Part I: My TEDx Journey

Insights from my recent TEDx journey. May it speak to you in whatever ways you seek.
 

Delivering a TEDx talk is a journey of a lifetime. It’s an incredible experience, but not for many of the reasons that are often celebrated in the public eye.

It’s a journey deep into yourself, and also a journey completely beyond your scope of “self.” It’s a journey where you take an idea that you care about whole-heartedly, nurture it, water the seeds, and after much caring (and a bit of brute force), you bring that idea into the world—where you get to share your idea with people who are excited to listen.

Let me repeat that line incase you skimmed over it.

You get to share your idea with people who are excited to listen.

This is a very special (and rare) opportunity—having a room of active listeners to receive your very own wild idea.

A sneak peak from my presentation

Before delivering the talk, the TEDx journey becomes twofold — one that is an internal journey and one that is an external journeyOne that advances your personal growth, and one that tests your dedication to an idea that is beyond the scope of you as an individual.

Internally, the journey surfaces old inner demons, and new ones to work with. Procrastination? Fear of the public eye? Imposter syndrome? Stage fright? Self doubt? Prepare to say hello to them all.

In the end, these are the internal obstacle that either transform you ,  or block you.

Externally, the TEDx journey becomes nothing about you. Yep, zero percent. Yes, it can be tempting to bask in the glory of the attention or compliments,but external gratification is short lived and certainly doesn’t nurture the soul…or the idea…or your dedication to the WHY behind your talk — why you’ve been working your ass off to get to this milestone, and why this message is important to share and activate people around.

The journey externally is about the journey of the idea, not about yourself.

You become so passionate about your idea that it emerges center stage, and you become the vessel for sharing it with the world. You spend hours researching it, framing it, polishing the language, and learning how to deliver it, so that you can best serve the idea.

Sneak peak #2

Focusing on the idea, the message, and the motivating “why” is how we can reach incredible milestones, and savor them for what they are — with our ego trying to take the spotlight.

This is how we savor the intrinsic (not extrinsic) gratification of taking action towards our dreams.

Savor in what happens when you water the plant inside of you that is begging to grow.

This is what a TEDx journey is. It is a mirror of your strengths and shadows.


Here’s a look into one of my shadows:

The day before my talk I pulled my coach aside for a confession, “Marion, I still worry, what if my talk just isn’t strong enough? Isn’t smart enough? Doesn’t have enough depth?”

Marion tilted her head and looked at me kindly, “Alison, you have a wonderful talk. You are completely prepared. Whatever these thoughts are that are surfacing right now, have nothing to do with this talk.” Marion hit the nail on the head.

Just like anything we pursue in life that presents challenges (and opportunities for growth), these events surface what we must tend to and rise above.

What was the number obstacle that I faced? Impostor syndrome.

There — I said it. But guess what, I rose above it.

We all can rise above our fears and internal demons through acknowledging their existence, exercising self-compassion towards the fear, and through steadfast work. Nothing builds confidence like preparation.

Basking in the glory of a completed talk

Basking in the glory of a completed talk

Stay tuned for Part II: My TEDx Journey, where I’ll share my 15 top lessons on how to bring an idea from seed to execution and stepping into your power as a speaker.


Posted on June 21, 2016 .