A few days ago, I (together with a few of my colleagues), were invited to speak to a group of women. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I barely slept that night. I spent every waking moment agonizing over everything that could go wrong. I could walk to the front and fall flat on my face, my mother tongue superiority could choose that particular moment to leer its ugly face or I could flat out blank out. The next day however, I woke up with an amazing laissez faire attitude and I was calm and collected. I knew things would go well and that if they did not, tough luck. I knew I had done all I could and if things still didn’t work out, then I would know it was not through lack of trying.
The venue was in an amazing rooftop restaurant. The sun was setting, sort of putting up a show for us. It was so breathtaking that I almost forgot why I was there. When the time came, I walked up to the podium and just started speaking. The whole time, I felt like it was someone else speaking and that I was sitting in front of them listening. I watched this confident person and for a split second, could not fully recognize them. I wanted to tap them and ask them when and how they got here. What happened to the squeamish little girl who could not even speak to visitors who came to their home? What happened to that timid voice and when did it become this stable voice reverberating and hugging everyone in the open space? How had she found the courage to speak to 50 people in a different country, so far from her comfort zone?
Later, after the dust had settled, I started to think about how this had all happened. I started to remember the first time I was sent to speak to someone who I found very intimidating. The first time I was placed in the reception of an event. Then I remembered the first time I had to speak at work, in front of about 30 eager and unsmiling eyes. It suddenly dawned on me that this process had not happened overnight; it had been a slow growth process. While I wasn’t looking and simply living, I had grown public speaking muscles.
This got me thinking about other things in my life that I had been struggling to get better at. I specifically thought about fitness. I have been trying to get in shape for the longest time. However, I fall off the bandwagon often too much. The reason always is that I don’t see progress. See, the fallacy of bursts of motivation is that it feeds off bursts of growth. It convinces you that if you skip rope for two days, you should have abs that can be seen through your clothes. You go online and look at transformation stories that get you fired up. You don’t even take time to set your goals, you just want to go and get results. Well, that never happens and you obviously lose motivation. Consistency on the other hand feeds off habits, you focus on changing your life and doing the work. You do not focus on huge unmaintainable efforts. You take small consistent steps to your goals and trust the process. After growing public speaking muscles, this girl is kicking this a notch higher and aiming for actual body muscles. What muscles are you hoping to grow this season? To read more posts by Angela, click HERE