This blog post is raw, unedited, and from my heart.
I’m at the Train the Trainer workshop in Los Angeles, CA. The goal of this 5-day workshop is to train you on how to speak in front of an audience…from specific ways of handling questions to actually getting up there on stage and speaking.
Tonight was “Outrageous Night”, where we had to dress up in costumes and perform a minute-and-a-half song in front of 100 people. We were not allowed to lip-synch or talk.
Before we got up on stage, we were asked to write down some fears and obstacles we would like to overcome in our performance. Dancing is a huge fear of mine, which stems from my fears of not being perfect and of looking silly. And, of course, one of my beliefs is that I have to do everything myself — which was why hiring an assistant was such a huge step for me.
Before we were scheduled to go up, we had an hour and a half break for dinner. I knew my mission was to find a guy and set up a dance routine with him. I was really clear that this was part of what I had to do to overcome my fears.
The song I had picked was Madonna’s “More”, which is from Dick Tracy. (If you don’t know it, click on that link and watch the video.)
I walked downstairs and found a guy about my age sitting at the hotel bar, eating. I introduced myself and explained that I needed a dance partner. His name was Eli, and he agreed! I showed him the video I linked to above on my laptop, and we agreed we’d do the hand-in-hand part you’ll see Madonna perform with Warren Beatty at 0:53 in the video. After that, he spun me off and I was off to sing, “Got my diamonds; got my yacht….got a guy I adore…!” and run across the stage and put my arms around Eli.
This went on for over a minute, and finally I was done. Now, there was a hugely important part at the end. The crowd had to give us a standing ovation. (By the way, this may sound fake to some of you…like it wasn’t real because they “had” to do it, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We really did want everyone up there to succeed, and it was real for everyone.)
While they were giving you a standing ovation, you had to stand at the front middle of the stage for ten entire seconds with your arms wide open and just accept it. No nodding, no “thank you”, no embarrassed “aw shucks” look. Just stand there, breathe, and watch over 100 people honor you with a standing ovation.
Let me tell you, that first moment, when they erupted in cheers, was one of the most amazing and powerful moments of my entire life. I had my arms out and I had the quick vision of being an Olympic gold medalist when she absolutely 100% knows she freaking nailed it. I knew I had nailed it. I had the voice. I can do Madonna. I sang the crap out of that song. The choreography went great. And as I stood there, back completely straight, proud, with my arms out, and a huge smile on my face, taking in the applause, something really strange happened.
I don’t know how to explain this, except I know that something like this has happened to you, too. One moment stretched out for eternity, and all of a sudden, I saw myself 100 times over again, standing there, in front of the audience, receiving that applause. I absolutely knew, with astonishing clarity, that I am meant to be a performer. I am meant to be on stage. Being on stage and doing motivational speaking is how I’m meant to transform millions of other people’s lives in this lifetime.
I want you to get this, because it’s so powerful. If you have ever had a moment where you knew what you were meant to be doing — if you have ever had that vision with such clarity — it’s time for you to do everything in your power to honor that, and to move toward it. I don’t care what your excuses are. No money? You’ll find it. No time? You’ll find that, too.
But when you move toward that moment of clarity — and set your entire life into motion to achieve the goal showed to you then — there’s nothing that can stop you. The only thing holding you back is that bullshit voice in your head. You know that one…the one that tells you you’re not good enough, or you’re not worthy, or you don’t have this or that. Tell it to stop. That voice isn’t you! It’s just a stupid voice! So tell it to shut the heck up and get on with changing the world…because the world needs you. It needs you to step up and become that vision.
We need you. Not the you that plays it safe and sits at home, but the you who says, “I’m ready to take on challenges, because I know they will only make me stronger. I’m ready to play my game at full strength and honor the good that I have to give to this world. And I’m ready to make sure nothing will stop me in pursuit of my goal to help other people.”
Are you ready? I think you are. I think you are able to achieve much bigger things than you’ve let yourself achieve so far.
It’s time to put it all aside and start anew. Who is that real you? I know you’ve seen it in flashes. Right now, it’s time to step into your new clothes.