YOU KNOW THOSE TIMES WHEN YOU FEEL RESISTANCE? Perhaps you feel confused, unsure or afraid to express freely and be yourself. We can all relate to this on some level, can’t we?

Louise Hay once said “Resistance is the first step to change”

And when it comes public speaking and getting our messages across, it’s normal to resist and even hold back. Sometimes it’s because we’re struggling on how to go about it. We have internal blocks that are holding us captive. Those spiky little gremlins that claw our hearts and refuse to let go.
One brilliant mentor calls this the INNER PROSTITUTE. Sums it up beautifully, don’t you think?

The Truth: “Your freedom to express and speak from your heart is a direct reflection of your resistance.”

How do I know this? At my very first public speaking occasion, I was asked to speak at the annual Ginger Factory Flower Festival about how to grow miniature ornamental gingers. At that time, we specialized growing these beautiful plants in our nursery.

My prepared talk was flawless in structure and content. My voice was clear with good pitch and variety.
It was going well BUT I knew it needed something more. My listeners weren’t fully engaged. I resisted changing anything for fear of getting it wrong.
Can you relate to any of this unhelpful mind chatter? – I might forget my words – What will people think? – I’ve got to follow the structure – What if they don’t like me? – What if I make a fool of myself?”

Later, I had an “aha” moment about the resistance. I was trying to be too perfect! Wanted my presentation to be perfect! Yes, it was well structured, however, the talk was too learned and had lost its playfulness. Being so intent on getting it right, I had forgotten to feel into the delight of growing these gorgeous plants. To feel into their stories and allow them and myself to breathe.

Anne Lamott, renowned author and National bestseller, explains how perfectionism will block our creativity, spirit and life force thereby cramping our writing and speaking –
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life…Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up….Tidiness suggests something is as good as it’s going to get.”

When it comes to feeling free to express ourselves and relax into sharing our messages, it’s not only speaking to groups that conjure up all types of resistance. It can be networking, doing an elevator, creating Facebook live videos or picking up the phone to talk to potential clientsWe know we need to do this. We want to grow our businesses, expand our reach and help more people.

For you to step into your freedom to express and speak from your heart, here are some questions to ask yourself before your next speaking occasion so that you have a strategy to gracefully move from RESIST – to RELAX – to REWARD.

This is a slice from my BRAVE Speaker Tool Kit (let me know if you want this free tool). You’ve probably answered similar questions before and you could be thinking, this has been done before. Actually what I’ve developed here is specifically for speaking.
The questions will help you within a quick amount of time to relax and confidently stand and deliver anywhere “on stage”,

Step 1: Acknowledge the RESISTANCE (great outcomes come from naming our challenges)
Where is this feeling of resistance coming from?
What is my deepest fear?
What’s driving this fear?
What’s the worst that could happen if things went pear shaped?
What can I learn from this experience if it didn’t go to plan?

Step 2: Choose to RELAX
Why is it important to me to speak / present / promote / network?
What is my ultimate motivation for doing my work?
What does it give me?
How does my business / career / charity work etc give me joy and fulfilment?
Knowing how important this is to me, what do I choose to do to relax myself in this moment? – (eg. deep breathing, singing, meditating or something that stimulates you)

3. Uncover and focus on the REWARD
When this is all done and dusted, how will I feel?
What will I be noticing?
What will I be telling myself?
What will I have learned from this?
Who will I have reached and inspired?

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Bruce Lee (famous martial artist, actor, and philosopher)

Kim Taylor is CEO of Ultimate Speaker and founder of the 9-Steps to Ultimate Speaker system. As a speaker coach, trainer and a strong business and hospitality background, she is passionate about assisting professional women  to find their voice, so that they can speak from their heart and share their message.

Kim believes, Change Leaders understand that to thrive in today’s world, communication skills including the ability to engage and influence confidently and authentically are fundamental skills for success, regardless of the industry.

Kim has over twenty years of experience working with small, medium and large organizations, such as, Bunnings, James Cook University and Big W.