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11 November 2010

Same Feathers Flock Together

I remember the first time I spoke to a crowd of young people, I spoke so fast. In my mind, I have everything I have to tell them and unknowingly, I was running after a bullet train. Somebody had to raise his hand and boldly advised me to slow down so they could understand what I was talking about. Then, after few years, I found myself struggling and trembling (again!) while presenting book titles in front of category managers of a leading bookstore chain.

Speaking in front of a huge crowd keeps butterflies inside me. I couldn't escape from it because that's the nature of my work. Whether it's interpersonal or giving a talk to hundreds of people, my knees tremble and my tongue stutters. I thought to myself, "my English is terrible...I might forget what I want to say...there's limited time so I need to talk faster."

Now, telling all these, you wouldn't believe I hosted 5 wedding receptions and I have one this December. Thanks to my dear friends who trusted me their memorable day. How were I able to manage the butterflies? That I owe to my coaches.

I listen to audiobooks. I watch public speakers over the internet. I ask advice from my friends who speak with eloquence. I search for public speaking tips. I enrolled to a public speaking training center and befriend the master speaker. I practice what I learn. And, I force myself to speak in public. Terribly, I need to volunteer myself so I could have the learning experience. I stepped out of my comfort zone and jumped into the circle of public speakers (whether they like it or not!).

The sayings goes, “Birds with the same feathers flock together.” When we are surrounded with inspiring people, later on, our feathers will be like theirs. Somebody might tell you, “you look like them” or “you act like them” or "you think like them". The Holy Scripture taught me to “keep company to the wise and I will be wise.” It really matters. Tell me your environment and I'll tell you what your lifestyle is. If we want to change our mind, we have to change our environment. It's a discipline. Our mind is affected by what we see, hear and feel.

You want to change your attitude? Change your environment. Negative people will tell you hundreds of reasons why you should give up! Get out of the cage of fears and low self-esteem. Be surrounded with good people who won't embarrass you when you commit a mistake. Ask somebody you know could help you to become a better you. Don't be afraid to ask because only the fool thinks he knows everything. Wise men know there are so much more to learn. So, widen your network. Scratch your feathers with eagles, not with ducks nor chickens. Then when you soar high, it's time for you lift others. Be with the flock of happy and successful people.

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