A great friend of mine gave me a call two days ago and asked me to speak in front of community constituents in order to help raise money for a wonderful cause.
Of course, I agreed to do it. I’m pretty bad at saying no, but on the flip side, I knew this was a chance for me to be uncomfortable and see how I would handle myself.
I made a decision a few months ago to start making a transition in my life from digital marketing to motivational…something. During one of our “come to Jesus” conversations, my wife asked me what my purpose was in life and immediately said, “I like to help people.”
Marketing gave me the ability to help businesses achieve their goals, which led to great relationships. When you have those types of connections, people tend to open up about themselves, and sometimes a few ask for advice. Apparently, I’m good at listening and whatever came out of my mouth, others needed to hear. This planted the seed.
Fast forward to the last night, and I found myself standing in front of a crowd of about two hundred people or so.
If You Wanna Do Something Cool, You Have to Jump in the Pool
When I speak to people about their fears of the unknown, I always tell them to simply jump in the pool. The human mind, body, condition – whatever – is so strong, yet many of us never give it the credit it deserves. You can easily compare it to jumping in a pool.
Standing at the edge, you know it’s going to be cold. You know it’s going to be uncomfortable. That first dip is gonna suck! But you also know that once you’re in it for five minutes, your body acclimates to the water temperature and you never want to get out. This is the same for life.
I knew last night’s opportunity was the same as jumping in the pool. I had to get right in and shiver away the fears of public speaking and get acclimated to the experience – and it was amazing!
Start with the Positive, F**K the Negative
You always think of failing first, never succeeding, which is a bummer! No one wants to be embarrassed and that tends to stop many of us from taking risks and eventually doing something with purpose. Imagine if we all just started to think of succeeding instead? Talking about how cool it’s going to be WHEN we achieve a goal, as opposed to IF we achieve a goal? Your life changes and it’s almost immediate.
I was nervous last night when they called my name to grab the mic, but I knew I had to embrace this gift I was given. Walking onto the field at FirstEnergy Stadium, I felt how cold the water was. I could hear the shiver in my voice, yet after a few minutes, I was able to calm down and center myself. Thoughts were clearer and my objective was front and center. My mind and body were acclimated to the temperature and now I didn’t want this moment to end.
The next time you find yourself staring at a situation you know is going to be uncomfortable, just jump in the pool. I promise you will find the strength you need to get used to the water and do things you never thought possible.
For the Kids
Last night I had the honor of speaking at the Olivet Boys & Girls Club Leaders and Legends Dinner which featured NFL Hall of Famer Andre Reed. If you would like to watch the event in its entirety, please click here. You can also find more information on Olivet by visiting their website. Please consider donating if you have the means to do so.