Saying thank you for a gentle shove outside my comfort zone

I make my living as a writer for many reasons; among them, that I don’t have to talk. In other words, I avoid public speaking like the proverbial plague. Or, to be more accurate, I limit my public speaking audiences to two age categories: 10 and under; 70 and older.

Back in November, I agreed to speak to an audience somewhere between, but because I surmised (correctly) that the group would have at least one person in the latter category, I said yes. Today was the day agreed upon. I had been thinking about what I would say and had written down several pages of thoughts.

But this morning, 30 minutes before I needed to leave, my sister Susan called to wish me luck and ask about what I would say. I surprised us both (and my son, who happened to be standing nearby) by bursting into tears.

“I can’t do this!” I cried. “I am awful at this! I am going to make a fool of myself!”

She helped me; gave me ideas I wasn’t sure I could pull off. SHE is the speaker; her timing and her delivery are impeccable. She’s FUNNY. I only am when I am around certain people — maybe a half dozen or a few more in my entire lifetime.

Well, her suggestions worked. I had a wonderful time with this delightful and welcoming group of women. The venue and the people were perfect: They met at someone’s house, in a living room, with everyone (including me!) sitting down…well, initially. I had them stand to start with yoga breathing (which helped me too!).

Then I just talked — about my dad’s influence on my writing, about feature stories, about fitness. Heck, I even showed them how to do a push-up leaning against the heavy wooden table on which they’d piled plates of healthy foods (in my honor).

I arrived at 10:15; it was almost noon before I left. I even all but agreed to speak to another group that a woman there belongs to. I walked out into the sunshine with the sweet woman who had invited me there. We hugged, I said thank you, and my day continued in an upward direction.

So for a shot of self confidence, administered by a sister who shoved me outside my comfort zone, The Grateful Runner says thank you.

3 thoughts on “Saying thank you for a gentle shove outside my comfort zone

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I write occasionally and have spoken publicly many times about different topics but a couple of weeks ago, I talked about my weight-loss–a topic I hadn’t spoken publicly before. The crowd was welcoming and appreciative, but the after-effects on me lasted a week! Shook me to my core, but I was ultimately glad I did it. Those shoves outside your comfort zone can be so scary but are always worth it. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Oh, Melissa, you are so welcome. And good for you for getting out of YOUR comfort zone to talk about something so personal & such a great source of pride. Yeah, sometimes those crowds can surprise us, can’t they?! Again, kudos for your weight loss and for sharing your story with others (and with me!)


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