The Stories You Tell Yourself Influence Your Success
Craig had a fear of public speaking ~ including giving formal presentations to clients. This was holding him back from playing at a higher level both personally and professionally.
His thinking was robbing him of being brilliant.
How does a guy like Craig, who is terrified of public speaking, decide to take on a lead role in a community musical production and sing a solo?
What Others See
It began with a buddy talking him into auditioning, over a beer or maybe a few. 😉 His buddy was selling all the benefits of why it was a great idea, how capable he was and how much fun it would be. He bought into the picture his buddy was creating and agreed to audition.
He figured if his buddy could do it, he could too. When you see others ‘going for it’ it gives you permission to do the same!
Auditions took place and those selected to be part of the cast were called back (total strangers from different walks of life) to be given their roles. Craig was thinking a minor role to get his feet wet. The director saw in him what many of his friends did, a real ability to perform, and he was given a lead role.
Pay attention to what others see in you and make mental notes to draw on later. Your brilliance may be hidden in your blind spot or worse you may be undervaluing it.
Once he realized the magnitude of the role he was going to play, he began to panic. The thoughts running through his head were infused with fear. The fear of being judged, of forgetting his lines, of not being any good, actually all the same issues he had in regards to not wanting to do public speaking.
Stepping into this new experience triggered an early childhood memory (an old story) of being embarrassed in front of his third-grade class by not understanding what the French teacher was asking him to do. Everyone laughed at him and he vowed he wouldn’t let that happen again. Have you ever experienced an event that you don’t have any desire to relive? Is that holding you back?
Craig decided it was time to face his fears, live in the uncomfortable space for the short time and see what happens. He learned that when he got comfortable with himself, no amount of judgment from anyone else could affect who he was being. He took back control and changed the stories he was telling himself.
Rehearsals were an important tool for Craig, and the entire cast, so he was prepared opening night to sing, dance and remember his lines in front of a full house like a true star. He worked for months alongside the other cast members to hone his skills and build his confidence. He realized when he stretched himself beyond what was comfortable he felt the fear. It was uncomfortable and then thought to himself, SO WHAT!
Craig admitted that making mistakes and getting called out in front of everyone wasn’t easy. Of course, this was hardest for him because it triggered how he felt as a young boy. He was comforted by the fact that he wasn’t alone. Everyone around him was in the same boat, dealing with their own triggers and insecurities, and ready to let go of what was no longer serving them.
Being vulnerable helped Craig and his cast members see how they were more alike than different. Stepping into uncharted territory can be very uncomfortable but that is the space where you grow and receive the greatest rewards.
The cast members became like family. They cheered each other on, believed in each other and were vulnerable together. They approved of each other and lavished each other with praise. It all made a difference.
A brilliant performance! I saw the play and each cast member did a magnificent job. Craig knocked it out of the park with a standing ovation when he sang his solo. Not at the end or after the show, right when he finished singing his solo the audience gave him a standing ovation. I had to keep reminding myself that these people on stage came together as amateurs although, in the end, performed as professionals.
They had a vision, worked together, provided each other positive reinforcement, practiced, owned their part and knew they were not alone.
How can you apply this to your role as a leader?
There are many lessons you can apply from Craig’s experience to help you in being a more confident leader. Look over the list and select two to incorporate that will have the greatest impact for you in cleaning out the old stories.
- Create a vision or plan to provide you with a direction. Decide then do!
- Set clear expectations of the role you are playing. Own it!
- Surround yourself with people that are moving in the same direction. UP!
- Identify what scares you and do it. Don’t let a stumble from your past hold you back.
- Hang around with people that see the best in you. Pay it forward by seeing the best in them!
- Give your best performance. Prepare yourself and don’t wing it.
- Focus on the long-term gain and accept feeling uncomfortable.
- When someone believes in you, do everything to make him/her right.
- Seek approval from yourself first. That will lead to the approval of others.
- Stay focused on all the good stuff. Find the stories that support you.
Align yourself with what matters most to you. Live your brand fully expressed with intention and purpose to play bigger!
Are you interested in having a conversation to explore how you can define your personal brand and accelerate your growth as a leader, individually or as a team? Send an e-mail to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation.