keep calm and don't fake being calm

last week in my formation call, our facilitator dropped some wisdom that i totally wasn’t ready for. several members of the group were preparing to give upcoming talks and dealing with nerves. and then dja said this (paraphrased):

in the west, we are conditioned to believe that speakers who are confident and calm are better, more impactful, etc. but in actuality, all of us are scared! maybe some people hide it better than others, but it’s true at some level for all of us. so people are increasingly trusting and believing (and maybe always have) is people who have the courage to show their vulnerability. if that’s how you’re feeling when giving a talk, just be that. you’ll connect.

it rocked me. and i mean, some of this i do already. i will often do a meditative breathing practice at the opening of a space/talk/session with the full group which serves the double purpose of introducing folks to the practice and grounds me before getting started.

but i had never thought about how my desire to appear calm and rooted was based in false ideas about how to have the most impact and connection.

and, of course, as i think about what i’m learning these days about doing vs being (ht danielle, gibrán, samantha, sandra, allen) it obviously makes sense to just be how i actually am in any given moment. my work in those moments is to just notice. if something shifts as i pay attention, so be it. but the work is just to notice.


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264w / 8min / 2min