There’s a fear that cripples many potentially great speakers that no one really talks about. It’s not the fear of public speaking, that gets plenty of attention. It’s a deeper, more difficult fear that’s holding most of us back. A fear that I know all too well; the fear of not being good enough. Before we even start we question “Who The Hell Am I?”
Have you ever watched a great speaker felt the twinge of jealousy that they found “their message” first? I think a lot of us do. We get this idea in our head that because Tony Robbins said it or that because Gary Vee teaches it that we don’t belong in that space. Maybe we read a great book and say to ourselves, “that’s it, someone else beat me to the idea, now I’ve got nothing!” We think that because we heard it or read it that everyone has heard it or read it.
But there’s nothing new under the sun.
I spend a lot of time listening to Jim Rohn on YouTube and I quote him here frequently. His brand of common sense speaks to me just as it has to millions of others. Because I have autoplay enabled, YouTube usually just starts the next video when the other is finished so I usually get a mix of other speakers as well, Tony Robbins is one of them. While listening to a mix of lectures last week, I was struck by the similarities between the two. They seemed to be saying the exact same thing. If you’ve read much about Tony Robbins, you’ll remember Jim Rohn was his mentor, so this makes sense, but when I went back and listened the second time, I was shocked. Not only were they saying the same things, Tony was using the same words, the same way that Jim Rohn had.
Then it hit me. Tony Robbins hadn’t ripped off Jim Rohn, he took a great idea and put his spin on it and tailored it for his audience. Something all great speakers do.
I’m not suggesting we should steal other people’s stories or content and I’m not suggesting that we should attempt to be someone else when we speak. I’m suggesting that if we hear a great message or find a great idea, we have an obligation to share it in our own honest and authentic way, tailored for our audience.
There’s a fear that’s crippling many great speakers before they ever start and it’s called Imposter Syndrome. If we are to overcome it, we must get past the “Who The Hell Am I To..” and move to the “Who The Hell Am I Not To…” If the message has value, must communicate it