Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Guest Post - My Confidence Walked Out the Back Door JJ DiGeronimo

One Spring Saturday morning, I was invited to speak at a women’s event on the East Coast. I was up early reviewing my slides and timing my delivery. I felt nervous, as I do with all my events. Little did I know, I was about to learn a memorable and important lesson on how my ego can sideline my confidence in minutes.

As the women arrived on that brisk morning wearing colored scarfs and light jackets, I felt confident with the content I planned to share. 

Instructed by the sounds of bells, we all moved back to our areas and took our seats. The host kicked off the event, which was followed by a wonderful opening speaker who moved all of us during her time on stage. She shared stories of her childhood and the emotional hurdles of the passing of her mother. With few dry eyes in the room, I could feel a wave of emotion take over my thoughts. Within minutes, I found myself questioning both my presentation and my speaking abilities. How can I follow that? What can I say now that has any importance? 

On the fly, I started reworking my presentation without having any theme or plan. As the audience’s applause faded, the MC started to introduce me. I could feel my nerves and sense my self-doubt grow by each passing second. I was already sweating, and my internal voices were loud and unsupportive. My ego stood front and center, leading me with fear and uncertainty. 

As I stood up to take the stage, I could feel my confidence walk out the back door. As I spoke, I noticed some odd responses from the audience and definite gaps in my thoughts and delivery. I am being very kind to myself when I say, “My presentation was a flop.” I wanted nothing more than to evaporate from that room. 

To this day, I still remember how quickly I sidestepped myself, believing I had nothing worthy of sharing at that moment. I had allowed myself to move off my inner compass as I tried, on the fly, to imitate someone else. The embarrassment was real, and I can still remember how it felt as I approached the stage.

 Key Finding #57 Trusting your gifts in times of doubt takes courage.

Can you think of a time when you gave away your value or did not trust your gifts? What was the event or situation that made you question yourself or your offering? What would you tell yourself now about that situation?

On that brisk Saturday morning, I learned a lesson that I revisit often: No matter how good the speaker, message, or admiration of the audience, I can choose to step into what God or the Universe has given me to be or to do, or I can step away from it within that moment.

 Trying to show up like the speaker before me or acting like an author I admire might be kind or flattering, but it is not authentic. Putting others on a pedestal is a form of admiration, but it is not healthy for your Soul. We are all here with different gifts, knowings, and insights. If you want to make your mark on this world, you must work to show up and share your authentic offerings as God or the Universe has intended. 

I had liked the speaker before me so much that I thought I should deliver my presentation the same way. Well, I tried to be like her, and surprise, I failed. Had I been more aware of these desires and thoughts as I approached that stage, I would have been able to revert my focus and energy toward delivering from my heart and my gifts. 

Instead, I had allowed my mind to take over, and then my ego got the best of me. My ego pushed me into thinking that the only way I would do a good job in that moment was to resemble the awesome speaker ahead of me. This outward focus misled me, and I went down the path of chasing, copying, and imitating. 

So, let me save you the embarrassment of mirroring my experience. In fact, I encourage you to lean away from creating the same type of offering, reaction, or response as another person altogether. 

These are the words I now use to reassure myself:

 I give myself permission to be me. 
What I have to share is unique.
I was hand-selected to harness the gifts granted to me. 
I am honored to share my gifts with the world.

Key Finding #58 The world needs exactly what you came to share.

About the Author

A woman in tech turned award-winning author shares energy practices and empowering career strategies for women to make their desired impact!

JJ DiGeronimo is an award-winning author of two books that share strategies to advance professional women. She is also the creator of the global group Tech Savvy Women & Together We Seek. With new levels of awareness, JJ shares a more spiritual side of her life that undeniably strengthens her mission to empower women at work and in life.


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