I have been creating a new career for myself as I recover from burnout. I see myself as a writer. I have learnt and accepted the fact that an income stream from books alone might be inadequate to support me. So, I have been making plans to supplement my income in other ways such as running workshops and possibly some consulting and writing for other people. But the writing was always a top priority and I try to spend some time each day doing at least a little writing.
The delay in completing my book is frustrating to me but I hope it will make for a better end product – something that I’m really proud of. One of the ways I want to promote my book is by public speaking. I’d like to do keynote speeches about burnout and how one could implement strategies to avoid it.
I don’t like to do things in half measures, especially as my brand means a lot to me. I got a speaking coach, I joined Toastmasters and I’m diligently applying the principles I’m learning into each new speech. I’m working on an area which I have not actively tackled in terms of skill development before. And it does feel like I’m stretching myself while I’m out of my comfort zone, and I do feel the learning happening.
I have never seen the speaking aspect as fun, or to be relished. It was almost a necessary part of the job to me. But lately I am so surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed this aspect of my work. I so enjoy choosing a topic for the speech and putting it all together. I enjoy practicing the speech, to see what works and what doesn’t seem to work out loud. And as much as I feel the nerves, I do enjoy delivering speeches. The feedback is the best part, however. I love to see trends, and to pick up areas where I need to improve. And I adore the positive feedback that makes me want to speak again.
I’m quite irritated if someone disturbs me when I’m busy preparing my speech or practicing it. I lose track of time and I’ve come to realise that I have found another source of flow in my life. What a surprise for something that I didn’t see as a key part of my career.
I chose not to tackle the speaking aspect of my work until now, because I was concerned that it would take too much out of me. The anxiety might affect my adrenal glands and slow down my recovery. How surprising to find that it energizes me.
Many people have such a fear of public speaking and I certainly didn’t enjoy it at school. I think sometimes people are afraid to be seen, and that might have applied to me before I got sick. I was afraid of being judged, of looking foolish and of exposing my vulnerabilities. I’ve done a lot of work on myself in the past eighteen months and I’m no longer afraid of being seen. I’m happy with who I am, and I feel that I have a message to share and a right to do so.
So in exploring this new skill set, I’ve found something I’m passionate about. I’m growing and I’m loving it. How unexpected that I would find a new source of flow in something I thought I didn’t enjoy. It shows how important it is to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones, into a space where things are more difficult and foreign. But how worthwhile it is to find something new to add to my list of flow-inducing activities.Follow me: