Monday, September 18, 2017

Are you standing in your own way?

I've been standing in my own way for quite some time. I've been sabotaging my chances at being great because I've had the wrong mindset for quite some time. I recently challenged myself to go all in though and even though I've only taken one step forward, I've already seen a change. And it's a change that's big enough to propel me forward to the next step of my journey.


Sometimes it takes one simple step to make all the difference. That's what happened last week. I took one step outside of my comfort zone and it has set things in motion in a way I never expected. We're going to have to go way back to the beginning for you to fully grasp how I stepped outside of my comfort zone. That's right - we're going back to my childhood today.

I was in speech therapy all through elementary school. There were several sounds that I couldn't quite master, even with the help of a speech therapist. I'm not ashamed of it but it's also not something I talk about often. To me, it's a thing of the past - a part of my story as an individual but not the page that I'm currently on.

Except for the fact that it's not really a part of the past - in many ways, it's a very real part of my present life. I've created mind blocks that I didn't even realize were there until recently. It has caused me to avoid video and audio that can be recorded. I can speak to a crowd of hundreds, but put me in front of a camera or microphone and I freeze. It has to do with the fact that recordings freeze things in time for more than just a moment. An unrecorded speech can be forgotten, a recording can be dug up time and time again.

Why do recordings make me freeze?

This is a question that I've asked myself many times and only recently took the time to dig deeper to discover the answer. And it all goes back to my childhood.

When I think of recordings, I remember the video tapes of me as a child where I can't understand a word that I'm saying due to the many sounds that I couldn't make right. I've asked my parents on several occasions how they understood what I was saying.

I go back to a time when I was made fun of for the way I spoke. The ironic part of this? The memory that comes up the most is a younger boy asking me if I'm "the girl who speaks funny on the school news." (That's right - I went live in front of a camera every week in fifth grade but I'm scared to do it now.) I don't remember how I responded to him but his words stuck in my head for a long time.

I go back to the college professor (in the education field) that told me I might have a hard time finding a job as a teacher because of my speech problems. I left her office wondering if this was true and determined to make sure that it didn't come true.

I go back to my first year of teaching when one of the students asked me why I spoke funny. I do recall my response to this one because I used it as a teaching experience and we talked about speech therapy and how some people need a little extra help. Then, several students shared their experiences with the class.

These are just a few of the experiences that have caused me to create mental roadblocks when it comes to audio and video recordings. In a world where audio and video are quickly becoming the frontrunners of communication, this can be a problem.

I recently decided to step out of my comfort zone though. I decided to go all in and do an interview for the Shield Sisterhood Summit. It wasn't an easy decision and I even put the interview off on several occasions. I had legit "excuses," but it still boiled down to me stalling. In the end, I got out of my own way and did the interview.

And guess what? I survived and I had fun recording the interview. It wasn't a smooth interview, but it was a fun one and I'm excited to share it with you! Head to Shield Sisterhood Summit so that you can sign up to get the video when it's released. It's a FREE virtual event, so you really have nothing to lose! In addition to my interview, you'll also hear from thirteen other experts in various fields. These interviews are bound to inspire you to do great things!

I've shared my story of how I was standing in my own way. Now it's your turn to ask yourself the same question. Are you standing in your own way?

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