Is Speaking A Thorn In Your Side?

As I wondered along Cooden beach the other week, all started off well, doing a FB Live, watching Tyrion the terrier charging along chasing seagulls, and splashing through the sea …. which is when I discovered I had a hole in my right welly-boot. 
This wasn’t a disaster, the tide was out and I could avoid big puddles. As the rain decided to come pelting down and I turned for home, I contemplated emptying the left welly to get rid of the slightly annoying stone I thought I could feel.  However, I decided to carry on (I was getting wet – it could wait until I got to the car)… it wasn’t until I got to the car and took off the boot that I noticed there was a hole in my foot!!

Yup the ‘stone’ was actually a thorn that had gone through the sole of my boot and worked away through the skin of the ball of my foot to draw blood!

Is speaking like that for you? Is it something that you know is there, that you don’t like, that is annoying and slows you down, something you put up with or ignore, until you have to face it?

Is your fear, avoidance, or dislike of speaking or your lack of clear communication, potentially hurting you, your career, or your business?

The hole in my foot, from the thorn in my boot, made me think about how much we work-around in life, how we ignore niggles which might actually be doing us damage.  Not necessarily in a big way, the skin on the balls of my feet is not so delicate, I was fine for that 30minute walk … but if I’d carried on … how long until I was hobbling?

How long until your thorn that is the avoidance of speaking, or putting up with the nerves or lack of sleep, shutting yourself off, taking it out on others, or knowing your kind of honesty is seen a blunt by some and creates communication challenges; is not just breaking the skin, not just drawing a bit of blood, but actually hobbling you?

I have worked with clients who before seeing me were taking beta-blockers before team meetings, others who avoided promotion in their career because it would mean leading team meetings, or speaking at events or conference, people whose businesses have not grown because they don’t like networking, saying how good they are, or making cold (or even warm) calls, and even someone who engineered the route of their whole career to avoid speaking!

How is avoiding speaking hurting your career, your business, your personal life?   

If speaking is a thorn in your foot, what can you do to change it?  You’re probably used to it and have adapted to accommodate it.  Ultimately, you have a choice.  If something is working away at you and gradually cutting you open, you can put up with it and let it hobble you, put on a different pair of boots (ie get a new position or job), or remove the thorn and keep moving forward.

What would be better in your life if you could express yourself with more ease and confidence? How would it help if you shared ideas in team meetings, spoke passionately about your product or service to potential new clients, went in to that interview or networking situation focused on all the good stuff you bring, or nailed that speech at that conference?How do you remove that speaking thorn? You don’t have to do it alone – there are people, like me, out here whose job it is to help you take that thorn out of your life, so you can blossom.

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YWV Top Ten Tips for Talking

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