Did you know that skiing and speaking up in a foreign language have quite a few things in common?
(Handy tip #1: Just for the record here, I’m not suggesting that you do these two activities at the same time. For any of you who have already stood up to speak in public whilst wearing skis, I’m impressed!)
Skiing is an exhilarating experience.
Exhilarating AND scary.
Particularly when you arrive at the top of a mountain and you know that there’s only one way down.
Believe me, I’ve been there.
My first skiing « lesson » was given to me a number of years ago by my husband who is a great skier.
(Handy tip #2: for those of you who haven’t yet experienced this, having your partner teach you a sport for the first time isn’t always the most effective & patient method!).
Skiing tests your nerves, your confidence in your potential, your ability to fall over and get up again, time after time.
I speak from experience. I can’t tell you the amount of times I fell over that day.
I tested my limits (and those of my husband…).
All I can say was that there were plenty of skiing bloopers, “Angry Bird”-like antics and innovatively-crazy techniques that probably few had seen before!
I remember feeling pretty sorry for myself that night while soothing my aching muscles.
And yet I decided to keep putting those skis back on because I could see the value of getting back out there. Of taking those learning tumbles. Of mastering this amazing sport.
How did I do it?
I realized that first night that I was going to have to see myself differently. To remove my judgmental labels and view the activity and myself in a different way. I needed to change my mind about what I was capable of, take control of my thoughts.
And given that it was extremely unlikely that I would turn professional one day, the only person I’d ever be competing against was myself.
Skiing vs Speaking Up
If you haven’t already noticed the similarities, let me explain.
When you have to speak up in public, particularly in a foreign language, you also feel nervous at first and hit obstacles. They send you off balance and knock your confidence, like the bumps and ice patches I encountered on the slopes.
The great news is that you can plan for those obstacles, anticipate them, even avoid them altogether. It will actually become possible to enjoy the ride. Trust me.
And the even better news is that the majority of those speaking obstacles are created in your mind.
You have complete control over them. You just need some tools to help you to do that. And a supportive Coach.
Imagine managing your mind like you do your business. Training your brain like you do your employees.
Want to find out how you can smoothly navigate those language slopes and show up more powerfully and playfully in your business or career?
PM me to set up a virtual coffee and chat. Or maybe some hot chocolate or mulled wine in memory of the slopes…. 🙂
Photos courtesy of Unsplash: Nicolai Berntsen, Johannes Andersson, Karsten Winegeart