Some of the smallest things can appear monumental. Five sentences. FIVE STINKIN’ SENTENCES. All I had to do was recite them with feeling and heaven knows I’d done it a million times before – to the kids, to my poor husband, my students, the school secretary. I looked into the eyes of the mock agent and….CHOKED. I laughed, then belittled my self and started over three times. The second interview only went half as bad and by the time I got to the third and the fourth I was feeling a little better but when I got home from the dinner party I was nauseous. What if that had been the real thing? WILL I DO THAT AT THE REAL THING? The awful scene kept rolling over in my head, even the next morning, until my phone started dancing across my desk with an update from a blog I subscribe to. One quote stood out to me:
Mistakes can refine us or define us. –Kristen Lamb
Oh, by the way that is my little puppy in the photo taking on the toy dinosaur I KNOW! She’s adorable. Anywho back to failure. We’ve all heard it before but it is truly, truly all about perspective. Now, I am so glad I went in and bombed it with the sweet people that took an hour or two out of their busy schedules to come hear this dreamer pitch her book, because now that I’ve fallen flat on my face, I know what NOT to do.
Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. -Henry Ford
My thoughts are my worst enemy. I psych myself out. I psych myself out about psyching myself out! So, when I got home that night I started thinking things like, “What are you trying to accomplish anyway? Why are you putting yourself through this? Just bury it and walk away.”
But failure only happens when we quit. As long as we are trying, there is the potential for success in our future. I’m encouraged by what I learned from biting the big one the other night. It opened the door for me to improve so I can walk into the room with those agents next week with a totally new perspective.
These moments in our journeys are the growing times and it’s all in how we perceive them. We can walk away saying, “Oh! I see exactly what I did wrong. I’m so glad I caught that so I can change it.” Or we can walk away saying, “I can’t believe I blew it like that.” I have to say I might still be wallowing in the latter stinking thinking if it weren’t for my husband, who isn’t afraid to point out the things that need working on because he knows I’m capable of knocking it out of the park. I can’t always see that but for now I’m going to take his word for it.
So, here’s what I’d love from you: advice. How do you stay out of your head in the moment? What do you do when you can feel that you’re losing your grip during a presentation? How do you just relax and tell your story to a perfect stranger? I’d love to hear from you!