I was so surprised, grateful and humbled to receive the Fast-track Scholarship at the recent National Conference for the Professional Speakers Association of New Zealand.
Just a year ago, I had stood in the back of the huge Global Speakers Summit, and had my eyes opened to possibility of using speaking as a means to bring transformation and impact to peoples’ lives. I knew that I wanted to do likewise, sharing my message that women can indeed transform, reinvent and uplevel their lives – particularly at midlife – and I left my personal training business a week afterwards to follow this dream.
Cue the life changing health crisis that followed a month later……….
2018 did not pan out as expected by any stretch of the imagination. As I kept up a cursory appearance online, the reality was that I was spiralling. I lost not only my hearing in one side and my balance, but so much of my self confidence. By early August, I was ready to throw in the towel and declare that I was “out.” I was going to shut down my groups, my page, my insta – and most of all, my dream of getting out and speaking to women. I felt like such a huge hypocrite as how could I encourage them to ROCK their lives when I was barely doing likewise?
How could I encourage them to have the courage to reinvent and transform when I was spiralling downwards?
It was when I was sharing a post with my ROCKING MIDLIFE group to advertise FierceCon in LA, hosted by the gorgeous Catherine Grace O’Connell that a small voice inside whispered to me “you need to be at that!” That decision was so much more than simply a choice to attend yet another conference however – it was a turning point in choosing to fight for myself once more. I decided to forge ahead with my own ROCKING MIDLIFE event here in Auckland and at it, even played my sax for the first time in years – a huge challenge given my hearing loss and ensuing brain fatigue.
That decision to fight once more was pivotal to me making small, incremental decisions and actions every day to not only re-emerge from my self imposed reclusiveness, but to transform and reinvent my own life once more.
Fast forward to the beginning of this year and a friend encouraged me to apply for the Fast-Track Scholarship with the New Zealand Professional Speakers Association. I sat on the application for ages, unsure of what to write. How on earth do I define what I do and put forward a business plan? I literally wrote my application the day before the due date and was totally honest about my shortcomings on the business side of things. I was however, also totally honest and passionate about what I wanted to achieve: to be able to reach, encourage and help women to transform and reinvent their own lives – especially at midlife.
There were numerous talented and inspiring applicants for this award, and our submissions were actually sent overseas to be judged by certified speaking professionals there. When my name was finally announced as the winner – something that I truly did not expect – I was in turn disbelieving, humbled and incredibly grateful. What hit me most though, was that these professionals in another country had seen the worth in my message. This group of strangers had validated my vision, and even though I don’t need their validation to continue – it has been a huge lift to my spirit, and the actual prize – $20, 000.00 worth of business coaching with some the most respected speakers and coaches in the country will have a huge impact in my life and in how I can serve others.
So today I want to say simply that I am grateful. For the opportunity to be able to speak, to be able to receive guidance, for the people who have encouraged me and journeyed with me along the way – but mostly for the beautiful women worldwide who have allowed me to serve them face to face, from a stage, in a gym or online.
You ladies ROCK!
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