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It’s Not What You Think It Is!

I want to pass along a profound life lesson I took away from a recent negative experience. The thing is, it’s gonna look, at first blush, like a business newsletter from a business coach … but it isn’t.

The background …

I was thwarted in my desire to serve … to the best of my ability … a particular group I spoke to recently.

What happened?

Two minutes before going on stage, I was told I couldn’t do something I’ve done with hundreds of other groups … pass around a clipboard attendees would use to sign up for a complimentary coaching session with me.

Why?  That would be too salesy!

I could make the offer for the complimentary session at the end of the presentation.  No problem there, but I couldn’t pass a clipboard.


Makes no sense, especially when part of my talk involves teaching attendees that, by far, the best way to facilitate sign ups in the talks they do is by using a clipboard!

I was upset, and I stayed upset long past the event.

What was I upset about?

That I was treated like I was trying to get away with something inappropriate when everything I teach is about serving?

Yeah, somewhat.

That I’d spent 15 hours round trip in a car and money on a hotel room to give a free talk to this group and I didn’t get a bunch of comp session sign-ups like I usually do … because of a silly decision?

Not really.  Just the normal level of disappointment.

That an amygdala hijacking occurred and I wasn’t able to give my very best to the folks in the audience?

Getting warmer.

By the way, the audience gave me very high ratings, which made me feel better.  I just kept saying to myself as I was being introduced …

“Serve them … Serve them … Serve them.  It’s not about me. Serve them.”

  1.  What was really upsetting me … what was making me sad … came to me some three weeks later.

I was robbed of my chance to have fun!

I love speaking.  Yes, it’s how I fill my practice, but the biggest thing I get out of speaking is being with the audience … meeting them, serving them, laughing with them … and having a blast in the process.

I missed out on that and, instead, got a slap in the face.

So, how does my unfortunate experience relate to you?

Many times, you’re not upset about what it seems you’re upset about.

When you find yourself overreacting to things and having trouble letting go, dig deeper.

Ask yourself, “What’s really going on?

In my experience, it isn’t the milk you spilled that’s making you cry uncontrollably.

It isn’t the little mistake you made that has you berating yourself mercilessly.

It isn’t the minor setback that has you saying it just isn’t worth it … ready to chuck it all.

Something else is going on.  

Some deeper-seeded emotion is being triggered.

Fear … hurt … self- doubt … a sense of loss.    Maybe you’ve hit a nerve around a childhood trauma or a burden you’ve struggled with for a while.

If you want to free yourself from the bondage of negative emotion, you have to get to the bottom of what’s really upsetting you, so you can acknowledge what’s there and let it go.

Fortunately, I was able to do that just in time!

I had an important speech coming up to ICF Metro DC, and yeah, my confidence had been affected.

I knew I had to get past the bad taste in my mouth if I wanted to bring it.

The good news?

That presentation was great … so much fun.  The participants were wonderful. Everybody was really engaged and several people let me know they got a lot out of it.

But would it have gone so well had I not gotten past my upset?

Probably not.

I had to get past the hurt, disappointment, and self-doubt and into a place of possibility and joyous anticipation if I wanted to go out and rock my world.

And … so do you.

So do you.




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Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!