[Forgive me but this has been in my drafts for months]
Saturday morning I woke up and got ready for the What Next 2017 conference. I was expecting a day of inspirational talks, informative workshops, and meeting cool people, which I definitely did and the talks were great, but what I didn’t expect is that I would be pitching in the pitching competition. Or that I would win.
Anyone who knows me will know that I’m not one for crowds, presentations, or putting myself out there in general really. I have been attending this conference for the past two years and each time I have been a spectator to the pitching competition but this year I decided to go for it. I made sure to tell people as well so I couldn’t back out (major key).
Firstly, some context:
- Firstly, you wait in line to pitch where people either ask ‘What’s your idea’ or are as nervous as you are
- Pitch to two very nice judges who will determine if you go to the finals!
- Find out if you made it to the final
- Answer questions from the judges about your business idea
- Judges deliberate
- The winner is announced!
When they called my name as a finalist, I almost couldn’t believe it. Before my pitch, I asked the Lord to give me the words to say because I was freaking out. He came through, I delivered my pitch, answered their questions, and won!
*Mandatory sidenote: I met so many encouraging people that day and the person I ended up sitting next to for the pitches actually won the digital category!*
I took a chance, stepped out of my comfort zone and it paid off. So I just wanted to share a few learnings for anyone who struggles with anxiety or shyness:
Tips for leaving your comfort zone
I was just myself in my pitch and it turns out myself is pretty legit. And I’m pretty sure you are too.
Trust the Lord and believe in yourself
I learned that if you ask the Lord for help/guidance He will actually help you. I knew that in my mind but I hadn’t had a personal revelation in my heart. This verse came to my mind, although it’s not the same context, the bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to say at the moment you need to say it.
This was certainly true for me because although I was trying to string together sentences, it wasn’t coming together by myself.
After you have decided to do something, tell people, people that will encourage you/give you advice, so that they can keep you accountable. I couldn’t back out after I told all of my friends! I mean I could but, what good does that do anyone?
Don’t be afraid of yourself of your own potential
I realised that I underestimate myself. I think I can’t do things because I’m too awkward or too uncoordinated or too shy. I was afraid that I couldn’t perform, that I wouldn’t come through in the 4th quarter. If you feel this way, the only thing I can say is to just do it and don’t miss your opportunity. I was blessed to have this opportunity after two years of not taking it. Not every opportunity is a recurring one, so push that fear aside and do it.
This was a fantastic event that brought people from different backgrounds together and I’m just delighted to have been a part of it. Thanks for reading guys, and now I have a question for you:
Are there any opportunities you’re afraid to take?
Do you have any tips for dealing with anxiety?
Tweet me as always @heyamonaie and if you’re not following me again I must ask, why doe?