Don’t underestimate yourself

Speech face

We all have the capacity to create something new and beautiful.  The capacity is within each of us – we just need to learn how to tap into this capacity.

This morning I had the opportunity to create something and it really surprised me!  It was something I would never have even dreamed of doing a few years ago.  I am a regular member of a local Toastmasters Club.  Through participation in Toastmasters, one is trained to become a better speaker and a better leader.  Up to this morning, all of my speeches have been well prepared and rehearsed prior to delivery, with the exception of an occasional short impromptu speech, known as “table topics”.

This particular morning was little different.  Our meeting agenda had no scheduled speakers.  One member stepped up to give what we call a “pocket speech” – full-length speech that is not quite ready or rehearsed, but generally thought out ahead of time.  He did a great job, which inspired me.  I quickly wrote out three points on a little piece of paper and raised my hand.  “I would like to give a pocket speech.”  Egads!  I would give my first pocket speech – the horror to present something unprepared!  This is well out of the box for a card-carrying ISTJ.

I went ahead and spoke for six minutes on subject that I was passionate about – simplifying life.  I had three solid points to make, that I have learned from Zen Habits.


   Savor the moment

   Wash your bowl

I took my time with the speech, always remembering that I had an audience to communicate and connect with.  I opened the speech by having the listeners all stand and take a few deep, thoughtful breaths.  Little did I realize that this would work wonders at drawing the attention of each of them to what I had to say.

The speech was a success!  The key was taking that first step. 

Moving aside the constraints I had imposed on myself and living in the moment.  It helped that I chose a topic that I was familiar with, but I am certainly no expert on it.

Living life to its fullest requires an occasional venture outside the normal – beyond the expected. When we do this we become vulnerable, but we also unleash aspects of our being that lie dormant. We each have the potential to do great things – whether large or small.  We each have the capacity to create new things and what we create can be beautiful.

Sometimes the one thing holding us back is ourselves.  Don’t do it!  Don’t underestimate your ability to do and create.  It does matter, even if it only matters to you.

What constraining barriers have you placed on yourself?  What can you do today to overcome those self-imposed limitations?


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to The Hill of Beans and join me on Facebook.

About John Forrest