I've learned a lot this weekend.
For the first time ever I stood up in front of a class of lovely ladies attending a Body Transformation Workshop. I wanted to meet new potential clients and explain a little bit about the world of competition bikini's and what I could do for them...and so I did.
I wish I could say that I nailed it but I didn't. In the week running up I had a full on panic attack ( from which I hadn't suffered for many years) and had to partially withdraw from any social engagements because my anxiety was at a tipping point. Even as I was setting up my work Livia Frances, the event leader asked me if I wanted her to take my place talking about bikinis and for a long moment I was tempted by her offer......but I had already agreed with myself that I was going to step up and do it, and that is what I did.
I think new (and seasoned) competitors also have this moment. For those of us that are not natural extroverts it is a big deal to get up in front of other people. I often get asked by my clients if I would ever step on stage myself, and my answer is always "No, no way, I'm way too shy!" I was always one of those girls who felt most comfortable in the background, working hard, quietly hoping that other people would shine a light on my work and praise me for it. Well, one thing I have learned over the years is that life doesn't work like that. If you want to get recognised you must absolutely push yourself out there....no one else can do it for you. You have to take those feelings of fear and take a step towards it, not away from it.
Overcoming my fear came in taking one step at a time. It takes commitment to take that step. It takes just a little bit of faith in yourself to take that step and then it gets easier every time you take that one step forward. Commit to making a baby step, do it consistently, keep moving forward and before you know it you have made huge progress.
Another thing I learnt today: you need support. At Livia's class a whole group of strangers came together and focused on one goal: personal transformation. Every one of them comes from a different background, history and resources and every one of them is transforming themselves for different reasons...but every one of them wants to achieve transformation from what they are to a better version of themselves. It sounds like a corny soundbite, but it's a powerful mantra and it rounds up what I think should be the ultimate human endeavour: to be constantly learning and improving oneself.
My final lesson of the day was learning not to take it too seriously. Above all MAKE IT FUN! Laughter is a great way to throw off the anxiety. Taking things too seriously can leach the joy out of the process. Today I watched as twenty-odd ladies who had never met each other before laugh, giggle, speak out and train as a unified group and I was empowering to be a part of that. I cannot wait to work with these ladies and follow through their journey to the competition stage.
Competing is not for everyone....it's certainly out of my comfort zone by a mile. I have huge admiration and respect for every one of my clients who follows through on the commitment to compete. They put themselves right out there... It is bravery, it is determined, it is fierce and it's a little but 'extra'!
If you would like to learn more about Livia and Jo's transformation classes please get in touch with them directly. They were so much fun, no nonsense and no hard sell....you will hopefully see me there too.