The following is a short speech I gave a few weeks ago, that I wanted to share here as there is a good lesson in it: Keep practicing, and find the fun in failure!
Imagine being shy. Very shy. I understand that might be hard for some of you, but that was me.
Well.. unless you were a close friend. But that was hard to become when I was too shy to talk to you.
Imagine being shy because you don’t know HOW to talk to people. Because you had NO confidence in yourself, and having no people skills you just annoyed those people whom you DID talk to.
Because I found I made more friends by not talking to people; which says a lot considering you NEED to talk to people in order MAKE friends!
But I had a DREAM… of being able to talk to people. I had a dream… of being able to talk to girls.
In such situations, we have a choice to make. we can either stay as we are and live the same life, or we can change; and by changing, change our lives.
All I had to do was learn some people skills, and then more importantly, practice them. But practice isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do… especially when the thing to do terrifies you! I mean, we are talking about speaking to people here!
Do any of YOU have anything you want to get better at, but fear stops you from practicing? I heard public speaking fits into this category for most people.
Well, I wasn’t even thinking about the fear of public speaking at this point.. I had to get through speaking to one person first!
I knew that practice wasn’t going to make me perfect (it never does, no matter how much we like that saying). But I knew that by practicing, I could get better. I knew that by taking action, my fear would start to go away (there IS truth to the saying that action conquers fear).
I wasn’t going to let the fear of failure hold me back, What I discovered, is that on top of learning from it, it can be FUN to fail; especially when we get to talk about it later!
Because here I was, super shy… no confidence… and no girlfriend…
But.. I HAD THAT DREAM of being able to talk to people …and eventually to girls.
So I started to practice; I went out and started saying hi to people.
Just imagine how hard it was at first; especially when they responded and said something back. I had worked up the courage to say hi; not to actually have a conversation yet!
But I continued to learn, and I continued to practice. And I eventually started saying hi to girls; including the post office girl!
Picture this, you are going to the post office once a month, and there is a girl that works there who is gorgeous!
She gives you a big smile when you say hi! You had read that it’s good to compliment people, so you do. You tell her she has a great attitude and really nice smile… and It works! She has an even bigger smile, and she thanks you!
All this practice is working out! You are getting somewhere! Unfortunately you haven’t practiced enough yet, and don’t have the confidence to think you have a chance with her.
Here I was, in just that situation. Except here is where I probably did something you wouldn’t do. YOU would have surely either asked her out or walked away. Although I had the dream of getting a girlfriend, which probably showed on my face as I continued to speak, I asked her a different question. Leaning on the counter, with her not knowing anything about me, I asked “Are you open to other ways of making money?”
Ladies… if a guy that you don’t really know, that appears to be coming on to you, asks you that question… what are YOU going to think???
Well, from the expression on her face she thought the same thing. We had a good laugh after I explained what I was really talking about; I am looking to help people be more successful after all, but I definitely wasn’t getting anywhere with her. Bad first impression I guess 🙂
This situation was an epic fail by most definitions, but it was hilarious! It was also a great learning experience in the process. It showed me that smiling and complimenting people DID work, and that accidentally leading someone to think you wanted to pay to sleep with them DOESN’T!
But I still had that dream.. And I continued to practice. I continued to go out and talk to people until I eventually met another beautiful girl with great attitude. I was able to talk to her without sounding like an idiot and I had the confidence this time to ask her out. I got that girlfriend I was looking for!
… well, not the one I was looking for since in the end she wasn’t right for me and I had to brake up with her.. But it was proof that I was better at talking to people due to all the practice!
I’m going to keep practicing and I will keep improving. I will either get the results I’m looking for, or create many more fun stories in the process. Just ask me sometime about the girl who recently wanted me to marry her on our 2nd date!
What do YOU want to improve in your life? How much are you willing to practice? How much are you willing to have fun?
Don’t worry about looking like a fool. Most people are too busy worrying about what you think of them anyway. And if you DO look like a fool, not only will you grow and learn from it; you will also have a great story to tell when it’s over!
If you are willing to go out and practice every chance you get… you will create stories of your own.
If you are willing laugh through your failures, you will eventually smile through your victory!