Celebrating the Victories-Essential for Getting Past Fear of Presenting
Over the years I’ve worked people all over the world, all ages, both male and female, every occupation you can imagine. It is my educational background (far too many higher Ed degrees) and my hands on experience that have helped me craft presentation and confidence building strategies that work for my clients. Over the years, I’ve discovered that even though I love presenting, live, in video, on the mic, I’ve got my own deepest darkest fears that have nothing to do with presentations. It is in my own story, my own clients, my own education that I have developed the dings vs. the victory box concept.
Not too long ago, I realized something very important about my life and that is, like so many others, I’m very, very hard on myself. Although I don’t fear any type of speaking, I do still have fears, fears just like others have, “am I good enough”, “can I truly do this”, etc…My focus for many years clearly had been in the wrong place because my focus had been on everything I couldn’t do, everything that might not work, everything I was afraid of, total worst case scenario kind of stuff. I never celebrated anything I did well. For years clients have raved about my work and I’m very appreciative for those comments, but I’m not sure if I truly gave them the value they deserved, the celebration they deserved. I learned a few years back to truly celebrate the tiniest victories. One day it might be getting two things checked off on the do list, another day it might be making a call I was dreading. Each time I did something, especially something I feared I paid close attention. What I discovered very quickly was that all of the things I feared, almost always never came to pass. I would fear I couldn’t do something or a response that someone “might” give me, it never happened and actually, I always made it through each event with flying colors. This celebration technique was very powerful for me and I got to thinking about it with my clients, with their challenges and fears.
My practice has always been about empowering, in fact, I’ve always been called a confidence builder but I never put the work that I did into the terms of “celebration”. I built confidence in my clients, sure, I empowered them to believe they could do it, taught them step by step how and I even celebrated the victories with them. But this, this was different. I reflected back on all of my clients over the years, especially my current clients and I saw a common thread, a thread that I see within me, focusing on the dings and ignoring the victories. It was then that I came up with my teaching concept the dings vs. the victory box and it’s essential in building confidence as a presenter and communicator in speeches, on camera, on the mic, even day to day communication.
I started to implement my concept among my clients and what I noticed a big shift in each of them and fast. The dings are all the things in life, the bad communication experiences that really rattled us. Maybe it was a speech you made that went awry, maybe it was a time you stood up for yourself only to get lambasted by someone else, maybe it’s just the gigantic fear of everything that could go wrong if every time you think about doing a video. Those are the dings. Dings can even be a horrible divorce, the loss of a job, anything that was a bad experience. We focus on the dings, how can we not, they were huge for us, painful for us…we DO NOT want to experience them again so we keep them very fresh in our minds and our bodies. But, the victories exist, they are over on the right side screaming as loud as they can, “Hey, what about us” but we just don’t hear them or see them because we are so focused on the dings. What we have to do is start to turn our head to the right (imagine the ding box is on the left and the victory box is on the right) and notice the victories and with each new victory we have to celebrate it. The celebration can simply be an intense acknowledgment and awareness that you really kicked some serious butt or it can be a gift to yourself or a glass of wine, you name it! What is important, no matter how you do it is that you start to acknowledge the victories. If you do, they will start to become more powerful than the dings.
This idea becomes especially important in communication, presentation because we have so many fears around presentation and often times they are based in really bad experiences. Name me one person who has not had a bad communication or speaking experience, even I have had them. Those fears of speaking and communication are so big, such intense dings that they paralyze us. But, little by little we can take their power away by putting ourselves out there and creating a new story, victories and the celebration there of.
So, what’s your take away? Look at your fears. Are you afraid to ask your boss for a raise? Are you afraid to make a YouTube video teaching about your product or service? Are you afraid to tell your boyfriend that something he does really bugs you? No matter what it is, create a plan of what you want to do and how you want to do it. Shut the dings out, don’t look left and just TRY IT. Do not bring the negativity, the judgment, the dings into the picture, just simply see and believe in a good, no a great outcome and see what happens. When it’s a success, put it in the victory box and celebrate it. Rinse and repeat and start looking to the right and remember all the GOOD experiences around presenting and communicating and before you know it; the ding box will not even be an issue, ever again!