Many years ago, I took my first tentative steps to become a professional speaker. One day, I was listening to an audio recording of the most successful speaker of the time. “What’s the use?” I thought. I was nothing like this guy. He was tall, Caucasian and loud. I was average height, Asian, and … well … What was I?
I was afraid.
What was the source of my fear? — I was comparing myself to Mr. Top Speaker.
Then I had a thought: “He can’t be everywhere.”
That was a thought that countered my comparing myself to him and thinking that I could not compete with Mr. Top Speaker.
Yes, he could not be everywhere, and besides in the beginning, I would be speaking where he would not want to present, anyway. I took small steps forward . . . and more opportunities arrived. (I’ve been a professional member of the National Speakers Association for more than 14 years.)
“Mr. Top Speaker” wasn’t in the classroom teaching Stanford University MBA students – I was.
He wasn’t teaching a college level online Comparative Religion course (that I wrote) . . . I was.
He wasn’t writing the 28 books that I wrote.
My point is: You can quickly make yourself scared and actually put yourself into a dis-empowered mood by comparing yourself to someone further along than you are.
On the other hand . . .
It you’re feeling down, focus on this point:
Don’t compare. DO Create.
By the way, comparing does not work because no one else can be You At Your Best.
To this day, there are plenty of people who still do not like Mr. Top Speaker. And there are a significant number of people who come up to me and express how they really relate to my speaking style and what I said in my speech.
Further, I’ll share a secret. You do NOT need to create by yourself.
I’ve learned so much from mentors, books, colleagues and my graduate students – and my experiences with my clients.
The Cure for Feeling Down is: Create something.
Create something artistic.
Create a moment when someone smiles. You can simply say: “Hey, Susan, one thing I appreciate about you is . . .” And then offer the person a sincere compliment.
Use the Power of G.A.G.
As a feature film director, actor and former stuntman, I know that a stunt is called a “gag”—in the film industry. I did a number of gags—including hanging on by my fingertips to the hood of a cherry-red 50’s Chevy truck going 57 miles an hour. [I do not recommend this!].
I’m talking about the “gag” because I want you to remember a special G.A.G.
Do you feel low? Remember G.A.G.: “Gratitude, Action, Giving.”
- Gratitude – Ask yourself what am I grateful for? Write it down.
- Action – Identify some simple, small action you can take to create progress for your dream.
- Giving – Identify something you can do to help someone feel better. Then do it or at least get it into your day planner or calendar.
Let’s say I go through some tough moments with a bitter, elderly relative. I find that my spirits go up when I help someone during my next phone call. Maybe I’m just listening intently. People appreciate being listened to. (I even wrote a book about this process titled, Be Heard and Be Trusted – Free chapter when you CLICK HERE.) When you help someone else, you feel better.
“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The point is: When you are feeling grateful, this focus crowds out feeling down or inadequate.
As an Executive Coach, I help my clients identify the next actions to help them move toward their dream. My clients discover that taking action lifts their spirits in this present moment.
Remember: Don’t compare: DO Create.
Tom Marcoux speaks and provides in-person processes
in North Hollywood, California
October 14, 2015. See 1.3 min. video:
To Register – CLICK HERE
To Register – CLICK HERE
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