A few weeks ago, I opened up about being really excited but really nervous about a presentation opportunity I had. I wanted to share how I felt before I gave the presentation because it would have been so easy to share about it after the fact had it been a success. It also would have been easy to just bury it and act like it never happened in front of you if I bombed it. The thing is, you’ve been with me on this journey for the past few years and the bigger I dream, the harder I pursue them, and the bigger opportunities I have, the bigger the risk of failure. I don’t want to hide that from you. I don’t want to give you the impression that life is easy and everything works out for me all of the time. I don’t want to be so focused on being a life coach that I show you my polished side but I don’t show my imperfections and struggles along the way.
I went through a rollercoaster of emotions in the weeks leading up to the presentation. Some moments I’d be incredibly excited and couldn’t wait! Minutes later, I’d wonder what I had gotten myself into and wasn’t sure I could pull it off. One thing I know about myself is when it’s crunch time and that panic mode sets in, I need a plan! Otherwise, I get overwhelmed and all I see is what has to be done without knowing where to start and I procrastinate. I have to organize and come up with a visual way to execute. So I came up with my plan and even though I didn’t have it all together I knew I had it under control. Self-doubt and fear had to take a back seat because experience and skill were taking over. While I had never given a webinar before and this was the first presentation I was giving since being in this field, I realized I had more experience than I was giving myself credit for!
I’ve spent the past few years creating content online writing here among other things. I knew how to do that! So I just worked with what I knew and structured it a bit differently. I’m a visual person anyway so adding the slides to go with the words would take time to find the visual components but it wasn’t something that would be very challenging. Before I knew it, something that felt scary, overwhelming, and that I wasn’t prepared for now felt like something I had been training to do for years without even knowing it! Even the Facebook Lives I had been doing was great preparation! I made sure that my script was written in a way I’d talk because I wanted it to sound very relaxed and normal.
Going into it, I made sure that my focus was 100% on delivering the message. Not doing it perfectly, not wondering what they would think about it, not what would come of it. I just wanted to ensure that the message that was laid on my heart to share reached the person who was meant to hear it. I had no idea how many people would show up and honestly, I didn’t want to know. Although it was virtual, I didn’t want my focus to be distracted and turn to the numbers instead of the people themselves. I was a bit nervous at first but within the first 30 seconds, the nerves worked their way out. I concentrated on my breathing, slowing down my words, and just reading my script so it sounded as if my words were free-flowing.
I was ecstatic when I finished the presentation. I’ve been afraid of public speaking since I was in high school. Facebook Lives had shown me that I was no longer afraid to speak in public. I just confirmed it to myself in that presentation because that was the largest audience I’d spoken in front of even though I couldn’t see them and they could only see my slides and hear my voice. Honestly, that was a huge step for me. I’m not going to make it seem like I was cool as a cucumber or I had all of the experience in the world. Going into it, I knew it was a great opportunity. In the midst of it, I was terrified I wasn’t going to deliver and risk making the person who recommended me look bad. In the end, I realized I wouldn’t have said yes if I wasn’t prepared for it.
Today I just wanted to encourage you not to let the pursuit of perfection hinder your progress.
We can’t move forward without trying. We can’t get ahead without taking steps. Like I said, it’s easy to give you this encouragement and share about it now that it’s done and it turned out well. But I shared about it here before I had any idea of what it would look like. I don’t encourage you to do things I’m not willing to do in my own life. Just like as a mom I don’t parent under the philosophy of “do as I say not as I do”, I don’t do that here either. While we’re on our separate journeys and our challenges, obstacles, and dreams may be different, we’re still in this thing together. So surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone. Rub elbows with the ones who show you what it’s like to fly high but also show you when they aren’t able to soar. We could all use the reminder every now and then that the pursuit of perfection is overrated and wastes time and causes you to miss out on the opportunities to make progress.
Sending lots of love your way,
Fomer pursuer of perfection turned progress focused life coach