In 2012, I went through the darkest period of my life to date. In the space of 6 months, I experienced the break-up of a long and valued relationship; redundancy from a job I loved – and severance from people I thought of as family; having to give up a car I loved; a nervous breakdown; and then finally, to cap it all off, a diagnosis of bowel cancer.
I discovered Amy’s talk at a local TEDx. On the cusp of the breakdown, I had forced myself to attend it, resisting the temptation to pull the covers over my head and hibernate (this was before I’d rediscovered the joys of dog ownership). The event had taken its name, and theme, from Amy’s talk. I told myself that if ever I needed to hear stories of living beyond limits, it was now, and that if I could just get myself to the venue, I would hear something that day that would change my life.
I wasn’t wrong.
I viewed Amy’s talk many times that year. She revealed to me the power of public speaking as a lifeline. She inspired me to turn the bad into good and be a beacon of light to others going through tough times.
I had no idea how I was going to do it. First of all, I had to overcome a morbid fear of public speaking – very different to acting in character – and secondly, what story did I have to tell? Who would want to listen to me?
I kept the faith and went on a journey. Committing to that intention has led to decisions that have aligned with the speaking opportunities now unfolding for me.
This talk will always hold a special place in my ❤️.