Channel and defeat your inner teenager.

Something became clear to me recently. Like all such revelation, it had been sitting right under my nose for a  long time.

As you probably know, I coach speakers - particularly introverts. I am also involved in a project interviewing actors. Of which more later.

 One common factor among the actors whose interviews I have attended there is a moment of revelation. That first moment the actor-to-be steps onto the stage and realises "this is for me".

A sense of belonging which informs their future career choice. 

This was a bit of an eye-opener for me as I've always felt exactly the opposite. 

Thinking about my coaching clients, there is a similar but opposite pattern. One which I experienced myself.

Usually - after some time gaining trust - my coaching clients will bring up the memory of some experience when - as a teenager - they had some humiliating experience which planted in their minds the idea that they are "no good" at public speaking. 

That's what happened to me, a particularly painful experience I have recounted in my book.

From that point forward it's a downward, reinforced, spiral. Believing themselves no good my clients regularly go out to find evidence and experience to support their belief. Lack of exposure and experience makes the belief become truth.

Those who know themselves to be actors or great public speakers do the opposite. Believing themselves to be great on stage, and loving the attention, they seek every opportunity to practise their passion. which makes them get better and better.

To my mind, this stuff is difficult to unpick in adulthood. Difficult but not impossible.
So the belief spawns a self -fulfilling prophecy. 

It seems a pity that speaking, drama, and debate are not core to the curriculum in education. I was particularly inspired by Lewis Iwu's impassioned call to action in this TEDx Talk.

Richard Tierney is the author of The Introverted Presenter


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