By Motivational Keynote Speaker Connie Podesta
Sometimes as a keynote speaker, I receive emails from people who have been in my audience saying “I heard everything you said Connie, but you just don’t understand. I’m not like you. You have it made. But I am stressed. And worried about my job. And don’t have the talent or skills you do.” And I laugh, thinking – oh, if ONLY you had seen me yesterday sitting in my robe worried, stressed and overwhelmed by the day’s work ahead of me. I realize, that because I’m on a stage, I may seem invincible. Or full of humor. Or have all the answers. But I don’t! NO WAY! What I have learned though is this: I am really, really good at figuring out what my strengths and weaknesses are. Then I move full speed ahead to find clients, jobs, events, projects and people that allow me to leverage my strengths to their full potential. And keep my limitations to a minimum.
Here’s the deal: There are so many things I CAN’T do. If I were to focus on that, I’d be a crazy, unfulfilled person. But — I can TALK. (Little secret? I even got suspended from school for TALKING once!) And I can SELL. I love to share ideas and close the deal. And I can LISTEN and hear what people want and need. And even hear what they mean underneath the words they are saying out loud. So I decided to take these three things; talking, selling and listening and USE THEM to my advantage in every way possible.
Every job I ever had—even the ones I disliked—I found a way to use my strengths. I communicated with the people in the know and worked to form long-lasting, healthy relationships. I listened to people and tried to understand what they really wanted so I could meet their needs. I persuaded people to get on board with my ideas and to support me in my quest to change and make things better. And I added one more strength of mine—my absolute desire to do the right things for the right reasons. And it worked!
So what about my limitations? Some I have simply ignored. Some I couldn’t ignore and I have had to grow up and figure out how to fix them. Hard as it was, I met them head on. I listened to feedback from others who could help me, teach me, and raise me above where I was. I tried not to use them as an excuse for not getting the job done because that’s so easy to do. And when my limitations got in my way, I owned up to them and was accountable for them. More than a few apologies have had to be made because my own weaknesses, misplaced attitudes, unfair expectations, or –I hate to admit it—ego, when they stood between me and true success.
So, my advice? Take stock of yourself. A real honest-to-goodness hard look at YOU. What do you bring to the table that is amazing—something that is valuable to others that you can leverage to help you achieve your goals. And what about you simply needs to go—not hidden away in your subconscious waiting to pop up when you feel like being a little passive-aggressive—but gone for good. Because they are a part of you that isn’t helping you to be who you truly want to be. I promise you this: without this type of down-and dirty assessment—you won’t ever really have what you want. So go for it. I know it can be done. Believe me—I’ve been there a lot in my life. And it’s been worth it every time.
Want to learn more about why it’s important to understand how change affects your life? Career? Future? Click here to read chapter one of my book 10 Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd and follow me online at Facebook or LinkedIn!