I recently had the opportunity to attend “Keynote Kamp” with 24 fellow speakers, as we met to work on improving our skills from the platform. As part of the agenda, everyone was required to do five minutes of material in front of the group, after which we received advice to help us get better.
I was intimidated by the level of talent in the room. I wondered if I belonged. Needless to say, I was nervous.
But it didn’t take long for me to realize something profound: everybody else was nervous, too.
Keep in mind, these are some of the best speakers in the entire world. Folks you’ve seen on TV, some who have been elected to the Speaker Hall of Fame, and who have wowed audiences in some of the most prestigious venues around.
And everybody was at least a little nervous. There was a small piece of each one of us that wondered if we belonged in that room.
It gave me a great sense of calm, knowing that I wasn’t the only one. I was also somewhat perplexed, wondering what some of my heroes could possibly be nervous about. But then I began to wonder…what did I have to be nervous about? How much time and energy do I waste doubting myself, wondering if I deserve to be in the room?
Thomas Edison said, “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
He’s right. The potential within each one of us is enormous.
But I say that we’d be astounded if we actually knew how good we already are.
Maybe the marketing messages we’ve been bombarded with over the years have convinced us that we really aren’t good enough. Maybe we haven’t received enough honest compliments. Or maybe we think the people who give us the compliments are just being nice. Or don’t know the real us.
If you’re still reading this, stop it. Stop thinking you’re not good enough.
You belong in the room. You matter. We need your contribution.
You have a special brand of amazing that no one else has. Believing it doesn’t exist dishonors the gifts you have to share. Own your brilliance, and get busy sharing it with the world.
You may not be as good as you could be, but you are already way better than you think you are.