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Do you have your ducks all in a row?

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Do you find yourself saying no to an opportunity because you aren’t perfect? Let me ask you another question, who do you know that is perfect? Some of the most successful people I know didn’t have their ducks all in a row before saying yes to an opportunity. What do you do when you don’t have all your ducks in a row? Do you cut yourself short and decline the opportunity to contribute? Or do you step out of your comfort zone and risk moving forward?

It’s natural to have doubts in your ability to tackle a new challenge for the first time. Often we want more time to continue preparing and perfecting. We don’t feel we are ready and we resist because we don’t want to fail. We don’t want to make a mistake. This was exactly the case for my colleague and me as we experienced our first speaking engagement. We’d completed our research and collaborated to create our presentations. We studied, did dry run’s and asked for feedback. We wrote and re-wrote and did more dry run’s. We were so focused that we begun to rehearse our presentations in our sleep. And even so, we still wished we had more time to prepare and perfect our presentations.

We finally told ourselves that it was time to deliver. We reassured ourselves that we had done all we could to deliver with professionalism and style. And you know what? That’s exactly what we did. We stopped thinking about ourselves and our needs. Instead we focused on the reason we wanted to speak in the first place, to help others.

“When I dare to be powerful to use my strengths
in the service of my mission (vision) then it becomes less
and less important whether I am afraid.”
~ Audre Lorde

And here’s the best part. Because we were willing to step out of our comfort zone and risk the chance of failing, we grew in our confidence and helped others as well. The presentations went really well. There were parts of the presentation that were right on and parts where there’s room for improvement. It wasn’t perfect, however, it was good enough to really inspire some people. People laughed and some even cried. We were overjoyed with the response we received. Many people thanked us, often with tears in their eyes and some even asked us to be their mentor. Was it easy? No. But it sure was worth the reward!

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