Lessons in Reflection (this is an oldie but a goodie)
I was honored recently to speak to the Woman’s club of Spokane. An organization with a long and storied history. I chose to speak to share my TedX experience and the lessons I learned from that experience. It was a tremendous opportunity to reflect on that experience and in doing so I came to the realization that there was much more to that experience than I knew at the time. This is what I chose to share about what I discovered by reflecting on my involvement in that particular event.
I learned that I enjoy taking on challenges and doing something new from time to time. Not only do I enjoy it—I need it—it lights me up. Now, I find that significant because we all need to put our energy into those things that light us up. The things that help us to be the best version of ourselves.
I learned that I was afraid. In participating in the TedX, I had to take a risk and allow myself to be vulnerable. It wasn’t the getting on stage, speaking to hundreds of people—as I was putting myself and my message out there that I was not comfortable with. I was putting something out there that would now be subject to reaction and critique—maybe some great positive support but also subject to negativity and criticism. Upon realizing this, I thought about how many of us, how many times, have created something and been too afraid of the response to share that creation. Isn’t it likely that the benefits of sharing the creation are worth the risk of a little criticism?
I also learned that the message of my TedX was something I needed to hear. I had crafted the message with the intention of imparting wisdom to others. Looking back, it is clear that it was something I needed to hear. This got me thinking about how much of what we need might be right in front of us? And consider our ability to help ourselves.
I learned I was proud of the work I had done. Maybe more importantly, I learned that it was okay to be proud of it. I really needed to get comfortable with it—In my line of work, I needed to use as a marketing tool so there was a practical need and it was a huge relief to watch the edited piece (completely out of my control) and see that there were no outrageous verbal stumbles or spinach in my teeth. Many of us, especially women, are so quick to dismiss and downplay our accomplishments when we should be celebrating them. Even if the celebration is simply just allowing ourselves to feel proud or be able to graciously accept a compliment.
Lastly, I learned that I really wanted it to matter. I had always wanted it to be relevant—that was important from the onset but it wasn’t until I had delivered the talk and it was public, that I realized how important it was to me that it wasn’t just fluffy and entertaining but that it was meaningful and impactful to others. This got me thinking about the importance of the “why” we do what we do—our intention behind it. I think if we examine our intention in doing something or wanting to do something, and we feel good about that intention, we know we are on the right path.
A few thoughts on what taking advantage of a particular opportunity taught me. I hope it will mean something to you.