Most people think they know me. They assume I'm confident, outgoing, positive and "on" all the time. They couldn't be more wrong. Every day I work at building the "new me." Today's Toastmasters meeting was a perfect example of that.
I first heard of Toastmasters back in Connecticut, where I attended one meeting but knew I wasn't ready. But since discovering my life purpose and passion in empowerment coaching, I've put Toastmasters on my New Year's Resolution list.
Three years later, I finally had the courage and time to jump over this hurdle. Today, I not only attended a meeting as a guest, but I also participated in it!
I'm not gonna lie. I was pretty scared and I felt the old, shy, insecure Sharon rising to the surface and in the shaking in my body and my voice. But, I guess they didn't notice because I won today's ribbon for "Best Table Topic!"
What was the topic? "Taking Risks!" Well, isn't that a no-brainer for me! My new life in San Diego has been riddled with taking risks - from moving here, answering an ad to live with college students and changing jobs several times to getting married for the first time to a man with two sons.
Any time you attempt to do something new or different, you are taking a risk. Any time you take a risk is the perfect time to practice self-compassion. It's important to have compassion for yourself when you're doing something new or different because the goal is not to be the best, but, instead, to do your best. How could you possibly be expected to be the best at something you've never done before? That doesn't even make sense.
Any time you do something for the first time, you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, moving forward in courage and upward in confidence. That means there's movement and where there's movement in your life, there's growth - even if just an Inch! But it is that Inch that no one can ever take away from you - not even you! And, that is why for every time you do something for the first time, you continue to build up your reservoir of self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.
Therefore, taking risks is essential to growth. It is the foundation for developing courage and confidence and achieving the best version of yourself.
At today's meeting I spoke about risking everything I had to start over in a new city. I didn't focus on being the best at speaking on this topic. I simply focused on my message: If I didn't risk everything coming out here at 40, I wouldn't be where I am now - mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually.
...And, I wouldn't have a ribbon to prove it!