I have been facilitating online leadership programs for years. Whether it’s a one-hour session or four hours of online content and conversation facilitation, I’ve done it.
And up until recently – aside from some nerves going into the session – my sessions have gone smoothly. Energy and entertainment abound – I feel light and excited – and so do the participants.
Then, in the last couple of weeks, I noticed that after leading a 1-hour session I started to lose my voice. I thought that it was one particular session on one particular day, but it kept happening – workshop after workshop.
And I realized that as someone who has created a business around having conversations, something wasn’t quite right.
I reached out to a teacher of mine, Robert Ellis, and shared my experience. Laughing at the irony of losing my voice session after session. “Maybe I need to start talking less!” I joked.
To which Robert replied, “If you lost your voice, you're probably efforting, pushing too much. Relax. It's just a conversation.”
That simple reminder made me realize that it is not my job to exhaust myself, or to push myself too hard, but rather to just show up as my best self (whatever that looks like for today) and to allow my gifts and talents to come forth naturally. There is no “efforting” required to show up as myself.
So as I use this opportunity to reflect for myself on where in my life and business I am working too hard, pushing too hard, and consequently silencing myself – I’d love to ask you as well:
Where in your life are you “efforting”? Where could you afford to relax a bit more?