I can still recall the first time I saw The Sound of Music. My dad took me to see it at our local movie theater. I sat spellbound as I was swept away through music and story. My future was clear. I wanted to be Julie Andrews.
The next day I hopped over our back fence to the muddy hills behind our house. In the rain and cold, I recreated the stunning opening scene of Maria twirling around singing “The hills are alive…” only to get my little boots so firmly stuck in the mud that I had to pull my feet out first, then use both hands to yank my boots free. I climbed back over the fence in my socks, carrying my mud-caked boots along with my disappointment-caked ego.
I’ve thought about that muddy moment for many years. How many times I’ve wanted to BE someone else. Have someone else’s looks, talent, opportunities, family, possessions. Only to realize that I bring something special to the world just as I am.
Over the years, by saying ‘yes’ to many speaking opportunities and taking one painful step of courage after another, I came to believe I had something of value to share. I finally realized that what I share doesn’t have to be anything novel or earth-shattering. After all, many thousands of people have spoken and written on confidence? All I needed to do was package it up along with ME. How I deliver the concept and message will be unique because there is only one ME. Coming to this realization made me feel like I had freed my boot from the mud once again.
Embracing the uniqueness of what I bring to the table of life is what will make my message special to anyone who hears it. This is true for you and every person on earth. There is only one Julie Andrews. Only one me. And only one very special YOU.