For the past 3 weeks I have been stressing over one event that has driven me to a certain level of insanity rarely experienced in recent years. I think this level of anxiety has only been topped a few times in recent memory before I did an event. Such as…
2016 as Opening Keynote Speaker for the National Speakers Association. It was the maiden voyage attempt of The Promise speech. That was a bad idea to try that out first time in front of 2,000 professional speakers. That will mess with you.
2017 my first of 3 years as Emcee of RootsTech in my home state of Utah.
2018 was revisiting my roots and doing a public ticketed show where my kids would join me on stage at the Scera Theater as we worked diligently to sell out two shows back-to-back. That was stressful.
2019 had me in fits for multiple reasons:
- Sharing the stage with Sophia The Robot in Australia addressing 7,000 attendees,, mostly of Asian decent where English wasn’t their native tongue.
- The National Speakers Association asking me to Emcee their Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony where I shaved my beard off on stage.
- My 7th event as Emcee for the Million Dollar Round Table in about 18 months! I finally felt I had run out of material!
Well, then there was this past Wednesday.
Mind you, I’ve had a few tough events this year already, where my music wouldn’t play through the sound system, the computer and slides didn’t make it out of the gate, and just the other day, when the microphone needed to be replaced 2 times in the course of an 8-minute span.
Wednesday was tougher – at least in preparation.
I loaded all of my gear in the building, cold from our freezing garage, where it sits unused (since it’s always provided at every other event I’m paid to do). As I set it up, after rehearsing and practicing songs and routines I’d never done, I could feel the eyes staring at my back awaiting my start, as the room began to fill in.
Finally turning and facing them, it was a feeling I haven’t had in a long time before taking the stage: FEAR.
Yes my friends, this was a donated performance, one I had insisted on doing, one I had to research, push, stress, and find a new way to get the presentation across. I couldn’t rely on what I’ve always done, I had to create all new material, with perhaps 20 minutes of 60 able to be used from previous music knowledge and performances.
It was a performance at the senior center where my dear Grandmother resides.
All of her peers flooded the room, walkers, wheelchairs, finding their spots to enjoy the performance by the grandson they’d heard all about.
Yes, imagine your Grandmother telling everyone how great her grandson is at performing, and then I show up and do what I normally do…a bunch of songs they don’t even know, like, or want to hear.
So, I went to the drawing board on this one – lots of research for the music they’d like.
What kind of music do people in the age range of mid-seventies to mid-nineties connect with and even like?
I was asking online and abroad every person I could from Florida to…
I had an idea, and I knew I only have about 4 numbers in my repertoire would serve them.
I did a few of the impressions I knew they would love: Nat King Cole, Louie Armstrong, and I even tried my hand at actually singing Elvis, which I’ve never really committed to.
But the bulk of the performance was singing in a voice I normally don’t: My Own Voice.
As a person who preaches and teaches The Promise to The One, which is you, it would seem that by now I would do more in my own voice. However, the audiences I am in front of most of the time are accustomed to, and expecting only, my ability for doing voices of others, and I’m happy to oblige, as it’s afforded me a wonderful career.
Yet I’ve always wondered how it would go – singing in my own voice.
So, I not only stepped out of my own comfort zone, but rather threw myself willingly from it, and went for it.
Singing Musicals and my own originals, it was a terrifying yet liberating experience. In fact, below is a video snippet of the audience enjoying a song I’ve never sung in public and wow, how they loved it.
As did I.
The Promise to get out of your Comfort Zone is one I haven’t written about much but is emphasized today.
What scares you but is something you really want to do?
Nothing foolish, just something that is so powerful for your soul to want to try out, to accomplish, to say you did. What could it be?
What is holding you back?
Fear would be the answer for most.
Here’s a 3-Step Exercise to Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone:
- List out the Top 3 things you’ve always wanted to do but never have (for me in recent years it has been: Write my Book, Sing in my Own Voice at an Event, Perform Material I never have)
- Schedule a Set Time with An Accountability Partner to Accomplish the Goal, Activity, or Intention
- Take Action Immediately on your New Promise
This is not groundbreaking information, but can easily shift your entire life’s trajectory.
As for the next part of the Exercise, this is the real kicker:
- Write Out Your Powerful Reasons For Willfully Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
If anything holds you back from doing the 3-Step Exercise and getting it going, then writing out the Reason should push you over the edge to doing it.
Want to know MY REASONS for really wanting to push myself to do the event at the senior center?
- I knew my Grandmother would be grateful and time is only ticking at her age for me to do this for her
- The Power of Music to bring joy to the elderly especially is a magical experience, backed by science, to help them recall memories and moments they perhaps have not been able to without it’s assistance
- When was the last time I pushed myself to create a whole new show of music I’ve always loved but never performed? Often it’s simply the excitement to wonder aloud if you still have the chops to do what you once did so well.
Once the Show ended I felt a gratitude and happiness I haven’t felt at a performance in a while.
As I greeted each sweet person with a hug or handshake, one by one they said,
“If I could get up I would have given you a standing ovation!”
“That was the most extraordinary afternoon I’ve had in years.”
“I remember when those songs came out and you reminded me of joy I haven’t felt in a long time.”
Tears flowed freely from my eyes.
My friend, now, it’s your turn. Promise to get out of your Comfort Zone.
Share with your family, friends, and co-workers. This will change your life.
Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame
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