The Joy of a stepping outside your comfort zone

I’ve settled into my middle age, accepting my changing body, my feral facial hair my reliance of stretchy jeans and it’s fair to say I’m very comfortable.

Well a couple of weeks ago I stepped out of my lovely comfy zone and I did something I’d never done before, I spoke in front of an audience at the Home Show in Dublin.

I’m very chatty, some would say too chatty but I don’t agree with them, so doing a one on one Design Clinic with the general public was a doddle for me.

I was happy to agree to get up on stage and talk about ‘Trends in Kitchens’ until I actually had to stand up on stage and talk about ‘Trends in Kitchens’

Being an Interior Designer people expect me to be arty and glamorous. I am arty but I fail in the glamour department. So on Saturday morning I thought I should make an extra effort.

So out came ‘bloody expensive’ stretchy red dress with support tights and my lovely Catholic nun shoes. That’s a glamorous as I get.

I did my research and I was ready for an informal talk on the latest ‘Trends in Kitchens’ only I really wasn’t ready.

I stood at the side of the stage with our very nice sponsor from Ulster Bank and reported from the Irish Independent.

My stomach felt sick , the reported went through the questions she was going to ask me and I should just relax and enjoy it.

I was sweating my stomach was sick and I couldn’t speak. This was the very worst idea I ever had in my entire life. What class of a gobshite was I to agree to this.

‘Now do you have a plant’ asked the Irish Indo journo

‘A plant, was I suppose to bring a plant’ I know botanicals are all very on trend and we were surrounded by plants but nobody mentioned bringing a plant.

‘Someone in the audience to ask you a question’

That’s it I was about to pass out right there at the side of the stage in the RDS Fortunately my cousin in law was visiting the show and was called upon to ask a question. She agreed and the relief flooded over me. I had a plant and she was going to ask me a question form the audience.

There we sat on the stage and once again I was filled with fear. The first designer not only was she very glam she also had slides, I didn’t have slides, but I did have a plant and I was sure Sile would be there for me when the time came.

So when it was my turn to speak I announced who I was and wittered on about my company, then I expressed how nervous I was to the audience, they laughed politely. Ok this was ok.. I launched in current trends ‘In Kitchens’ for about a minute and a half then decided I was doing this people a dis service. I suggested that they needed to decide how they wanted their kitchens work for them. I wittered on about planning and appliances. The famous triangle and that then they should think about trends and only then.

That was it I found my voice and nothing could stop me now. I kept talking, then it was Q & A time. I could hold my own slides or no slides. Some lovely woman told me not to be nervous as I was ‘simply marvelous’ me marvelous .. well I never.

Sile got her question in and the poor girl got a couple of answers. Glam designer and myself thought we should both answer it.

The subject moved on to panelling, well now I do had an opinion on panelling and there was no holing me back.

Honestly if I’d walked away when I got nervous I never would have enjoyed myself so much. I did I enjoyed it, I felt the terror, the sweats, the dry throat and the sick stomach and I walked onto that stage and held my own with the rest of them, even if I didn’t have any slides I had a plant called Sile.

Ya know that saying ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ well it’s bloody true. I cannot tell you how chuffed I was with myself and still am. So much so I planning some webinars, yes me.

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