistakes during my presentation – I was counting them as I went along – and I was humored by the irony of the situation. Here I was, talking about mistakes and keenly demonstrating as I went along!

Were the mistakes good for me? You bet. The engagement was all good fun and pretty relaxed, so no real harm done. But a couple of weeks later I was due to speak at a huge convention. I suspect that without an early wake up call I would have simply continued full speed ahead down the same road to overload disaster. Now I wouldn't.

No matter how much we would like to think so, none of us are invincible. And you know what – that’s okay - we don't need to be. It is far more important to enjoy and feel passionate about what we do than to impress people with our perfection. Think about it; who would you rather be inspired by: someone who exudes joy and excitement - or someone who is so perfect that you can't relate to them?

When we show our weaknesses and our vulnerable sides we reveal ourselves as fellow human beings - no matter who we are, how accomplished, successful, rich or famous. We all come from the same place. We're all in the same boat on the same journey. So it's not so scary after all. As long as we stay in touch with ourselves we'll be all right. It is when wee loose touch with ourselves that we loose touch with the world and other people too - and when this happens we're on for a very lonely journey.

Stay present. Stay in touch, hold on to your neighbor and enjoy the ride.

To Your Courageous Speaking Joy and Success!


Suzann Rye
Empowering Voice & Spirit.
Author of the #1 bestseller, Your Voice Is Your Calling Card.
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