I am an introvert.
Public speaking has always been scary to me and it’s something that I constantly work to improve. At the beginning of my career, if you asked me to get on stage in front of 1,000+ people, I would have said, “I can’t.”
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Fast forward 10 years and I did just that, when I gave my first TEDx Talk in New Bedford. It’s always been a goal of mine, to give a TED Talk, and the conference theme was fitting, fulfilling—UNBOUND: What happens when we explore beyond our limiting beliefs? This was the perfect opportunity to share my message with people who really wanted to hear it (in less than 18 minutes).
But those same fears I experienced years ago emerged: I can’t do this. I can’t say everything I have to say in 18 minutes. I can’t memorize this entire speech. And then it hit me: How am I supposed to tell people that “can’t” is just a mindset if I’m saying it right now to myself?
As I took a pen to paper, I found myself drowning in “can’ts.” I can’t talk about myself in front of all of these people; it’s just not in my nature. I can’t stay within the allotted time limit; I have too much to say. I can’t memorize all of this; I keep blanking. All of these can’ts were fogging my path.
I had to get out of my own way.