I slept for like an hour and a half, jumped on a plane, got to San Diego, worked on a presentation I was giving for a speaking event, practiced for hours, got myself ready, went down for my mic check… and realized I had my days wrong and I was actually speaking the next day… Good one, Natalie.
I had to laugh. This would only happen to me. There were some other things that went wrong as well. I scheduled something in Idaho for the same weekend I was in San Diego, I ran out of time to do a live video for the Challenge I’m hosting, (so glad everyone was so understanding! Good, better, best!), and I found out I couldn’t wear my lucky sparkly shoes! It was a whirlwind weekend. Really, it’s been a whirlwind month. Being on stage for this event involved a lot of hiccups. However, I think I learned just as much from those hiccups as I did from the things that went smoothly. Maybe even more.
I’m Good at Working Through a Problem
One thing I’ve learned about myself through the years is that I’m good at working through a problem. There were a lot of years where I had no other choice, and it’s an attribute that’s stuck with me as an adult when things go wrong. When I realized I had my days wrong at my speaking event, I decided it was a good thing I’d gotten a bulk of my work done early (for once!) and that I could focus on other parts of my speaking. At one point, Brendon Burchard, who organized the event and was helping me with my speaking, let me know he didn’t want me to use notes so I could focus on connecting to the audience.
Now, a few months ago I had a speaking event where they told me I wouldn’t be able to have notes, and I broke down. I had major anxiety. I tend to invert numbers, and I was worried I’d mix things up and look stupid. When Brendon told me he wanted me to speak from memory, I just figured it out. Between then and now, I realized how much I’ve grown. It was a wrench in my plan, but I worked it out, and I learned more about myself and my strengths as a speaker.
You Learn the Most When You’re Uncomfortable
Brendon really pushed me to be better during the last event I spoke at, and this one was no different. Taking away my notes was a huge shift for me, but it was an important one that taught me more than sticking to my notes would have ever taught me. Would I have ever removed that security blanket on my own? Probably not. However, I always talk about how much more growth we see when we do things that make us uncomfortable. When we push out of our comfort zones. When we do the hard things. It’s why I think we should take the adventurous route sometimes, why we should take the risks, and why we should do things we’ve never done.
With each thing that went wrong or didn’t go as planned, I had to adapt. That ability to adapt and overcome taught me so much more than I would have learned had everything gone the way I thought it was going to go. Hard things help you grow, and I grew a lot this weekend.
Leaning into Your Strengths to Get Through Weaknesses
Did I screw up a few things in my presentation? Sure did. However, I also did a lot of things right in that presentation. I got amazing feedback, the audience was out of this world, I received an overwhelming amount of messages and mentions on social media, and I began to feel my trust in myself grow even more. I may not be great at remembering numbers, I may have some work to do when it comes to working the whole stage, and I may need more practice with public speaking, but I know that my superpower is connecting to others. I leaned into that strength to help get me through the parts I’m weaker at.
Being real and vulnerable and honest is how I fell into this business. People started following me because I was just showing the hard parts of postpartum life, my changing body, and how that was affecting me. That’s what started this whole journey, and it’s that strength that has always defined my brand. I can always learn how to be better at the things I’m not great at, but I feel confident knowing I have my strengths to lean on.
Did I miss my lucky sparkly shoes? A little, but it was much better for me to be able to work the whole stage and connect to more people. Do I wish I’d gotten the date right? Absolutely, but it did give me some extra time to prepare. Would I have felt more comfortable with my notes? Probably, but I wouldn’t have grown through the hard parts. Overall, it was an event I’ll never forget, and not just because I got to meet Tom Bilyeu!
If you have a day where you run into hiccups and mistakes, just remember that you can learn so much about yourself through the hard things. Maybe even more than you would have had everything gone right!