Prepare for Adversity by Getting out of Your Comfortable Groove.

Outside the groove of comfort

Out of the Groove of Comfort


Yesterday evening, I was a judge at a Toastmasters speaking contest in another city. It was an interesting experience.

I have been involved in that club’s contests for three years.This year there were a number of new faces. New contestants, new club members and new office holders on the club executive. Great enthusiasm.

Some speeches were better than others, all contestants had put time and effort into creating and practicing their speeches.

One speaker delivered a hilarious speech about the difficulties of having TVG – “The Vertical Gift”. An accomplished speaker who has previously won the contest, he spoke about the challenges of being 6′ 5″ tall and of always having been the tallest in any group.

This is not a post about speaking contests or tall, funny speakers.

It’s about what fuels some people to push themselves into unfamiliar territory by entering speaking contests for example, while others coast along never really challenging themselves to break out of their comfortable grooves.

It’s about why some people turn a physical disadvantage – being 6′ 5″ tall for example, into a topic for brilliant speeches and a rich life.

It follows on from my previous post about the value of experience.

I am convinced that the more we stretch ourselves to new heights in relatively safe challenges – despite the fear, I don’t think public speaking has actually killed any one – the better able we are to handle the big, dangerous ones when they come. Dangerous physically, emotionally, financially or spiritually.

Why do some people overcome huge adversity while others are overcome by relatively minor challenges?

I was alerted to Glenda Watson Hyatt’s story by Chris Brogan’s OMFG newsletter. (Affiliate link) It does not answer the question, but read it and you will never feel sorry for yourself again.

Her story is an amazing example of overcoming adversity.

graphic courtesy of iosphere/


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