Inspiring Words

Earlier this week I lost my public speaking virginity. I stood up in front of 50 menopausal women and introduced them to The Merry Menopause. I’ve realised that If I want to help women I have to step out of my comfort zone and talk about my vision for this online community and what it can offer. Public speaking is most definitely out of my comfort zone.

I was determined to be prepared for my 5 minute presentation. I practised my delivery and I made sure that I was well rehearsed. However, no matter how prepared I was, my nerves still got the better of me and when I had to rely on my notes to get my message across, I automatically assumed my talk had been a disaster and I had let myself down.

After my presentation, I was told by the organisers that I was a great speaker, that I engaged and inspired the audience and it was obvious that I had taken the time to prepare. My talk was eloquent and succinct and that I have a TED talkin me day. It had only taken a few seconds for the negative voice in my head to tell me otherwise. I’m going to ignore my inner critic and tune into that voice of praise and encouragement, tell myself to think big and not let my internal voice of self-doubt and fear hold me back.

After my presentation, a friend sent me the beautiful quote above by the awesome Brené Brown. I’m a huge fan of Brené Brown, she taught me – and many others – about the power of vulnerability with her infamous Tedx talk of 2010. Vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a show of strength and a willingness to make change.

I want The Merry Menopause to inspire others to be vulnerable, to talk and share how they are feeling via this online community and in doing so know that they are supported. Letting go of what people think and having courage, is going to drive me and this community forward.

My first public speaking engagement was the first step, I need to do it, again and again, to build my confidence and spread my message. I’ve got a long way to go before I’m ready to deliver a Ted Talk, but midlife is the time for me to be daring and courageous. The menopause is a change of life, I intend to make it life-changing. How about you?