"Your Largest Fear Carries Your Greatest Growth"
I was so honored to be asked to present at NorthView Secondary School in Toronto for Mental Health week. I was along side Kids Help Phone and I shared my story with 800 highschool students about my struggle with depression and anxiety.
I was not sure what to say and I agonized over this for days before the event. I wanted to be professional and confident but the truth is that I was terrified and I was sure the kids would be able to see it all over my face and in my body language.
So, I decided to be honest and tell my story without confidence and instead with vulnerability and to be myself. I learned that for me, this is the only way to be in the world. When we try to 'fake it till we make it', often times it only causes more stress because it is not coming from a place of truth. I believe that with more speaking engagements I will reach a point where I am confident. Until then, I will feel and express whatever comes up and that will hopefully lead to 'making it'...
At this event I was able to speak about my struggles, my company and what self-care is all about. It felt amazing to share what I have learned and have been able to sustain to this day. Here is the beginning of that speech:
"Not too long ago, I would have never had the courage to speak in front of a small group of people I didn't know; nevermind an auditorium full of highschool students. That's because I have social anxiety and right now I am pretty terrified to be up here.
You see, I am not a professional speaker, however I do know quite a bit of what it's like to struggle with depression and anxiety and an overwhelming sense of fear. Fear that has kept me from experiencing so many things and opportunities over the years, especially when I was your age.
So, now when fear shows up and tries to hold me back and wants to take the driver's seat, I don't let it! It can come along for the ride and hang out but it doesn't take over anymore. I want to share with you how I have managed to cope with these issues and how I have arrived at this point in my life..."
With Light and Love