Here we are at the end of the first month of 2018 already. Doesn't time fly when we aren't looking? Whether your New Year's Resolutions were a formal list of goals or just a couple of wishes tossed out over a convivial cocktail with friends, at the moment we made them, were sure we'd keep them. And some of them we actually do. But most of them, truth to tell, are probably left by the wayside or forgotten by the time February rolls around.
Many folks came up to me last year who said they'd like to improve their speaking abilities, get over their fear, look for more opportunities to speak to groups, but... There's always a 'but'. What does that 'but' really mean?
I have a theory that people never take action to improve anything until we're so miserable with the status quo that we simply can't stand it anymore. Humans will put up with incredible amounts of disappointment, frustration, fear, disillusionment, etc., rather than do anything to change it.
When it comes to public speaking, we think about becoming more skilled, dream about it, talk about it, wish for it, but won't actually do anything about it until we absolutely have to, until not being the best speaker we can be is really harming us professionally or personally. The businessman who can't give a 60-second intro at a networking meeting without getting red-faced and tripping over his tongue and the entrepreneur who can't make a 20-minute speech on the value of her services without shaking in her designer boots have at least one thing in common. They believe it's okay to lose out on the personal and professional success that would come their way if they could present themselves and their businesses confidently to the world. The change required, they believe, is just too hard.
If you had to choose, which would you prefer? To settle for what you've got without challenging yourself to be better and achieving more? Or to accept that being the best you can be will take hard work, but you'll find you're capable of succeeding in ways beyond what you'd thought possible up to now?
The tricky thing about change is that it breeds like rabbits. One change leads to another, and pretty soon you'll become someone to admire for all kinds of qualities you didn't know you had. When you become a cool, confident speaker, comfortable in front of the room before any crowd, that skill and comfort will spill over into other parts of your life and business. People will respond to your new-found confidence, and new-found success will march right along with it.
Making real change is so much more gratifying than a simple resolution to do better. Make the commitment to yourself to do the work, overcome your reluctance, do the thing you're afraid to do. Resolve to become a unique & sexy speaker and who knows? It might be the successful resolution that makes all the other ones possible.