What do you do to prepare yourself for the task at hand?
If you have been following me lately, you might have noticed a post or two of me lamenting that I didn’t live up to my standards at a talk I gave. I felt like I wasn’t present, and whether or not my audience noticed, I sure did.
The following day, I was ready to tackle a full day in Montgomery City, Missouri – a 16-hour day – and it was time to set aside any misgivings about the last program and hit the ground running.
I made the above video for you, of course, but I also made it for me – to recalibrate myself for a new day.
How do you prepare yourself to make it the best day that you possibly can? For those of us who struggle with anxiety or depression, dealing with phone calls, family, work and other responsibilities can be overwhelming.
When I got to Montgomery City the night before, the first thing I did was make sure I got a good night’s sleep. I love football, but I turned off the game. Priorities. I had to put myself in the best position to deliver what the client expected – and ultimately to just be the best me.
I woke up early and did breathing: Inhale peace, exhale love…
I wanted to take everything I have learned over the years of therapy and self-care. I wanted to bring all of it into my heart – starting with the fundamentals that we all know, but for some reason we tend to get away from. I wanted to remember it all and repeat it, so that it stuck.
I wanted to put my heart and that energy out into the world, and try to make the world a better place to live.
And then I took my time getting ready, all the while repeating positive affirmations: “I’m present.” “I’m strong.” “I deliver a great message that people need to hear.”
Part of my self-care is making sure that I take my vitamins and my medication every day.
I arrived early enough so that I could be fully prepared for the administration meet-and-greet.
And part of this preparation includes a moment of prayer.
I’ve always asked God to guide me and to use me as the vehicle to reach into the hearts of my audience. I don’t know who my audience is or what they need – but I ask God to guide me and to open their hearts for the message that they need to receive today, whatever that might be.
It doesn’t matter to me how you define God, but this works for me, and I get chills because I am centering myself on what’s important in the here-and-now – and I truly think that God has guided me through my travels and to be present with my audience.
I visualize my success – and then when I walk in, it’s like – BOOM! It’s Go time!
It’s not about the expectation – because you’re not really in control. For me as a speaker, it’s a different school – a different venue. They don’t know me, and there are so many things that could go wrong – or unexpected challenges can come up.
But ultimately, the objective is: You own it. You go in and own the room. You own the situation, your personality, your presence and your attitude.
Replace the expectation with appreciation and learn from everything the day has in store – but remember that you are responsible for the outcome. When you set yourself up like that, you are owning the task and owning your day. You are not letting anything own you.
My friends, I love you. I know we are all in this fight and on this journey together.
Make it a great day. Show up and be the best you that you can be.