My body felt like I was running a marathon, out of breath. My heart was racing. My legs were shaking.
Summer school at Knowmads Business School in Amsterdam, July 2017. I just received the assignment to present something to conclude the week, my week here. Tomorrow I had 10 minutes to bring it.
My head was spinning. I could not measure the outcome. When would the outcome be okay? What should it be about? When was it good? How was it good? What would others do? Do they know? How can I create something without knowing how I would be judged?
I came home late and decided to go straight to bed. I had been here before and I knew that I had to trust the process. It was no use trying to come up with a whole presentation right now, I was tired. Tomorrow I had some time. “Trust”, I said to myself.
But my body did not give in to that. It did not buy my trust story and I did not sleep well.
I woke up nervous. Nothing had changed. I was an anxious wreck. I could not do this. At Knowmads, I sat down at a table. I stared. Things we did and learned this week started passing by in my thoughts. How could things come together? I came back to the now and felt my body and head spinning out of control. This is too much, how can I calm down?
I had no control whatsoever. Or did I?
We had an intense week. This Business school is about you and what you want to put out into this world. That’s why you have to be honest and open. To find what you want to give the world, you must find what you have to give. It is intense.
Thinking about this helped me remember. I remembered one of the things Knowmads is about; Head, Heart, Hands in balance. What I was feeling now, was nowhere near balance! My head was overtaking my whole body and heart. I had to put in more heart and hands.
I decided that I could use this and, finally, I put my head back in its place and had it do what it is good at: supporting my heart and hands.
My heart wanted to tell everybody about the I am one movement and personal leadership. The project I had been working on this week.
But, how could I do that calmly with my body treating this presentation as a death walk? Ah, there come the hands. I decided to do a handstand at the beginning of my presentation. The headstand is fun for me and I do it way to little. This physical activity would be wonderful for releasing my tension and to start with a joyous heart! Personal leadership at its best!
And last, my head would know what to say, cause its my project. I worked on the I am one movement. I know what I want to say.
Quickly I made 3 sheets to support what I wanted to say. My body was still in death walk mode, but I was ready.
I started my 10 minutes with a handstand in front of everybody, I talked from the heart, I made connection and had a clear story. Success!! In so many ways. For me, personally, for overcoming my fear and working around, and with it. For delivering a talk that was really me and had substance. And for making connection. I had all the control in the world, because there were no boundaries to what I could and was allowed to do. Together with Knowmads, I had created space to just be me.
Balance between head, heart and hands is a great tool in personal leadership. If you see yourself using one of the three too much or out of balance, try to stop and wonder what is needed to get back to balance over time. It will help you in so many ways. Not only with giving a presentation, but with everything you do.
Give it try! Good luck!! You are wonderful!