Ask yourself this: How often do you catch yourself putting something off over and over, making excuses for why you haven’t done it yet? Maybe the little voice in the back of your head says something like:
“I still have time left; I’ll start that unpleasant task after I finish X…”
“I really should make an appointment with the doctor to take a look at (specific pain), but I’m too busy right now”
“The increasing workload is getting unbearable; I can’t keep working 12-hour days but I don’t want my boss to think (negative evaluation)”
“I know I should incorporate more water/veggies/movement into my day but…”
The list could go on and on, of course, and if you’re like most people, you can probably see yourself in more than one of those examples already.
But more often than not, we don’t make those changes even though we know what we should be doing (we’re great at “should-ing” all over ourselves!) until we have put it off so long that it’s too late, and the consequences are dire:
We miss a major deadline and lose a big contract. We end up in the hospital with an ulcer, a heart attack, or worse. We start to dread going to work and learn to resent bosses, coworkers and others.
To say that these outcomes limit our potential for success and happiness is an understatement.
And when we finally hit that point , we look in the mirror and think, “How did things get this bad?”
Then comes the fun part: we look for treatment.
We try to find a solution to fix the problem, are overwhelmed at the magnitude of the amount of effort it would take, (assuming the problem is fixable in the first place,) and kick ourselves for not taking more proactive steps sooner, before the problem got so big.
That’s why I absolutely LOVED speaking to this week’s guest on the Speaking to Influence podcast, Tracy Ashdale, Executive Director of Girls on the Run (GOTR) of southeastern PA, and author of the upcoming book, Switching Lanes: Looking at Where We Are, Where We Want to Be and What Barriers are Getting in the Way.
(I wonder if the subtitle to the book should be “…what barriers we’re putting in our own way”!)
Their vision: a world where every girl knows and activates their limitless potential, and is free to pursue her dreams.
Tracy explained that GOTR is distinctly a national prevention program and not a treatment program.
They recognize that the best way to ensure that girls become healthy, joyful, confident and successful women is by giving them the guidance, skills, inspiration and tools to have a healthy, joyful, confident and successful adolescence first – not wait to see what problems arise and then try to fix them!
And unsurprisingly, developing good leadership and communication skills is at the core of that success.
GOTR teaches these life skills through a fun, experience-based curriculum which integrates running, and culminates in having everyone – girls, staff, volunteer mentors and more – run a 5K race.
Then ask yourself a second question:
What’s one proactive step YOU can take to activate YOUR limitless potential?
- A step to take better care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually
- A step to clear the air with someone, make your intentions better understood, and gain clarity on their intentions in return
- A step to ask for help, confidently and unapologetically
- A step to make your voice be heard and captivate people when you speak…
Wait, “captivate”? That sounds like a lot more than a step.
Nope! Believe it or not, there are tons of single steps you can take, any one of which, even on its own, will help you to be a more captivating speaker, and inspiring leader.
Want to know what some of them are? Be sure to catch the replay of Friday’s LinkedIn/YouTube Live conversation with Ryan Foland, “How to Captivate Your Audience (Not Just Hold them Captive.)”
High energy, fast paced, lots of fun and chock-full of tips and tricks you won’t want to miss, even the most confident and experienced speakers are sure to walk away with some gold-nugget moments that make you say to yourself, “Wow, I never would have thought of that!”
Now don’t wait – take proactive measures to ensure your audience is always engaged, not glazed-over, and have fun in the process.
Watch how that can unlock potential you didn't even know was possible.