Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blah, Blah, Blah

Today I woke up feeling blah. Not good, not bad - just blah. Mondays are my best days it seems because they are so busy. Therefore, they go by really fast, but Tuesdays I have to keep chugging along. I've been grinding my teeth a lot more lately at night, and I think it's because I'm sleeping harder, which means I have something on my mind. I would share with you what's on my mind, but I don't know what it is. Sounds crazy, but really there is nothing at the forefront of my mind that would be responsible for such heavy duty sleeping.

I hate blah days because I feel guilty for having them. So everything in my day didn't go perfectly according to plan, why do I feel justified to be in a bad mood over that? I shouldn't. But I do. What's worse is when you will yourself out of a blah day into a good one and then end borderline bad. This happens when you have a lot on your plate, when things don't go your way, when you just feel frustrated and tired. I am not the only one who has these kinds of days and my blah day could be your good day. Your good day could be my bad. Perspective, I guess.

So I handled the end to my blah/bad day by doing what I do best and focusing it on work and something productive. This works the majority of the time, but not always. To really end the day, I will read gossip and fashion magazines until my eyes can't stay open. I will make sure to count my blessings and ask God for guidance like I do every night.

And, then I will thank my lucky stars that my blah day wasn't an all bad one. I will make my tomorrow better.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Facing the Fear of Public Speaking

Last week was a good week. I faced an ongoing fear of mine. I've never been comfortable with public speaking. As part of my job last week, I didn't have to speak publicly, but I did have to be filmed speaking for approximately three minutes about the value of social media engagement. The length was a blip in my whole day and the topic was one I know well, but to actually have all focus be directly on me and recorded, I wasn't looking forward to doing it.

I read something recently though that said people sometimes talk themselves into fear. My "fear" of speaking in front of others might be fueled by my thinking that I'm not prepared enough or good enough or capable of doing a good job. So instead of focusing on how uncomfortable I would be, how badly I might screw up, I prepared. I practiced in the mirror and on the way home, talking to myself in the car. That way when the day came, I felt like I had the tools necessary to get the job done. And the thing is this time I told myself how awesome I was going to do. I didn't let doubts enter my mind, and it worked.

Yes, it could've been smoother, but honestly the end product is something I was proud of. Additionally, I was just proud that I followed through on something that I had committed to. I didn't punk out. Doing videos for this part of my job is on a volunteer basis, but I felt that as a team member, I needed to step up and do my part. I needed to make it known that I could handle everything that everyone else can, not to my team, but to myself - and that included standing up for three minutes to speak on a marketing topic.

I've read tips on how to face your fears when public speaking. They say to imagine the audience in their underwear. They say to take deep breaths. But, I say be prepared and get the positive energy flowing. Tell yourself that you are going to do great. Focus on the moment and exactly what you're supposed to do, which for me was to speak to a camera in an intelligent way. Whenever you feel your heart start beating a little faster, focus your attention on something else besides your nerves. Focus on what you've practiced and work with someone who is patient and can direct you in a calm way. One of my team members let me know when I needed to slow down my speaking, but didn't make me stop and start over. Because sometimes you just need to power through. Whatever seems so scary, powering through makes you feel like you're in control.

Last week was a good week. Something that I didn't look forward to doing, something that I didn't think would turn out well actually turned out to go a lot better than expected. I know I can handle it when it comes my way. And having that knowledge helps boost my confidence.

First step, public speaking - up next, take over the world...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Don't Make Me Picture You In Your Underwear

I hate speaking in public. I don't like having focus shifted onto me unless I have specifically asked for it. If I should ever get married, I wouldn't mind if my groom would walk down the aisle while everyone stared at him and I would just stand at the alter waiting. In short, I don't care if people like to look away from me.

As a writer, I am fortunate that I don't have to speak to too many people on a regular basis. I rarely have to give a presentation and when I do speak it's about editing or social media or content. But as it is, my job has started a new video series for our company. The videos are meant to be short snippets of information for our clients and potential clients to learn about the ins and outs of what we do. It's a cool concept and hosting a video is purely volunteer.

But somehow I have volunteered! I have spoken up and said that I will do something I don't like! I'm not even sure how it happened, but now that it has I don't want to look like a punk and back out. I'm not nervous necessarily, but I'm already being too hypercritical of how I might screw up.

Also, it will just be me and the person running the video camera in the room, so it's not like I'll be publicly speaking, but I'll be put on the spot. And I don't do that. I'm not a performer! I'm a writer!

I can sit by myself for hours on end without any interaction and be ok. Of course, I'm not a hermit and don't prefer that, but I don't stand up and call to be the center of attention either. My personality is honestly borderline extrovert and introvert, but I feel that I'm only extroverted in situations I'm already comfortable in.

Although it's been quite some time, I do have experience with presentations. In high school, I was part of the forensics team and in college, one of my majors was Communication Studies, but since then I haven't really had to stand up in front of anyone. Ever.

But now it's the eve of my video and I'm not freaking out, but more just anticipating how things might have changed over the past decade? Will I feel more confident? Will I breeze through the video (which is short anyway)? No tricks work for me. No taking slow breaths or imagining the audience in their underwear, so stupid. I just want to be done with it. And, I want to do a good job.

Hopefully, I don't stammer through. Oh, and I also have to stand on top of a box of paper so I'm tall enough next to the wall TV that will be behind me. Don't stutter; don't sweat; don't biff it off the box.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What Does It Mean?

By now I'm sure you've heard the song "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men. It's catchy and peppy, but a little bit haunting. Every time I hear it I try to figure out what it's about. It's a sweet sounding tune, so much so that you'd think it's about a long lasting love, but honestly every time I hear it I think about someone going crazy and "talking" to herself. My favorite part of the song is when it slows down and the lyrics go: Now wait, wait, wait for me, please hang around I'll see you when I fall asleep. What do you think that means?! Am I way off base? I don't think I am. I'm pretty sure I'm right.