Let go of a crutch and get liberated

credit Jason WilsonI gave my fifth toastmasters speech last week and it was my first speech that I executed without any notes. I was excited and nervous. My speech was meant to be entertaining and informative on a simple topic (the power of mm-hmm). With my crutch removed, I felt liberated but I felt like I was toddling and not walking, let alone hula hooping.  I followed the general structure I had pre-determined but I missed many of my favourite lines. I felt as though I had totally flubbed it.

Of course, we are our own worse critic. When I listened to my evaluation and talked to my peers afterwards it turned out that they thought the speech was a success. They pointed out that I had engaged the audience, especially with laughter, and that the audience could answer most of the specific questions about my speech during the quiz which meant they were listening.

It made me realize that sometimes we are the only one that knows we have made a mistake. By letting go of the notes I was liberated from the ability to be perfect. I was forced to just trust myself and my preparation and go for it. It turned out that the speech did not have to be perfect to be a success, as long as it was organized, entertaining and informative.

Have you let go of a crutch and felt the weightlessness of freedom that it brings? Were you scared or invigorated or both ?!

Do you feel like something has to be perfect to be a success? Do you have a crutch you would like to let go of and hula hoop instead? 

One thought on “Let go of a crutch and get liberated

  1. Perfectionists of the world unite 🙂 Seriously though, I think striving for excellence and perfection is an admirable quality. The key word is “striving” not “requiring”. I know because I certainly have been in both boats.

    I have been a leader for a group of boys over the past 4 years in the Cub Scout program. I always liked to run my meetings and give my “speeches” without any notes. I would tell a story and add some insightful thought at the end of every meeting. Sure, I could read them off a piece of paper (i.e. – use notes), but it just wasn’t the same.

    When you can walk around, look directly at your audience, and engage them in the topic, the message takes on a much more personal meaning. It never came off perfect, but the purpose was served and the boys and adults walked away with a better connection to the words being shared.

    Congrats on your accomplishment and here’s to many more perfectly imperfect achievements 😉


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