Tonight I delivered my second ever speech at my local Toastmasters Group and learnt a great lesson about the importance of showing up.
I’m a perfectionist by nature and the idea of standing in front of a room full of people and delivering a speech, feeling unprepared and unrehearsed, would normally leave me in a state of extreme panic.
This week, I have been swamped with things to do. Last week’s post proved to be my most popular yet and I’ve been lucky to receive numerous emails, tweets and comments from people who appreciated my story, I still haven’t got round to replying to them all. I’ve also had a gig to attend, a speech to write and my customary Wednesday post to complete, all on top of 12-hours a day spent getting to and being at work. I’m not going to lie, I’m exhausted.
This afternoon, I considered not turning up to my Toastmasters meeting to deliver my speech because the thought of it not being perfectly practiced and suitably polished made me seriously consider not doing it at all.
I went all the same. The thought of letting the group down trumped my desire to get in bed and forget about my speech. I’m so glad I did. Not only did I get through my speech without serious hiccup, but I also got some amazing feedback, encouragement and support from my fellow members.
The speech was based on my post titled ‘Homeless, unemployed and single – my road to redefining success’ and as a result of talking about my impending travels, several people approached me after the meeting to offer support, giving me telephone numbers and email addresses with promises of contacts to look up in South East Asia. One woman simply wanted to tell me that she had done something similar by moving to China for two years to teach English and that she was there for a chat should I ever need it, because she understood only too well how hard it could be to make such a huge decision to leave everything behind and head to the other side of the world.
I got back from the meeting an hour ago and opened up my laptop to finish off the post I had half-written. After the events of this evening, I no longer felt the relevance of the post I had started and for a moment I wondered if it would be better to renege on my commitment to publish a post every Wednesday rather than publish a post that I hadn’t spent days perfecting.
I decided to write and publish this post.
Today I realized that sometimes we don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes we can just show up and do our best and it will be good enough.