Speech! (and time and perfectionism)

On Saturday, I went to a Toastmasters International meeting. (Toastmasters International is known worldwide for its public speaking and leadership curriculum.) Members give speeches at each meeting – and all speakers want to adhere to certain guidelines, like keeping within a time limit and avoiding any filler words like ‘uh’, ‘um’ and such.

I served as a guest timekeeper. (I say guest because I will be a member soon, I think.) I used the stopwatch function on my phone to record the length of each speech and then reminded each speaker how much time they had left to speak.

Everyone at the Toastmasters meeting was friendly & helpful and I received much-needed instructions on how to complete my timekeeper role. Nonetheless, by the end of the meeting, I knew that the timekeeper role stressed me out!

Now, the first time I do anything, I want perfection. This is probably why I was nervous keeping time and why I found the role stressful.

I absolutely can be a perfectionist — and this is NOT a trait I want to carry around. Hoping to rid myself of perfectionist tendencies, I did a little reading. I’ll leave you with three interesting thoughts, one from the Houston Chronicle, another from FORTUNE Magazine and the last from Psychology Today. (SPOILER alert: after reading these articles, I still want to rid my world of perfectionism.)

1. The Houston Chronicle tells us that the desire to be perfect can cause stress, procrastination and strained relationships in the workplace.
2. The authors at FORTUNE Magazine say that the desire to be perfect  lowers confidence. (Sometimes, I wonder if our desire to be perfect ruins our confidence.)
3. The desire to be perfect can be controlled according to Psychology Today, which compares the trait to a bike pedal. (Their idea, I think, is that we can increase or decrease the trait much like a bike rider who applies a bike pedal to go faster or slower depending on their need.)

What do you think about perfectionism? Is it always a bad trait that lowers confidence? Can it be controlled?


The Importance of Being Specific

How on earth am I going to post blog entries regularly?

In order to post regularly, it is very important I set specific goals detailing when I am going to post and what I’ll be posting about.

My goals (so far) for this blog…

**WHEN I will post — I am going to post once or twice a week, usually on a weeknight or on the weekend.

**WHAT I’ll be posting about — I’ll be posting about communication (best practices in workplace communication, content development, change management and training) and about my other main interest … to be continuously learning. (I always learn SOMETHING through yoga, travel, my reading and TV favorites and the occasional cooking/baking adventure.)

You’ll see many of the following tags (and some categories as I progress) …

  • communication
  • media use
  • continuous learning
  • yoga
  • travel
  • ______

Are you setting specific and SMART goals*? It is something we should all aim for.


What are your inspirations?

Sometimes life feels tough, unfriendly. It is on days like these that I especially need inspirations — items that help me persevere and keep trying to accomplish.

Don’t get me wrong, there has been a lot of activity lately. From marketing/communications job applications, freelance writing proposals to volunteering and keeping my Mom & Dad’s new puppy safe. What I really need is for the job application and freelance proposals to pay off. I definitely need some inspiration to keep going.

Here, in no particular order, are the items/ materials that give me strength to pursue marketing/communication/pay-the-bills dreams. (I would love to freelance or work with a small, medium-size growth-oriented PR agency. Above all, I’d like to make an impact and keep learning.)

The Inspiration List

• For time management advice, I like to read Harvard Business Review article “Three Questions that Help Me Live a Fulfilling Life.”
• For a reminder to practice yoga throughout the day, I like to view The Huffington Post video “These Yoga Poses Will Take You Through The Perfect Day.”
• For an escape, I like to read fiction and look for DIY & fashion ideas from the Live Well Network shows Mirror, Mirror and Knock it Off.
• For a sense of the wider world, I like to read blogs like those listed in the “Blogs I Follow” section of this site.

What items help you through the day? What are your inspirations?