Researcher and Author Brene Brown has said you need two things when you enter the “arena” – someone to pick you up when you’re down, and the clarity of your values. For instance, Brown asserts you can either choose the value of courage or comfort. You can’t have both at once. If you choose courage, even if you fail miserably, you’ll know why you were in the arena and that will help soothe your soul. Courage is what you have chosen to value no matter the outcome.

This makes sense to me. I know when I choose to speak or perform, I have to embrace my humanity – my vulnerability — and decide what success or failure is going to mean to me. If I leave that to my audience, I’m dead in the water. I can’t control what my audience will think or do. I can only choose what I will hold to be true about myself.

This is good to know, because entering the arena is essential if we want to expand our lives. If we stay in our comfort zones, we never experience all we can be. At the same time, this means we’re going to scrape our knees now and again. We’re going to experience disappointments as well as successes.

How do we take the LEAP to a more fulfilled self, and all that entails?

1. Ask yourself what you would love. What would you like your life to contain a year from now? What would make the journey, filled with its highs and lows, worth it? As a speech and authentic leadership coach and trainer, I watch as my clients face their fears and create meaningful and entertaining speeches that delight and make a difference for their audiences. More than anything, I am deeply touched each time they express their true selves because that is what we all want to do. Does this make it worth it to them? My observation is that almost always, the answer is yes.

2. Choose to move through, not stay in, the disappointments. We all experience let downs, frustrations and defeats. The key is to experience them, then refuse to stay in them. When I broke my ankle hiking down North Mountain, I realized a three-part strategy that supported my healing: surrender to what is, know it’s temporary, and find the gratitude in the moment. When I experience a setback in front of an audience or working with a client, using this formula releases me from the disappointment and I almost always immediately feel better and ready to move on.

3. Be present to the value you are receiving as you move toward your dream. What are you learning about yourself and your world as you grow into the person who can embody your dream? The price for your dream is to become the person who is able to live it. Notice the treasures you’re gaining along the way.

Taking the LEAP to a more fulfilled “you” means accepting a degree of uncertainty. You’re not going to know what you’re doing at every step. That’s where courage comes in. Fortune benefits the bold. You can engage the support of those who have been where you’re going. While you’ll still walk your own path, they can certainly offer pointers.

So, decide what you’d love to be true a year from now and start taking these steps. If you’d like to improve your speaking ability, or LEAP into a whole new level of brilliance, I’d love to support you! I can be reached at