Last updated on January 23rd, 2020 at 05:29 pm
If your big dream is to be a successful motivational speaker–just how comfortable are you with you? If you can’t be comfortable with who you are, then it will affect your confidence and your ability to sell, get up on a stage and impact an audience.
I must confess, as successful as many people think I am, I’m a motivational speaker who struggles with low self-esteem.
Yes. It’s true.
I have this weird obsession when I walk into a room full of women. I call it the “how do I rank?” obsession. Who’s prettier? Who’s smarter? Who has a bigger butt? Will they like me? Will I ask a dumb question? What if I don’t fit? And then I walk up on stage and admit all of it. I share with the audience every doggone vulnerability I have, and let them help me get over it–right there.
Event attendees think they’re my audience, but in reality, they are my therapist. The public is helping me heal and learn to love myself for who I am right now–instead of waiting for me to love myself for who I hope I will become.
I never understood why this was so powerful for audiences–again, they’re my therapist–until the tables were turned and I found myself in front of one of my heroes who is a giant in my big dream journey. This woman represents who I want to become in the business, or at least my future vision of myself as a successful motivational speaker.
Meeting my Motivational Speaker Hero
I sat in the front row to watch a motivational speaker I deem to be super-amazing, that the rest of the world (besides me) has put up on a pedestal. I’d long ago crowned her queen of my big dream.
And to my great surprise, she stood before me just as broken, maybe even a little bit more than me, on stage. She’s laughing about her muffin top, stumbling over her words, and swimming in a pool of insecurity just like me–but loving herself in spite of her imperfections. She isn’t ashamed of who she is. Her speech is deliciously vulnerable and admittedly cracked, yet, she’s up there embracing her full power.
I felt freed.
I experienced a release from the burden to be more of “this” or less of “that.” I stopped looking around to see how I measure up against other women in the room and where I fit. I stopped wanting to be noticed. I stopped being afraid to speak up. I stopped being anxious about the pounds I felt I need to lose. I stopped being bitter about the path I didn’t take or the gifts I didn’t receive. I felt filled with love, for me, for her, and for the woman to my left, and the one to my right, and those in front of me and behind me in the audience.
I was overcome with an incredible sense of peace that I am loved just the way I am, even while I am not the way I think I should be. The power was overwhelming–is overwhelming. It’s the power of knowing I. Too. Am. Somebody.
Ever since that day, I understand what I have to offer as a motivational speaker. I now see what I can bring to the audience. I grasp what I can do for them. I recognize what is happening in their lives as they sit at the feet of my on-stage brokenness.
Former American football quarterback, Tim Hiller wrote in his book, “Strive: Your Life Is Short, Pursue What Matters“ the now-famous quote:
Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, or your middle to someone else’s end. Don’t compare the start of your second quarter of life to someone else’s third quarter.”
Never underestimate the power of revealing your vulnerability to your audience, for it’s not in your perfection where you’ll make a difference to those who come to hear you speak, but in your imperfection.
Thank goodness. Because I’ve had plenty of that.
Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, motivational speaker, published author and TV personality who is passionate about helping women harness the power of their stories to connect, influence, and get the results they dream of accomplishing. Laughing the whole way, Kelly teaches women how to master the art of connection through the power of strategic storytelling. You can find her on The Fashion Hero show airing Fall of 2017 on Amazon Prime or on her website MotivationalSpeakerKellySwanson.com.
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