Public speaking has always been one of my greatest fears. I don’t know why, and I can’t pinpoint a specific incident where the fear started. As a function of my job in a previous position I held in my career many years ago, I used to speak in front of many large crowds and deliver presentations and demonstrations on a regular basis. I had no problem with public speaking at that time. However, I believe that my fear may be connected to a period of mental and emotional trauma that I experienced in my personal life about 10 years ago, which took a toll on my overall wellbeing. It was shortly after this that I alternated through periods of anxiety and depression, which I never realized at the time would stay with me for years and show up unexpectedly when I was feeling overwhelmed or alone.
I spent many years picking up the little pieces of myself and slowly putting them back together through daily self-care, self-love, personal development, daily affirmations – you name it. Since then, I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery. One of the many things I discovered along the way was that I loved and really enjoyed business. It was a whole different world that I had little knowledge of because I had seen my career as a police officer as the only path to a successful life. I went back to school to study and receive my Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Shortly before I graduated I started my dog walking and pet sitting business.
As I entered this new world of business I started business networking, meeting new people, making some amazing new connections, and learning so much. I was like a giant sponge, absorbing all this new found knowledge. One of the things I learned was that the best way to connect with your audience and to grow your business was to be seen and heard by authentically sharing your story. The thought of this brought feelings of doom because I had believed for so long that anything I had to say didn’t matter, and I believed that I had no voice. Through my journey of healing I realized that those thoughts had no value or truth. They were just beliefs I created about myself, based on unfortunate circumstances and I had the power to choose my thoughts and create the life that I want. I see now that sharing my story through speaking has been the best thing for both myself and my business.
On January 1st, 2019, my New Year’s resolution was to make 2019 the year of stepping out of my comfort zone, and stepping in to my purpose. With a lot of coaching and encouragement I shared my story and experiences on stage at events held by Heart of Networking and One Woman Fearless International. Being seen and heard led to new business relationships and connections that I would never have made if I had given in to my fears and chose to remain in the shadows.
One of the new connections I made was with H.U.B. Inc., a networking group for female entrepreneurs, which has many chapters across Canada. After attending one of their events I decided I wanted to get involved. So, I reached out to the Durham H.U.B. Inc. Director and asked if I could present my Passion to 6-Figures workshop. In January of 2020 I presented my Passion to 6-Figures workshop for the H.U.B. Inc., Durham chapter, and it was a real hit. My audience was inspired by the fact that I had built a 6-figure business while working a full-time career as a police officer. As a result of sharing my story and my passion I was invited to be a H.U.B. Inc. mentor and to be one of the Expert Speakers and an Expert Coach at the H.U.B. Inc. Power Summit, which took place on October 7th, 2020. I was also contacted by several H.U.B. Inc. Directors who asked me to present my workshop to their chapters. I have now presented to four H.U.B. Inc. chapters and currently have my fifth presentation booked in November, 2020. Wow!!! All this from deciding that I was not going to let fear control me.
Last month I received the nomination as the H.U.B. Inc. Speaker of the Year. With the love, support, and votes of my family, friends and Community on October 7th, 2020 at the H.U.B. Inc. Power Summit it was announced…., “The Speaker of the Year award goes to, Judith Tait!!” I was speechless, but honoured to receive this award. When I made that New Year’s resolution and started on my journey in January 2019, I never knew where this path would lead me. I never would have imagined that I would receive an award for public speaking. This award is something I will cherish forever because it symbolizes my journey from pain to power. Do I still experience feelings of fear and anxiety when it comes to being seen and heard? Absolutely! That’s probably something that will always be with me, but I own it and I have made the decision that I will never let my fears guide or control me. I have a gift to share and words to speak that someone needs, and I can’t truly step in to my purpose if I keep it to myself.