Winning and celebration…

Everyone, it seems, likes to celebrate the very act of winning and many can’t live without it! We celebrate it in so many ways; Gold medals for the ultimate winner, Silver for the next best, and then Bronze…

Grey Cup Champions Canada ~ Super Bowl Champions in US Football and the FIFA World Cup and so many more… Winning is built into the very fabric of our societies, on so many levels. Yet not many people know how to win and to win consistently. Many suffer tremendous anxiety when everything is on the line!

Your Comfort Zone

A comfort zone is a “state of being” that causes a person to create and operate within certain limitations or mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security. We all have them, however we all set them up differently. Our culture of origin, and family dynamics helps us shape them, from our belt size to the cleanliness of our homes.

Sometimes it is so insidious; “girls don’t do that” “be a big boy, don’t cry” these parental or caregiver injunctions help create a self-image (bounded by zones of comfortable behavior). And so we build them up without thought, until it/they become the way we are! Safe and comfortable but perhaps not as happy as we would like.

An example of stepping out of the comfort zone could be: You recognize the need to leave an unsatisfactory job but fear doing so as it would result in losing the sense of security you derive from the job; a place to belong and regular paycheck. This sense of security could be attributed to the mental conditioning built up over a period of time. Many people cannot leave an unhappy work position, because the desire for security and safety is so strong.

Show Up

In today’s business world, I believe that we are increasingly being called upon to show up. Because we now communicate so much by e-mail, voice mail, fax, and via the Internet, I believe the need for interpersonal communication is continually growing. The more we use technology to communicate with each other, the greater our need for face-to-face communication, and the more we crave the authenticity of personal contact. Nothing replaces the nuances of tone and pitch of a human voice or the facial and physical expressions of the communicator. But because we are using these skills less and less, we are losing our ability to “Show Up”. As a presenter should I use emotions, definitely, what is the greatest risk, well you will be revealed as human, some one I can trust to be real.

Why Should I?

It can be scary to stand in front of an audience and show your emotions, you’re letting them see the real you, authenticity connects us. It is so much easier to deliver your presentation from behind the protective cloak of professional formality and facts. Here are a few reasons for you to take a few risks and lift your presentations to the next level.

Emotions let the audience know that you are human – the audience doesn’t want to listen to a fact-spitting machine, they want to connect with a living breathing human being. Just like them!

Emotions help us to remember – we remember things that have emotional connections, for instance… what scene do you remember most from Pixar’s WALL-E? I bet it’s the scene where WALL-E losses his programming and EVE works to bring the hero back to life.

Why do most of us remember scenes like that? Because they move our hearts giving it an emotional tug and then it’s in our memory forever. If you want the audience to remember your presentation, your main points, your call to action, give them a few emotional hooks to remember.

Winston Churchill once said, ““The difference between mere management and true leadership is communication.”

A Winning Comfort Zone

You can observe a person’s “comfort zones” and to a certain extent this describe their personality. Highly successful people routinely step outside their comfort zones, to accomplish what they wish. They in fact often feel “stifled” when playing it safe.

To step outside your comfort zone, to expand your winning zone experiment with new and different behaviors, and experience the new and different responses that will occur within you and your environment. Go ahead feel uncomfortable.

I have seen people experience extreme change in their whole “comfort zone structure” overnight. Loss of a partner, discovery of cancer or heart attack, loss of a job.

In fact, many successful movies are made about this. It usually starts with some traumatic news: “you have cancer, only 30 days left to live” and so the story unfolds; changes, success, a richer fuller life starts. In the movies, it was a misdiagnosis (most have a happy ending) and the character is actually well and now lives their life in this new state.

Life Is Not A Movie.

The changes I have witnessed have been equally dramatic. One was where a successful energetic person, lost a marriage and became, hesitant, and seems to have lost hope and way of life. Another was changed in a brush with cancer; it was a struggle at first, but now, “well look out world here I come high heels and all!”

It’s not what happens, it’s your response to what happens! I am not suggesting you artificially create a traumatic event, heavens no. Playing it safe is actually dangerous to your health and wellbeing. Take a risk, every day, get used to raising the bar, raise your comfort zone, have some fun with it. Get into the juice of life, you will win more and you will lose some, ah but life will be richer. Learn to feel uncomfortable. Learn to win big, and speak up!