A woman approached me today after delivering a presentation, and with a slight edge to her tone she said,
“I am so jealous. I envy people like you who make speaking seem so easy. I wish I could do what you do.”
It can be easy to make judgments based on someone’s professional performance, and yet we forget the time and energy that they invested into their craft behind the scenes.
What this young woman did not see was the countless challenges I had to overcome to get to this point.
She never saw me as a young man, standing at the front of a room trembling with loose-leaf in hand as I forced myself to get through a presentation.
She never knew me as a university student, refusing to ask a question or take part in classroom discussions because I feared what others would think.
She was not aware of the countless times I drove to a speaking event, turned the car around, and declared, “I can’t do this!”
She did not see the countless hours I spent preparing and reviewing this particular presentation.
Our eyes can be deceiving. Rather than being envious at the skills that people display around you, I would encourage you to look beneath the surface. I guarantee that any professional has spent countless hours working at their craft.
If you want something in life, it will not simply magically appear. You have to make it happen.