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How to feel the fear and do it anyway: public speaking

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

Photo credit: andre&dominique

One year ago today I took courageous action, delivering a Keynote ‘the economics of female empowerment’ at Travel Weekly’s Women in Travel Awards on behalf of Intrepid Travel, which proved to be a pivotal moment for me.

But let’s row back a bit to the actual game changer.

It’s May 2019 and I’m at a pop-up festival Afri-love-Fest in the garden of a co-working space in my adopted home of Nairobi, Kenya. The festival set up by Lulu Kitololo, celebrates African female creatives and helps them showcase their work.

Through fear of failure, of letting colleagues down, of being judged, and worst of all, having nothing to say – I signed myself up in a panic for the ‘Unlocking your Potential’ workshop with Amelie Desgroppes.

At the workshop, my worst fears were confirmed. As the introductions went round the group, it was clear I was the only non-creative in the room. I was already eyeing up the door when we were asked to pick an oracle card and begin in meditation – now I was way out of my comfort zone.

We were asked to repeat one of the mantras that spoke to us… which for me was: ‘I forgive myself, for judging myself, that I’m not good enough…’ I had tears running down my cheeks. I wiped them away hoping no one had noticed, but when it came to my time to share with the group the floodgates opened, and all my insecurities poured out. What a mess. I was so embarrassed, yet curious. ‘I don’t know what happened there, but before I close back up can we explore it?’ I asked Amelie, and intrigued as to what I’d find, I embarked on my first coaching session. Amelie helped me explore why I wanted to dare myself to speak, challenged me on what was behind the fear that was paralysing me, and inspired action that built my confidence to step-up and do it anyway.

Roll forward to the awards ceremony, where I had the opportunity to remind Women In Travel nominees what a wonderful position they were in to inspire the women around them and use their tourism businesses as a force for good at home and abroad. How selfish of me to let my insecurities, and lack of creativity get in the way of that. Thanks to a small army of help, I let the mission-led voice in me speak louder than my fears that day.

I’ve noticed that taking small steps of courageous action builds positive momentum that empowers and inspires. So, here’s my small act of courage for today, to share my mission which both scares and excites me.

My mission is to help leaders take courageous action that empowers and inspires positive change.

What courageous action are you holding back from taking?

You too can lead courageously with my support.

Get in touch today and feel empowered to inspire positive change.

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