Bumps & Bruises

Bumps & Bruises

It’s been a whirlwind start to the year and if you’re anything like me, it feels like I’m already a behind just a few weeks in. Right?

I spent this past week in Philadelphia with a handful of other public speakers working on our new keynote speeches and training to be better storytellers. One evening, a group of us went out to dinner and started talking about the experience. The conversation hit me right between the eyes as something I think you can relate to.

Each one of us sharing how we thought we knew how to speak effectively from the stage, but the last few days had busted our egos pretty good. We were being hard on ourselves while trying to better ourselves – and ironically, that doesn’t work.

One of the guys in our group made the analogy that he’d just come to terms with. A lifelong skier, he shared that if he were going to take up snowboarding, he’d expect to spend a few days falling, getting beat up & bruised rolling down the mountain while training to pick up this new skill. He knew how to ski a mountain great, but trade his skis for a snowboard and he’d be in trouble.

He’d expected the bumps & bruises snowboarding, but was being down on himself for going through the same experience learning how to better perform from the stage as a storyteller.

The snow was the same, but the equipment was different. His speech was slightly the same, but the delivery was different. Why wouldn’t he have bumps and bruises? Like him, I get incredibly frustrated by slow progress, even though in a different arena, I’d expect the progress to be slow and painful.

Can you relate to that feeling?

We start out toward a new goal and become immediately frustrated when we struggle with it – yet, how many of us would be that hard on ourselves if picking up a new sport or trying a new hobby? Most likely, we wouldn’t be at all. We’d understand it’s part of the process of improvement and would continue working away.

In other words, we wouldn’t let a few bumps or bruises cause us to quit.

The same mindset applies to the pursuit of our goals. Any new adventure is going to have a slower, rockier beginning. Don’t be so hard on yourself for that skinned knee or bruised ego. It’s all part of the process.

Just keep competing. You’ll get there.

I believe in you.

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