We all want to reach our goals and feel success. But it can be scary and many of us never take the jump. I jumped twice this past year and amazing things have happened.
The first jump was with the support of my business partners when we decided to seize the opportunity to co-author a fitness book called Get with The Program. Just months after taking that risk, our book reached best-sellers status on Amazon and we were on our way to Hollywood, California to accept a Quilly Award for it. That’s where I took my second jump – or should I say leap!
In addition to the Golden Gala Awards Ceremony in Hollywood, there was a two-day Summit where we learned from business experts from all over the country. About two months before the trip to California, I received an email from the organization hosting the Summit and Awards Ceremony about an opportunity to speak at the event and possibly win Thought Leader of the Year. The first step was to send a video that briefly explained the talk I planned to give. Then, if enough of the attendees voted for my video, I would have 10 minutes live at the Summit to speak on whatever topic I chose. As soon as I saw the email, my heart jumped in my throat. I knew immediately I wanted to challenge myself to do it, but the fear set in just as quickly. I decided to do it anyway. After all, I had some reservations about writing a book and look at all the amazing things that had happened. Yes, this time I was stepping out completely on my own, without the safety net of my friends and business partners, but I knew it was time. I decided to not let my fear – of rejection, of not being good enough, of failure – to hold me back. I filmed the video and sent it in.
The time was approaching when the Thought Leaders would be selected. I’ll never forget the phone call from my agent. I was completely surprised that I was chosen to speak. I was also scared because now I had to actually give the talk. The fear started to take hold of me. I even contemplated backing out. But, I thought about it and knew I could do it. I knew how passionate I was about my talk because it was about the steps I had taken to change my life to be happy. When preparing for my speech, I decided to add something special to the end which was to sing the song “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall. It’s something that comes naturally to me and the song was a perfect fit. It was a great tie in to my story and a fantastic way to sum everything up.
When we arrived in Hollywood, all I could think about was giving my speech. I was very nervous for a number of reasons. First, I was a little intimidated about speaking in front of 250 best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and millionaires. The fearful voice inside my head doubted, “Do I deserve to be up there?” Plus, there was the whole 10 minute time limit thing and, to top it all off, the dry California air was making my throat really dry – not so great when you have to sing.
I walked on stage with sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach. “I got this. I got this. I’ll be fine. I got this,” I repeated over and over. It had been my mantra all day. I am proud to say the speech turned out great! I felt alive, on fire and totally connected to the audience. I loved doing it! Was this my next calling? Overall, the speech was well received by the audience. I even got a standing ovation! And, everyone really loved the song. I was glad I followed my creative intuition.
Having the courage to do this speech led to the final amazing thing, the EXPY Awards. The EXPY Awards are hosted by the National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers in which experts are recognized for their achievements for 2014. When my agent informed me that I was selected to receive an EXPY for the speech I had given, I was definitely surprised. I had not expected this. As I got up to accept my award at The Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, I thought back to when I decided to go for Thought Leader of the Year. I never thought that one decision would have taken me this far.
My biggest take away from all of this is that anything is possible. The people that succeed are the ones that take the risk and jump. Jump and the net will appear I always say. Starting my own business was scary. Writing a book was scary. Giving my speech was scary. But I didn’t let the fear stop me and amazing things have happened.