Don’t show off young lady
Nobody likes a show off Julie
I can’t remember who specifically told me those things growing up, but it’s the overwhelming message I got from the adults around me.
Stay humble, don’t stand out from the crowd, don’t get too big for your boots…give everyone else a chance too.
I’ll just shut up.
I mean thats the alternative isn’t it?
Hiding away, keeping quiet about your skills and qualities, not letting people see the full version of you
I have been thinking about this a lot recently.
It is a very peculiar thing having a presence on social media. Whether you are an online coach and fitness influencer like me, or you simply upload the occasional update on Facebook, getting the balance between showing up and showing off is tricky.
Over the years I have often found myself posting something on Instagram and thinking,
Oh no I’ve turned into one of those annoying people
Or worse still
WTF do I think I am?
It’s actually not that dissimilar to the dilemma I face as a speaker too.
The world of being a professional speaker, you know someone who is actually paid to stand up on a stage and speak to an audience on a range of topics is a weird one, and it’s hard to describe it to anyone who hasn’t experienced it.
Some people say you have to be a real show off to be a speaker, but I disagree…and it has taken me a while to fully embrace this side of me.
For example I am anxiously waiting for the release of my upcoming Tedx talk…and I’m not sure how I feel about complete and utter strangers seeing and hearing me talk from their desktops and phones all over the world, it is a little nerve-wracking.
But funnily enough…not as nerve-wracking it turns out as speaking in front of your entire family.
That is what I did on Saturday at my older brother Gary’s wedding.
He asked me to make a speech during the ceremony of his wedding to his long-term partner Vicky, and I was absolutely honored…but equally a bit baffled. I am the least lucky in love person you could meet and this is the 2nd time I have been asked to make such a speech at a wedding…the irony is never lost on me.
What the hell could I possibly say about love?
And that’s when it came to me
The reasons why marathons are like marriages
And I started to have a bit of fun with it.
I wrote the speech sent it over to him and his future wife and then completely forgot about it until the night before when I thought I’d better have a look at it, and that’s when the panic set in.
The whole marathon thing seemed like a ridiculous idea, after all the day was not about me it was about them, and neither of them can run for a bus!!!
But it was too late…I had committed.
As I sat at the front waiting for the bride to arrive I think I was more nervous than my brother, and that’s saying something, but as I looked around the room I knew I was among friends (and of course family old and new) and that if nothing else at least it would be a talking point.
I was super shaky as I walked to the front.
No warm up exercises, no vocal stuff to calm my voice…I just had to give it my best shot.
I took a big breath and began.
A few minutes later after some laughter, lots of nodding and some tears from my wonderful audience I finished up with….
Yes, Marriage is a Marathon.
You will come out of it stronger than when you entered it
Don’t forget Gary & Vicky just how proud we all are of what you have achieved today and remember to smile for the cameras.
I sat back in my seat, my sister hugged me and I shed a tear (OK a few tears), the emotion of it all getting the better of me.
It was done.
I was 100% me, I had tried to be quirky and unique and I had meant every word.
Since the wedding (which was a beautiful affair) I have had so many of my family tell me how great/clever/unique my talk was, and just how proud they were of me, even my Mum mentioned it, and getting a compliment out of her is a bloody miracle (thanks mum)
So the big question is was I showing off, or was I simply showing up?
Showing up, the only way I know how I’m afraid.
Visibility plays a major part in my Living a Bigger Life coaching programme. Helping women to show up in their own lives as themselves without apology. The impact of this on their relationships, their careers and in achieving their goals is phenomenal.
The next cohort of this 3-month programme starts on the 17th of September. To secure your spot or to ask me any questions you might have, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
A massive congratulations to the happy couple, and thank you so much for allowing me to play a part in your big day.