Back in 2011, the year after I left my ‘safe’ corporate job, someone delivered devastating feedback after seeing a video of me presenting.
It was one of my first big gigs outside of my old, scripted, corporate life, and I was really proud of the video my client had produced.
But someone whose opinion really mattered to me tore my presentation to shreds.
They told me I was no good, that I couldn’t present to professional people in that way, and that I should never speak in public again.
I argued that I’d won three gigs off the back of that one, only to be told: “Well, if you’d been any good, you would have won a lot more!”
My confidence took a real beating that day.
I wondered if I was kidding myself, despite excellent feedback from every presentation.
Since then, I’ve spoken goodness knows how many times, for audiences across the UK and Europe, I’m signed to two speaker agencies and run award-winning speaker training retreats.
Next month, I deliver my third TEDx talk – and I’ve been invited to speak at every one, without going through any arduous application process.
I’m so glad I followed my heart and gut and chose not to quit. Looking back, that was a massive test of my self-belief and resolve.
Why am I telling you this? Because so many of you are keeping yourself small in an effort to please others. Or, at least, you’re afraid to follow your dreams in case someone else tells you you can’t, or you’re not good enough, or laughs in your face.
LET. THEM. LAUGH!
That loved one who tore me down and kicked me right in the confidence isn’t laughing at me now.
Even if she was, so what?
Folks, you cannot keep living your lives through someone else’s blinkered world view.
When people tell us we can’t do something, it often says far more about their own self-belief than our ability.
What’s that old quote? “The person saying it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”
Remember, you can’t please everyone, but, when it comes to advice from naysayers, you absolutely can please yourself!
Keep going – follow your dreams!