Someone else’s motivation influenced me.
A year ago, I joined Toastmasters International, to get better at public speaking. I took up this challenge to see how fast I could get past my uncomfortableness of sharing stories in front of a crowd. Sure, I’ve given plenty of speeches during my undergraduate and graduate years but I never truly did them with a goal in mind (well, other than getting an A of course!).
But now I had the goal to improve myself.
In the span of 9 months, I made myself go up on stage every single week, to speak in whatever shape or form. Whether it was to give a speech, evaluate someone, or tell a joke, I told myself I had to do SOMETHING.
Then I got hurt.
The pain from my herniated disc held me back in so many ways, and one collateral damage was Toastmasters. I stopped going. I honestly didn’t think much of it…until I realized I got left behind. And there’s nothing I hate more than that.
Prior to herniating my disc, a colleague of mine walked on stage and gave her first speech. She couldn’t even finish it because she broke down in tears. She was having a panic attack being in front of everyone. A few weeks later, she redid her speech without breaking down, even though she technically stood there reading her notes. I could see she was determined to cross off her first speech no matter what.
Then I went MIA for 3 months.
I even tricked myself into believing I didn’t need to go back once I was able to because I was good enough with public speaking, AND I had BETTER things to do with my time (ahem, yes, I’m still working on creating my course people!) So I dodged the meeting invitations and all the inquiries as to when I’d be back.
Like a true introvert.
I eventually told myself to GET OVER IT and go to a meeting. At that point, I felt the initial anxiety I had the first time I joined. This usually happens when I spend too much time away from something, I feel like a total beginner when I get back into it. I was avoiding Toastmasters because I was scared to get back into it. But I overwrote those thoughts.
The first meeting I went back to after 3 months, that same colleague got up to give her 8th speech. She had no notes. Made eye contact with everyone. Walked around the stage, owning it. And gracefully completed her speech without pause.
She totally rocked it.
And I felt a pang of resentment. Guilt. Jealousy.
Because a year ago, I set on this journey to complete Level 1, and here was my colleague completing Level 2 within 3 months, and I….halfway through Level 1.
I was embarrassed at how little progress I made because I got complacent. And as I got complacent, I got scared. Scared to pick up where I left off for fear that I had lost everything I gained.
So what did I do? I signed up immediately to give my last speech from Level 1. No more time to waste. I left my jealousy at the door and chose to be motivated.
By going up there, doing her thing, pushing through her emotions, she INFLUENCED me to want to do the same.
She has no idea of the impact she had on me by simply being motivated to do her own thing.
And I bet YOU have no idea of the impact you’re making on someone. Just by showing up and pushing your own boundaries. People seek inspiration and motivation.
Why not be the one to give it to them?