This week I had the opportunity to speak at the California Women’s Conference. 20 of us were chosen to compete in a “speak off”, and 3 from there to speak on the main stage.


Here’s a picture of Lovely James (from American Idol), performing the most beautiful rendition of Hallelujah.


Well…I wasn’t chosen as one of the three BUT I learned a ton in the process and was reminded of things like this can either make you or break you.


Today, I share how to allow, and I say allow for a reason, these opportunities to make you 🙂


Read today’s article for more on this.


Have a wonderful weekend everyone and a BIG Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful Mama’s out there xo


I saw the opportunity in my inbox to apply for the speak off right when I got home from spending the week in Sacramento on my son’s school field trip – and the video I needed to submit was that day! I was a little tired to say the least and had nothing prepared.


But I felt this little nudge inside me, you know the one I mean right? The one that doesn’t care how tired you are or if you don’t have any make-up on, that tells you that you need to do this no matter what. I knew I needed to speak about the issues we’re seeing with the youth right now and this would be an amazing opportunity to educate many people at once.


So – I filmed the video in my backyard in my workout clothes and promised I would dress up at the event 😉


Lesson #1 – say yes! Opportunities are presenting themselves in response to what we’re asking for. I wanted to share this message in a big way (and still do), so I said yes even though the conditions weren’t the best.


Well, as “luck” would have it, I was chosen out of hundreds of people. Pretty cool right?!


I started preparing and really felt like this was one of the most important talks I would give and it was the first under my “non-profit” hat. I teared up several times when I was writing it and again while practicing it. The statistics around homeless youth, human trafficking and suicide as being the second leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 10-24 are alarming to say the least.


I got to the conference, and the set-up was not what I was expecting at all. The competition was put in the open in the exhibitors hall, where there was another stage for the conference set-up only about 100 yards away and other speakers and vendors were all competing for people’s attention. Tough set-up, but I was still excited nonetheless.


When it was my turn I became overwhelmingly nervous. I usually just walk right out on stage and do my thing, but never before I had been judged. My talk was in front of three judges, who work with people like Olympic athletes to perfect their talks. I was so thankful for the opportunity but was beyond nervous.


Then the video camera guy’s camera stopped working, so we had to decide if I should still give the talk then or wait until later. I decided to give it then and come back later to have it filmed.


Lesson #2: Keep moving forward. I was already there and ready to go. Coming back would not have done well on my nervous system.


So I started, and completely forgot the stats I wanted to share, so I asked to start again. I’ve never had to do that.


I go again and can feel I’m completely in my head worrying about stat’s and all sorts of things, and finally connect back to my heart half way through. I nail it from there, except I go over on the time.


I then get the most awesome feedback and they pointed out everything I did well – thank goodness as all I could see was went wrong. I got some really, really powerful tips from these coaches and was just so grateful.


The camera guy then comes back and tells us the camera is fixed. So I decided to go again then, and implement their tips.


Lesson #3 – take the second chances. I knew this second chance was divinely guided and showing-up for a reason. If I had waited to come back the next day to do it, the competition would have been over and their decision made. I also knew I would be nervous again and wanted to prove to them I could do a much better job right then and there AND take their tips to heart.


Lesson #4 – be coachable. This goes a long way.


I nailed that talk. I took all of their tips and implemented them. I paused and took my time, even though I had been over on time before, and I experienced some really powerful heartfelt emotion. And I had time to spare. Isn’t THAT interesting? A total mindset flip.


I nailed it. And I had time to spare. Isn’t THAT interesting? A total mindset flip.


They were all so impressed that I implemented their tips, and other people even stopped to watch. I left that day feeling amazing!


Lesson #5 – conquer those fears.


I easily could have run and hid after the first time not being so great. I stuck it out and it paid off. I have an amazing video to share with folks when reaching out about our non-profit that is so heartfelt and drives home the point – which we absolutely need to have a collective shift in this world.


Now I didn’t get chosen, and that’s okay. I’m not even sure they were able to use my second take as a factor in their decision. But I did get invited to lunch with them after, received some invaluable tips AND have a remarkable video.


Oh, and last but not least, someone stopped me in a different area of the convention center a couple of hours later saying how much he liked my talk and what I had to say. THAT makes it all completely worthwhile. People were listening and heard the message.


Lesson #6 – Gratitude. I am forever grateful for this experience. It also reminded me to let go of perfection once again.


I hope this share helps you move through any area of your life that you’re feeling afraid of because you don’t want to make a mistake and are worried about being judged. This is how we learn, grow and can truly let our lights shine!! I’ve been doing this for 10 years and still get scared 🙂


Love you all xoxo

~ Chris