just one thing

I got myself really confused about the best way to keep our bodies healthy recently.  I opened up to too many streams of input about ways of eating, exercise plans, too much stress, too little stress, vitamins, eastern medicine, western medicine.  In some weird, haphazard way, I've been trying them all almost simultaneously and generally making myself nuts.  I can't keep track of it all.

So now I'm back to trying Just One Thing.  To start.  And I'll see how that goes.

It's amazing to me how often I have to remind myself of the power of Just One Thing, and also how often I see Just One Thing working serious magic.

I got to be part of some of that magic this summer when the good folks of The Iron Yard's Durham campus had me over to their digs at American Underground.  

The Iron Yard is a coding academy, where about 40 students commit 12 weeks of their lives to eating, sleeping, and dreaming code--and then making a new app with what they've learned.  Their big Demo Day, when they show their new creation to area tech leaders (aka, people who might hire them), was upon them.

Now they knew how to code, but many of them didn't know how to talk about it in front of 80 people.  So I went over, worked with the teams, gave each individual Just One (or MAYBE two) Things that would help them most, and we had SUCH A GOOD TIME.  Well, I did.  And I think they did, too.

After I had worked with all the teams and done just two or three minutes of individual coaching with each person, I was headed out.  A fellow from the last group stopped me in the hall and said, "Do you have any more public speaking tips?  Anything else besides that One Thing I should think about for tomorrow?" 

With the whole group gathered around, I had a small, shining impostor syndrome moment where I thought, I'd better wow them.  If I don't spew out three brilliant tips that change their lives, they'll think I don't know what I'm doing and am a big fakefakefake.  WHAT WILL I SAY?

Luckily, I remembered to stop.  Or pause, at least.  And I said what I actually believed, which was, "Yes, I have more thoughts on public speaking.  But, really,  there is nothing else you should think about for tomorrow.  Because if you try to remember more than Just One Thing, it'll be too much."

The next day, I got to see them in action--each working with Just One Thing.  One was remembering to smile before she said a word, one looked out at the audience at least twice during his 30-second bit, and one slowed down just enough that we could understand him without losing his excitement and personality.

All of them were taking the big, brave step you gotta take after you make something new.  They were putting it out there in the world.  It was beautiful.

If you're feeling overwhelmed about the big, brave step you're taking, maybe try focusing on Just One Thing for a little while.

And if you need help talking in front of 80 people at a presentation, 10 people at a meeting, or one person at an interview, let me know.  A small amount of coaching can make a huge difference.  Just ask Dana at The Iron Yard.