I had to write this blog post to capture my emotions and the whole experience because this is and will remain one of the highlights of my life …
I not only did it but I rocked it! What a tough and long journey to get here, but WOW! what a priceless feeling to finally conquer my lifelong fear today! Thanks to my amazing team (Stephen, Mercedes & Helen) and close friends (Paul, Maurice & Sam) for helping and supporting me to get here! I couldn’t have overcome my “stage phobia” without their help!
I started preparing for this day since last summer. I slept less than 30 hours over the last 8 days leading up to today’s seminar. I was confident that I had my 90% of the script memorized but when I was doing my first dry run in front of my team, I had brain freeze and completely blanked out. I was so scared that I was crying during the first 5 minutes. I continue delivering but had to read my script even when talking about my personal stories which looks totally stupid of course. Clearly, I was not ready to speak yet. We agreed that I get one more night to prepare so I decided to turn my script (essay) into bullet points. So the next day I tried dry run #2. I was not as scared but still scared enough to cry again because my brain froze again but I continued speaking – but in a conversational Q & A style with the team. I did improve a lot but I still didn’t feel I was ready yet.
I was so upset and mad at myself for all the time and money I invested to overcome this fear. I also had lots of support and help from close friends so I felt like I not only let myself down but I let them down too. Feeling like a complete failure and very defeated. I spent the next few hours alone in my room asking myself, What now?Tomorrow will be my last chance to speak otherwise I doubt I will get another chance again! I didn’t have a choice because I won’t be able to forgive myself if I was to give up now. I will regret it forever!
So after I cried out loud in my room for another 2 hours, I decided to do a state change and began to find solutions! I took my laptop to dinner with the team and asked Stephen how can I make my font bigger when I am in presentation mode so I can glance at my notes from a distance instead of staring up close at my laptop which looks stupid. It only took Stephen less than 10 seconds to help me shrink the “next slide” picture so that there’s more space in the notes section to increase the font size!
My next challenge: my bullet points have too many words so Helen spent all night help me shorten my wording. I had never had to do bullet points in my life before, so I thought the more words the better in case I get brain freeze!
Paul, Maurice and Sam all told me there is no way I can memorize a 90 minute script and that I MUST use bullet points as a reminder only. But I was so stubborn in thinking I needed to memorize the essay in order to feel confident. I really needed to go through the experience during those 2 dry runs to truly get it. The team all confirmed I did so much better saying what came out naturally instead of what’s in my script since I have so much experience in this subject matter.
Thirty minutes before I was to deliver my speech, my heart was beating so fast I thought I was going to have a heart attack! Crazy! The team gave me hugs and some final encouragement. I requested a high chair so I wouldn’t have to worry about walking around. I also asked Stephen to secretly play my pre-recorded first 10 minute intro so I can hear it in my bluetooth cordless earpiece (hidden by my hair) since I knew I would be fine once I get past the initial 5-10 mins. I took many deep breaths and told myself I can do this and let’s get it done and over with!
The moment began. I couldn’t believe how I felt so comfortable so quickly! I took off the earpiece after the first minute. I was speaking as if I was authentically sharing my story with my friends. I was in tears by the time I spoke about still being in debt even after selling my house for 10 million dollars. Recalling those latent emotions and the stressful feelings came back so vividly that I could not help crying. It also brought 6 people in the audience to tears. I definitely didn’t mean to do this, and actually felt somewhat embarrassed about it. But interestingly, afterwards I felt a connection with my audience and quite a few of them seemed entranced while listening to me. In that moment, I felt validated about my potential to become a very powerful speaker someday. I had always wished to be able to inspire and empower women, especially single moms some day onstage.
This journey has not been easy but I learned so much more about myself during the process to get here today. I am very happy to cross off another item on my bucket list! The last time I felt this relieved was the day I finish writing the epilogue on Unwavering, my mom’s biography 8 year ago! Wow!
Below is the comment Helen wrote to everyone in the company afterwards. And the response was overwhelming…
I would really like to share my experience with the Team from the weekend in Penticton. The weekend was extremely an inspiring, emotional and unforgettable session I feel I will ever have!
WOW, WHAT A WEEKEND THAT WAS!!!! Where do I start …?? Okay Amy Lee … As we all know how successful Amy is in the investment world and how ‘ out-going’ she is. So when I heard Mercedes said Amy has stage fright, I was reluctant to believe how ‘terrify’ Amy can be because she is such an outgoing and a confident person!! OH BOY …. was I WRONG or WHAT?!! Somethings you just don’t and won’t believe things/situation until you see it with your own eyes !!!