My TEDx Talk

Me, My stress and I

When I was offered the opportunity to do a TED talk, I bet you think, I jumped at the chance and got super excited, right? WRONG!

Yes, I was excited, but I immediately went into negative thinking and imposter syndrome came and reared it’s ugly head.

A TED talk had been a dream of mine for a very long time. I love public speaking and so this was the ultimate opportunity for me.

The only problem was, my confidence and it was not good at that time.

Let me take you back in my story just a few years, when I was super confident, but not arrogant. I was outgoing, always positive and never afraid to take on something new. In fact I thrived off challenges and would throw myself into things head first sometimes, without even thinking of the possible consequences.

Yet, when I became a mum, I unfortunately suffered with postnatal depression and lost my confidence completely. I sold my business that I loved and had made a success of for 12 years and I was lost, confused about who I was now and that all stood in the way of me being me.

Fast forward 4 years and even though I had done a lot of personal development, new learning and had improved mentally so much, I still had that little nagging doubt voice in my head that would come out from time to time.

I’m sure you can relate to this, when you haven’t felt your best?

I wrote my speech, practiced, had coaching to improve my stage presence, but I just wasn’t happy with it. There were a few times, that I wanted to pull out and cancel, but I didn’t. I kept practicing, over and over again, getting it slightly different each time, but that was ok.

I did a lot of work on my own mindset and even had the help of a fellow coach and good friend Jeff Kidner to prepare me for the day, this prep was invaluable.

I got to the event and I was absolutely fine, I had overcome the imposter syndrome of getting up and speaking on a stage where so many World class speakers had gone before me. I also put to sleep the thoughts of the other speakers on the day who held prestigious titles like DR, professor and MBE and I just enjoyed the set up of the event.

I was ready!

Then I stood at the door to the stage, heard my name called and the crowd cheer, and my legs went to jelly and my heart pounded out of my chest uncontrollably.

I had no time to use the tools I knew I needed to calm myself, I just gad to go and do it.

I stood on stage, took a deep breath and spoke, jumbling the order of my talk up and completely missing a huge chunk at the end, which would have made it so much more powerful.

I came off stage disappointed, doubting myself and questioning why I felt I was even good enough to have been there in the first place.

For days and weeks, instead of shouting from the roof tops that I had achieved one of my biggest dreams, I hid it away. I barely shared the experience on social media and I worried about people criticising me and my talk.

It took me weeks to get over this horrible negative feeling, weeks of people telling me how great it was, how brave I was and how much I had achieved to finally get to thinking that it didn’t matter that it wasn’t perfect, it didn’t matter that I missed a bit, because no one actually that anyway and it didn’t matter what people said.

What did matter, was that I recognise how brave it was, how I had been given this massive opportunity and how many people would have benefitted from the message I intended with the talk.

I had spoken to many other speakers, who had also felt the same and realised that it doesn’t matter who you are, for most of us, when we are so passionate about something, we will want it to be perfect.

When you do a TEDx talk, TED themselves have to review it and accept it onto their website. Mine was accepted immediately and this was the only acceptance I needed.

Acceptance onto a globally recognised site, with so many prestigious speakers, I was on there and that meant the world to me.

I would love you to watch my talk and give it a thumbs up if you like it, you can watch here on YouTube

Or here on itself

If you like the talk, then a like or share on both would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the end part that I completely missed off my talk, it will only make sense once you listen to the whole thing first.

‘ So instead of making excuses and allowing self-pity to creep in when you feel overloaded and stressed, take some time to think about your choices, your actions and behaviours. Because, we can blame daddy for leaving for the poor first boyfriend choice, we can blame the parents for working too much, for us going off the rails with the ‘cool kids’ and we can even blame that job we hate for the alcohol and junk food choices, but the harsh reality is, that when we are making choices, we know deep down in the gut, whether that is right for us or not, we know if it is in alignment to who we really want to be. So why not check yourself first, stop, take time to consider your options and ask yourself is this the right decision for you now, will this serve you or cause you more stress?’

The moral of my story here, is to not punish yourself when things don’t turn out perfectly. Take the positives from everything and don’t be so bloody hard on yourself. You’re doing good, every single day, so be thankful for the chances you get, be accepting to being human and just enjoy the process.

Faith, love and joy

Emma Jay xx