I intended to win the ¨Top Ten Speakers in Europe¨ speech contest yesterday from Toastmasters. I hired a coach, rewrote my award-winning script, listened to the recording in slow motion- it´s fun to hear yourself sounding drunk as you talk about jumping in water sprinklers in Cairo) and double speed as I slept- and yet- when the big moment came on Zoom yesterday.
I made a big mistake.
My motivation was - not to win- if I had wanted to do that I would have started my speech more than 1 week prior to the national championship; rather- I wanted to tell people that they can be who they are.
I struggled my whole life to fit in. As a 179cm 12-year-old with socks- in size 12men (44)-- Birkenstocks, smelling like schnitzel and not owning a Gameboy
- our family was the weird Germans.
This 7:30min. story- which ended up being 8:10minutes - is about my experience with Princess and how one afternoon with this 2 year old refugee taught me that joy is in the little things and that we must keep going toward our joy- despite the voices of the others. She was a refugee and she didn´t give a hoot that society, religion and men were not rooting for her success.
She had a not so bright future and she danced anyway.
Me with all training, privilege and good looks (hehe) and I hide my light because I don´t want people to not like me? Come on! Get over it! I would say to my clients- if they told me this story.
Have you felt like you don´t fit in? it may be seen as a small thing- but as social animals-- it´s huge! It´s so important to feel part of a tribe- to feel nurtured, supported and loved. If you live somewhere where the people act very different from you, have completely different values and look different- you are 3x as likely to feel isolated.
So, why do you shy away from showing yourself?
I know why.
It´s textbook Psychology 101
It´s therapy 101
It´s humanity 101
You want to be liked.
And yet. It´s debilitating.
Because there´s a 2-year-old Princess presence inside of you that knows what you want, means no harm and wants to play.
If you could do what is fun, makes you smile allows you to be in a good mood- what would you do?
Could you make money at that?
....not right now--- but if you developed the skills?
Is there anyone in the world who earns money doing what you love to do?
This is the message Princess and my 8:10minute speech had for you.
Be you. Jump into your Sprinkler.
So, what mistake did I make yesterday- 24 hours ago as I logged onto my Zoom competition?
I forgot to pin the timer.
I started, got on a roll, and couldn´t dare adjust to the situation, to go up to the screen and pin the speaker- afraid someone might think I am an idiot- and realize I hadn´t prepared well.
So instead. I went over the time- got disqualified and know inside myself that I wasn´t an idiot- just a girl telling a story she loves - wanting people to find their sprinkler- to like themselves more- and she herself didn´t want to distract from the message to walk up to the screen and hit ´pin´ the timer screen.
I lost yesterday, but I learned that inside all of us is this fear to be liked and respected and cared for- aka Not thrown to the wolves- and it´s human, forgivable and sweet.
And sometimes, it´s the right time to Get over it and go do what you love.