Written by: Tina Brigley, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Forget the saying, “Fake it until you make it.” I decided I was going to fake it until I be it — a TEDX speaker. But not before I had a WTF moment. “What? Are you joking? You chose ME?”
These were the first words out of my mouth when I was told I was chosen to be a TEDX Windsor Speaker. My worst fear was coming true — I would have to speak publicly — in front of a live audience. I had a fleeting thought, “How do I get myself out of this?”
I didn’t really believe they would pick me. I just wanted to send in the audition video to get over my fear of doing a video. That certainly backfired, and now I had to face my fear of public speaking.
Please know this, I didn’t get fame or a million followers by doing a TED Talk. In fact, I got very few views on my talk but what I got was the belief that fear would not stop me. Little did I know that this small action would create a snowball effect that would help me create a 7 figure coaching business.
It wasn’t easy to fake it until I became it. I practiced for months — in the shower, car, on the treadmill, in my mirror, in front of my family and friends. I practiced in my sleep and in front of my kids' stuffed animals. (Don’t laugh, it helped!)
Then time finally came to present in front of the coaches.
I walked to the front of the room, and four people were sitting in chairs facing me. I had my cue cards in my hand and was asked to begin. I opened my mouth, and NOTHING came out. NOTHING. I could feel my face turn red, and I was sweating. I was either going to cry or run away. I was paralyzed by fears and doubts and worries about being judged and laughed at. I couldn’t do it, "What was I going to do?" So I read my cue cards. I READ THE CARDS! Messy. Fumbling. I didn’t lookup. I just told myself, “18 minutes. Just keep going”. The event was in two weeks! What was I going to do?
I kept facing my fears. I went back to the coaches and did it again. And again, until it wasn’t as paralyzing. On the day of the event, I was behind the curtain looking at the audience, and the paralyzing fear came back. My palms were sweaty. My heart was racing, and my worst fear entered my mind: “What if I fail? What if I can’t “BE” it?”
Then I heard a voice from within say, “You’re the one. Share your story.”
I stepped out onto the red carpet. Blinded by the lights, a nervous laughter and an inside thought exited my mouth, which broke the tension. There I was, voice trembling, knees shaking, 150 sets of eyes were all looking at me. I looked out at the audience, and like a deer in headlights, I was overcome by fear, stuck in mind chatter, and yet words were also coming out of my mouth. Then in a moment, the thoughts stopped racing. The audience faded in the distance, and the voice came to me again, “Just share your story. It’s not about you.”
And I did share my story, imperfectly. A bit messy and exactly how it was. I believe that willingness to do it scared helped me build a 7-figure coaching business. You see, if I didn’t have the courage to make the video, I wouldn’t have gotten over my fear of public speaking. If I hadn’t gotten over my fear, I wouldn’t have started doing Facebook Lives or speaking at networking events. If I didn’t have the courage to do things scared, I may not have invested in a program to grow my business. You get the point!
Being a TEDX Speaker taught me and ultimately helped me build a 7-figure coaching business during a pandemic. These are the three lessons I learned, and I want to share them with you.
1. The only difference between fear and excitement is the exhale.
When we are scared, we hold our breath. Like when we hear the first pop of fireworks. When we see the beauty in the fireworks, we let out an “Ah” and exhale. It’s true, I felt scared, but I also felt proud and excited. So many times, while growing my business, I felt fear — like when I made a huge investment to get help to grow my business. Or when I was asked to leave my personal coaching business to join High Performing Coach, the business that helped me to blow up my business and the one that I am now Co-founder. These things felt scary but being a TEDX speaker taught me to transform the fear to excitement and just BREATHE.
Repeat after me, “Just breathe. I got this!”
2. Share Your Story Even if Your Thoughts Tell You Nobody Wants to Listen
It was 1 am, and I woke up out of a dead sleep with my speech completely prepared in my mind. In my dream, my TED Talk idea presented itself. In my waking state, I just started writing, and all the ideas flowed. When I read my notes back the next day, I thought, “Why would anyone want to listen to this? Nobody cares about my story.” That wasn’t true. Those were beliefs that were trying to limit me!
After my talk, a woman reached out and thanked me. She said she recognized her story in hearing mine, and it changed her life. She shared with me that despite years of therapy, she couldn’t travel long distances by car or plane because of her fears. But after my 18-minute TED talk, she said her life transformed. Not only did she see the origins of her fear, but she now coaches others to overcome their fears.
Repeat after me, “My story transforms lives.”
3. Where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be.
On the day of the TEDX event, I met a very successful coach that I aspired to be like. Meeting her and seeing her confidence, and hearing her success made it hard not to compare and make myself feel bad about where I was in my journey. It was easy to want to fast track my journey and try to “catch up to her.” But that day after the event, I felt the power of being in the now. People were inspired by me — as I am. They admired me as I am, and at that moment, I knew I was exactly where I am supposed to be.
Repeat after me, "Where I am now is exactly where I am to be."
You see, growing a 7-figure business isn’t just about taking committed actions and finding the right support and accountability. We must be willing to fake it until we be it — scared shitless and doing it anyway! Who would have thought one video would snowball into everything else.
Let me leave you with this one question, "What action would you take right now if you were willing to do the thing that scares you?"
We are proud to have helped 2,000+ coaches build their business by helping them believe in themselves and take on their fears. Click here to discover how at our next free workshop for coaches.
If you’re curious about how our stories create our biology, watch my TEDx Talk.
Tina Brigley, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Tina Brigley, is a TedX Speaker, storyteller at heart and the personal development trainer to coaches around the world. After leaving her career in education to follow her passion to become a coach, she realized that the stories she told herself were keeping her stuck. Determined to rewrite her narrative, she embarked on a personal development journey that transformed her life and business. Since discovering the power of stories, she has helped thousands of coaches around the world discover what's stopping them from showing up as leaders. As Co-founder and Head of Social Influence at High Performing Coach Tina's mission is simple: To help every passionate coach to powerfully share themselves and their stories with the world.