How does one go from feeling overwhelmed with a mind full of chaos, to a sense of calmness with empowering motivation? Step outside your comfort zone, play the game of life and allow Toastmasters back into your busy schedule.
My mind was feeling like a complete mess with so many work activities and commitments. I was starting to feel like that image of the calm looking duck upon the lake… with those webbed feet madly paddling beneath. At what point do we say enough is enough?
How many times in life do we question our direction and our choices? We allow ourselves to be dragged along, ensuring that we do everything that we must and somehow try to saviour a little time for yourself.
I had been crossing off events from my calendar and any activity that was not work-related got scratched. Trying to free up some space in my daily schedule. But was I crossing out the correct choices for me?
Tonight I made that decision, without planning, stepped outside my comfort zone once again. I had not attended a Toastmasters meeting for months. Thinking I needed a break and I wouldn’t miss it for a while. But what I noticed was that I was losing my confidence. That confidence that was starting to develop when speaking to a group… had started to be lost.
Nervously I jumped into Tamworth Toastmasters again tonight and I am loving the outcome. Feeling full of motivation with a feeling of complete support and friendship, I have realised that Toastmasters is what is missing in my life. I am keen to work on my next speech already.
From a morning with back pain and lacking the enthusiasm to do anything more than office work… to a vibrant and interesting evening. Have you ever felt the need to pike out and push something aside?
After nearly 12 months of no real haircuts because farming finances became far too important to be spending it upon me. I finally went back to my hairdresser, feeling guilty that I wasn’t able to support her business when the drought had impacted farther afield. Almost like magic, a simple haircut… no colour, no style… just a haircut, lifted my spirits. It felt like a load off. A fringe that had grown out. A good tidy up, far exceeded expectations.
Then the doctor visit for the dreaded pap smear. Ladies, I know you understand! Say no more. The anxiety and stress around this visit clearly subsided. Then to review my health care plan. NOOOO! I have put on 2kg. Feeling sorry for myself again about now.
Waiting at the pharmacy for medication, one brief phone call was to change my thought process and how I might react. A lady cared enough to phone to see how I was going and to make sure everything was OK. Truthfully no not OK, but I was reminded of what Toastmasters could do for me.
A simple phone call encouraged me to come along tonight. Without any paperwork, no plans, no badge… I rocked up to the meeting. Within minutes I felt almost at ease, was speaking on an impromptu task and took on the task of evaluating a speech.
It absolutely amazes me how I can be so nervous yet so calm and excited, all at the same time. I am so very shy when it comes to speaking, but something ignites within me and I share my passion verbally.
The highlight of the Toastmasters evening for me, was being told that my impromptu speech comes straight from the heart and is spoken with complete honesty. That is exactly what I want to be able to do when I speak to inspire people.
I think we all have more ability than what we realise. Every time I hear somebody speak, whether it is a newcomer or a more experienced speaker… we under-estimate our own ability yet think everyone else speaks wonderfully.
Toastmasters gives you the opportunity to improve your communication skills, build confidence and leadership skills, all within a fun supportive learning environment. We all share our experiences, share stories and help each other. We laugh and enjoy the evening, and we listen to interesting speakers. Some of us share knowledge and educate, some share inspiration and uplift us and some share their unique passions in life.
I would like to extend a formal invitation to you if you live in the Tamworth area to attend our next Tamworth Toastmasters meeting, as a Guest. It will be held on 9th September at West Tamworth League Club, Phillip Street, West Tamworth, 6:45 for 7pm start. Come and see for yourself what Toastmasters can offer you.
If you live outside this area, I invite you to seek out your closest Toastmasters club and encourage you to challenge yourself and see how your life will improve. You will be more confident, will have better communication skills and life just becomes more interesting.
Be the best person you can be and with Toastmasters you may just discover that person hiding within. If I can do it… so can you!
Take care, Karen.
“The Three C’s of Life:
Choices, Chances, Changes.
You must make a Choice
to take a Chance
or your life will never Change.”
~ Zig Ziglar