How I didn't come first yet still won!

For the past six months I’ve been doing everything ‘right’!

Each morning I’ve written out my goals, during the day I’ve repeated my affirmations, I’ve visualised what the end result of success would look like - in vivid detail - and I’ve meditated. Add to that hours and hours re-writing and honing my script and then even more hours practising my speech.

I quite literally could not have done any more to get myself ready to win.

My clothes were perfect for the occasion, a very smart black three piece suit, new white double cuff shirt, patterned silk tie, highly shined back shoes. I was dressed for success.

As I took the stage as the first of the five Finalists taking part in the Professional Speaking Association’s (PSA) ‘Speaker Factor’ competition, at the annual Inspire conference, a surge of adrenaline gave way to a feeling of confidence. I delivered my four and half minute speech to the one hundred or so strong audience to the best of my ability.

I walked off the stage to the sound of sustained applause. I believed I was going to win!

I didn’t win!

Or did I?

I joined the PSA earlier this year, on the back of having my first book published, as a networking, personal development and profile raising exercise.

The Inspire conference was a wonderful opportunity to build relationships and make new contacts. Over the last few months of attending regional meetings in Leeds I have learned so much from some really great speakers and the conference was wall to wall with world class content.  The exposure my Speaker Factor experience offered me in terms of raising my profile quickly and positively was priceless.

All the mind-set work got me through to the Final. In fact, my visualisation of standing on stage, with the PSA President, in my dress suit, wing collar shirt, bow tie and even shiner shoes, the audience on their feet, camera’s flashing, me holding the framed certificate happened exactly as imagined. The only element that was different in reality than in my visualisation was that my certificate had ‘Finalist’ and not ‘Winner’ written on it!

This is one of those ‘shoot for the moon’ moments where I’ve landed in the stars instead and I’m really okay with it.

My new friend Heather was a worthy winner and she deserved it.

I did phone her a couple of days after the contest. My opening comment was “I think there’s been a mistake, you have my certificate!” She saw through my attempted Jedi mind trick.

Yes, it would have been the icing on the cake to actually ‘win’ but life goes on even when all the effort falls a little short. The real trick is to set another goal and get straight back at it. That’s the mark of a true winner.