A couple days ago, I was talking with someone who was having some self-doubt about her abilities and where she is on her journey.
But make no mistake, this girl’s a rockstar. She’s an extreme adventurer, speaker, aspiring author, AND creative who dreams of simplifying self-help concepts into fun cartoons to make them more accessible to the masses.
During our conversation, Rockstar was feeling stuck as she didn’t feel like her creative work was making the impact she feels like she is capable of making.
I then asked: “What if the creative work was what grew your audience, but your speaking was how you delivered the impact?”
It shifted the entire atmosphere of possibility in the conversation.
At the same time, it brought with it its own feelings of self-doubt about whether or not she has what it takes to be a professional speaker.
I then shared with her a story I want to share with you now.
Back in 2015, I was part of the TEDx Cape Town organizing committee. As part of the speaker team, my job was to make sure the speakers had everything they needed, both in the build-up to the event and on the day itself, and were ready to deliver a powerful talk.
On the day of the event, that role shifted to supporting a few of the speakers backstage. As luck would have it, one of my role models was speaking that year and I was honored to be his “backstage buddy”.
Now, TEDx events are open to anyone with an idea worth spreading, but it just so happens that my role model did make a living as a speaker (and extreme adventurer, which further hit home with Rockstar).
But here’s the thing: despite the fact that he did this for a living, he was still terrified moments before going on stage and struggling with his own self-doubt. He was pacing up and down, hands sweating, asking me if everything sounded okay and worrying that he would forget his lines.
The irony, of course, is that no one could see this once he got on stage, and he went on to deliver an unforgettable talk.
So why did I share this story with Rockstar (and with you)?
Because sometimes, we see people doing the things we want to do and immediately put them on a pedestal when in reality, they’re experiencing the very same fears, concerns, and self-doubt that we’re experiencing.
In other words, the fact that you’re feeling a certain way about yourself and your abilities doesn’t make you any less capable of doing the thing that’s freaking you out.
Remember that the next time you’re doubting yourself. Act anyway and you’ll see that you, too, are a rockstar.
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