Do You Need to Reinvent Yourself?
“Every day the clock resets. Your wins don’t matter. Your failures don’t matter. Don’t stress on what was, fight for what could be.”– Sean Higgins, American professional basketball player
I have been reading an exciting book entitled Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life by Adam Markel. From the back of the book: “What would you do in your life if you knew you could not fail?”
How would you do this if you knew you could not fail to become an outstanding speaker?
Below are my thoughts on three steps Adam Markel recommends you can take to pivot to the speaker you want to be or anything else you want yourself to become.
Maxwell Maltz, M.D., F.I.C.S, in his 1960 book Psycho-Cybernetics, explains that, as a plastic surgeon, he performed many operations to correct physical abnormalities that limited people’s personalities.
However, he noticed that some of his patients still thought of themselves as ugly even after he performed plastic surgery to correct their physical abnormalities.
Dr. Maltz devoted much of his life to discovering why this was so. He chronicled his findings in Psycho-Cybernetics. By the way, Psycho-Cybernetics is still in print. There is a reason it is still in print. Buy it. Read it. Change your life. Thirty-five million readers can’t be wrong.
You and I and everyone else living on our beautiful blue planet Earth have thoughts about who we are. Your self-esteem will determine your attitude and altitude in your life.
I am not a psychiatrist, but I have read enough to know your self-esteem can limit or greatly enhance your ability to become an excellent speaker. It is entirely your choice. Your self-talk creates your self-esteem.
This self-talk, whether negative or positive, is believed by your subconscious mind. Your outer reality is determined by what your subconscious mind believes. Mediocre beliefs about who you can become – mediocre life. Average beliefs about who you can become – average life. Excellent beliefs about who you can become – excellent life.
In 1956, Earl Nightingale published The Strangest Secret, the first audio album in history to sell over a million copies—spoiler alert. The strangest secret is you become what you think about.
If you believe you will eventually become an outstanding speaker and keep this belief foremost in your mind, nothing on this Earth can stop you from becoming an outstanding speaker.
Un-believing negative thoughts about yourself helps you pivot to the speaker you know you can become.
Even though this is necessary, it is not sufficient to unbelieve your limiting thoughts. You will never pivot to that reality unless you face your fears of becoming an outstanding speaker.
Face Your Fear
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) once said, “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.”
Why do people fear public speaking? There are several reasons for this. Below are three:
They don’t want to seem foolish in front of others
They believe nothing they can say is of interest to others
They don’t believe they are good public speakers
You may believe good public speakers have no fear of public speaking. Not so. It takes courage to speak publicly. Courage is not the lack of fear. It is working through your fear to speak publicly.
How many of the world’s greatest inventions would not be here if the inventors did not proceed because they feared being thought a fool?
If the inventors’ fear overcame them, you would not have the car you drive, your cell phone, or electricity in your home.
An excellent way to look at your fear of public speaking is to imagine what will happen if you face your fear and speak publicly anyway.
The vast majority of the times in my life when I faced my fear, I have been incredibly rewarded.
Every time you face your fear, you get closer to surmounting the next fear in your life. It becomes a habit that will propel you to better things in your life.
So, un-believing negative thoughts about yourself and facing your fears helps you pivot to the speaker you know you can become.
The final piece of the “pivot puzzle” is envisioning your future.
Envision Your Future
Remember the strangest secret: you become what you think about. If you keep your thoughts positive and focused on what you want to become in life, you are setting yourself up, and the world will assist you in becoming the person you want to be.
Envisioning your future is essential to you becoming the new and improved you.
In Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life, Adam Markel talks about “have – do – be” as the usual way people think about themselves.
Markel says the best way to achieve what you want is to “be – have – do. He says you must think of yourself as the person you want to become before you can become that person.
At first glance, you may say, “This makes sense, but how do I do this.”
You may start by reading the books, attending the lectures, and joining the organizations the person you want to become reads, attends, and joins.
You may start dressing in attire you believe the person you want to become would wear.
You may start writing about the exploits of the person you want to become.
I think you get the idea. You must think of yourself as the person you want to become before you can become that person.
If you want to do something you have never done, you must become a person you have never been before.
Visualize your future life of the person you want to become. Do the things the person you want to become would do.
There are some cautions here. If you are socializing with people who don’t support your new vision of yourself, you may have to stop associating with them. If you are reading books that don’t help your future vision of yourself, you may have to stop reading those books. If you are wasting hours on the weekend on activities that don’t support your future vision of yourself, you may have to curtail those activities.
So, unbelieving negative thoughts about yourself, facing your fears, and envisioning your future helps you pivot to the speaker you want to become.
Pivot to who you want to become!
Call to Action
The first step to pivoting to the person you want to become is to unbelieve your thoughts about what you cannot become
The second step to pivoting to the person you want to become is to face your fears and work through them to become the person you want to become
The third step to pivoting to the person you want to become is to envision your future as the person you want to become
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”-Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist and social activist
Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.
Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals by improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org and (703) 509-4424.
Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!
“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”