Up & Adam!
On Saturday August 20th 2016 on a warm sunny Santa Barbara day I faced my biggest Fear.
It’s one thing when you’re the underdog and you surprise people with a talent for the first time, its another thing when people your whole life tell you you’re a natural and have high expectations for you.
This was the case on August 20th as I prepared for my first TEDx talk. Friends and family kept saying you’ll be fine just share your natural energy, speak with your Italian hand gestures (i’m actually Lebanese), and let your passion and love for life takeover. That was the plan until my rehearsal the day before went terribly wrong, forgetting words, actually whole chunks of my 18 minute talk, sweating from places I didn’t know existed, making me want to run off stage and keep running back to Brooklyn.
I’m grateful today for the many family and friends that flew in, drove many miles to support me. The interesting thing was several of my friends that showed up were past clients that I served and now they were serving me, supporting me and having my back. I couldn’t let them down and at the same time it was intimidating because some of them speak for a living, perform on broadway stages, tv, movies, and sell out huge arenas in their sport. Being fully honest if it wasn’t for all the support I would have tried to get out of it after the failed rehearsals, faked an injury or suddenly came up with laryngitis. I kept repeating a mentors message over and over again…”The Fire of Connecting with People has to Overcome the Fear of Speaking Publicly.” I repeated this over and over again as my heart was beating out of my chest.
When my name was called to the TEDx stage, I walked out, stood on the red circle with the lights shinning bright on my face looked up at the 18 minute clock as it started to countdown. I looked left to right slowly, made eye contact with all 14 of my friends and family that were in the front row smiling back at me and started telling my story.
After my talk one of the fellow speakers, the one that I was most intimidated by and had the most respect for because I know she teaches my mentors public speaking gave me the biggest compliment. Victoria Lebalme said the most impressive thing about your talk was that you had over a dozen people come out to support you and that speaks to the type of person you are and the type of speaker you will become. I’ve always said I’m in this for the long game, that life is about relationships and her compliment confirmed my path.
On August 20th I made Friends with my Fear. CLICK HERE to watch my TEDx.
I challenge you this week to get clear on your fear, make a decision to face your fear, and be bold to friend your fear. Drop me a message and let me know what your “F” word is … accountability is king.
Thanks for sitting in the front row.