In my years of coaching and mentoring, so many of my clients still struggle when it comes to speaking, as part of their business. I have watched people literally freeze and cringe in front of a camera. I have witnessed many avoiding video talk due to feeling intimidated by technology. The most common feedback I receive is that many are concerned about how they are being perceived by their audience.

This is a real shame since many of those I speak with have an important message to share in line with their vision, yet feel relatively crippled when it comes to using their voice to spread their message. It is ultimately a form of self-sabotage.

When I did my TV Presenter’s course last year, I continued to experience something I commonly share in my coaching of others, and that is the importance of being yourself, rather than trying to perform. So let’s continue with a question.

What would happen if you could be yourself and communicate your message in such a way that combines authenticity with deep impact on your audience, that makes for an unforgettable experience?

I caught up with Davide Di Giorgio, TED talks trainer,  who helps people shift their perspective and their results. Listen in to our conversation and what he shared if you want to transform your speaking.

  • The importance of shifting your perspective with regards speaking
  • What it means to move past being a technician of speaking
  • What it means to be authentic
  • Deconstructing a powerful talk
  • Aligning purpose, authenticity, impact and an unforgettable talk
  • How to build a speaking business that is viable
  • How Davide helps people through unique experiences he creates in his events
  • Why you are ready now
  • The first step to changing your current experience

Make today the day you change the way you speak and deliver your message forever. You can access Davide’s Community of support by clicking here

Richard Branson once said ‘if you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives you shouldn’t be in business -it’s that simple’

Many would agree with this perspective and yet it may be one that divides professionals in business at some level. The majority would agree that their product or service needs to tackle and resolve a problem that people are seeking a solution to. However, it’s how professionals operate that starts to expose some conflicts.

There are differing motivations and forms of approach out there in the business world. For some, they merely want to have the freedom to run their business successfully enough to pay the bills and have enough profit to service a lifestyle that looks after family beyond mere survival. Others want to make a boatload of money and be hugely successful, with a more lavish lifestyle.

Then there are those who are more purpose driven in that they care about humanity and the wider world and really seek to align their business with meeting those needs so the world can be a truly better place at all levels of operation.
Many of us have witnessed the good, the bad and the indifferent in business. Even good intentions in business practice can derail under pressure such as cash flow if left unchecked.

What has become more evident is that the practice of launching a product or service out there, followed by aggressive marketing and persuasion tactics to make the customer buy, is becoming less successful and more redundant. We cannot simply operate a business in a way that makes the customer fit our product.

The return to a more socially conscious approach to business is gaining traction and reaping lasting rewards. Forbes has recently warned that businesses who ignore a certain trend will not last beyond the next 4-7 years. So it would appear that critical re-evaluation is required to make sure we are truly serving those who seek our solution, and not the other way round.

Forbes was alluding to something that can be described as strategic philanthropy – combining making money through doing good. Of course this has many different expressions.

I recall when I first came across this expression in my mastermind group I was unclear as to its meaning. However, since childhood, I had been clear about wanting to deploy my gifts and talents in a way that could help humanity on a larger scale, particularly those who were stuck in survival issues.

But beyond spontaneous acts of giving and small projects along the way, I struggled to weave them both together for so many years, due to low income.

The idea of working simply to have a decent lifestyle and acquire material things for my own pleasure always felt short of appealing. People mattered to me more than things, but I did dream about having abundant resources so that I could contribute to humanity in a big way.

However as much as I got into structured giving such as sponsoring a child in Kenya and the Philippines for a few years, along with spontaneous acts of giving, I struggled with the money side of things, largely due to low income. I was by some descriptions a broke philanthropist.

My money story and struggles meant that there was always this glass ceiling in my mind just above my head, and for many years I felt trapped by that.It restricted my capacity to give.

I remember a few years ago listening to Angelina Jolie’s acceptance speech when given a humanitarian award. She spoke of two things – gratitude and pain. Her gratitude was that she considered herself fortunate to have grown up in an environment where she could discover and develop her gifts and talents; at the same time to use the resulting wealth to support her philanthropic desires, which go beyond merely giving money to support causes.

Her pain was that somewhere across the globe was a woman with similar gifts and talents, except that she lived in a refugee camp, with no voice to her name or roof over her head; for whom each day was about working out how to stay alive and keep her children alive.

Her pain was that somewhere across the globe was a woman with similar gifts and talents, except that she lived in a refugee camp, with no voice to her name or roof over her head; for whom each day was about working out how to stay alive and keep her children alive.

When I heard this it made me cry because it spoke to a similar gratitude and pain that had been an undercurrent within me for so many years. However, my cultural and educational upbringing along with the many messages coming out of the church I attended at the time, such as money being the root of evil, rendered me in a state of constant conflict. Beyond being broke I felt that my dream was broken. Maybe you can relate.

But the dream never left me, and as I look back over the last 10 years I can see recall the turning point and processes that have brought me to where I am now. It has been fascinating to observe how I managed to evolve and close that gap significantly.

Like many business owners, I got stuck in a time for money trap with my coaching services, which limited the delivery of value, and whilst I have since rebranded, the real journey that prefaced this was so much deeper, and one of personal transformation based on acknowledging and building around core values in a deeper way.

Out of that, I have now birthed my own inspirational book Breaking Free. I also find myself co-hosting this year’s Strategic Philanthropy Global Summit with Tom Matzen, speaking with highly successful entrepreneurs who have learned to combine doing good with making money at the same time.

There were no coincidences in how this opportunity came to me. Furthermore, it has provided another platform from which to evaluate how I develop, shape and direct strategic philanthropy in my own business.

If you want a context to re-evaluate your business given what Forbes has said, please why not join us at The Strategic Philanthropy Global Summit. Come and get inspired, connect and collaborate. It is free to register and listen in live.

The recordings will be available for sale thereafter, with half the gross proceeds going to KIVA microloans. You can see all the details here for the event which kicks off on Tuesday 13th June 2017. See you there?

Anita Narayan

In the last 48 hours I, amongst others, lost a dear colleague and friend Audrey Brown, who passed away after a protracted battle with a recurring illness. It is a deeply sad moment, as the reality sinks in.

This is my heartfelt tribute and gratitude to an inspirational lady who exuded love, fun, beauty and grace. We hadn’t known each other that long. We met at a TV Presenter’s course in the early part of this year. In fact the group that we were part of had a special connection because of the respective journeys that bought us to this point, and how we wanted to grow and serve others beyond by developing our skills. It was a coming together that was refreshing and went beyond conscious awareness.

During the 5 days of training and into the months beyond, further conversations exchanged, and it seemed we had journeyed far due to the sharing of a common journey that had at its core, the desire to inspire and help others with our gifts.

There is a huge part of me that always hopes that those with that kind of heart will prevail beyond the average number of years a person may have on this earth because we live in a world that needs more inspiration than ever before, in my opinion. This kind of giving is bigger than any one person has to give, and today we lost an inspirational leader.

Audrey would be too humble to describe herself in such terms, and as highly evolved as she was, she still wanted to attend a recent workshop I held, such was her hunger to continue to learn and grow, and be a catalyst for spreading inspiration.

Not many people could genuinely exude so much life and inspiration with a strong, determined spirit whilst battling in the dark with illness. One of our last conversations was how adversity develops strength and character.

For me Audrey shone even brighter in the dark hours of her illness. Even from her hospital bed she was sharing her journey and sending out video clips as her energy allowed, displaying a warrior mentality, a never-say-die attitude, with a continued encouragement for us all to live inspirational lives.

Like an evergreen, she consistently saw the beauty in human beings, she was gracious and so giving. Even in her hour of need, she would cheer me from the sidelines when I shared my inspirational message in its various forms.

Audrey was fun loving, full of life and selfless in her sharing. She sprinkled exuberance for life everywhere with remarkable consistency. She was reconciled with adversity as a part of life, not an intrusion on life, and she met it with boldness and grace.

So as a human being, I feel that loss and sadness deeply. We all grieve in different ways and maybe do battle with difficult emotions, whether they be rational or not, and each person processes and expresses things differently.

However what is also emerging in me very strongly is how this amazing human being showed up in the world with such consistent love and inspiration, the light of which no dark hour could put out. She has held a mirror up to us all, in effect, to show what the human spirit is capable of.

It is this which rises within me, and as surely as the night time gives way to the dawn of a new day, this will galvanize me to continue to develop the best version of me, so that the world, including me, can thrive. She has left me richer than when we last spoke and for that and all I have expressed above, I am truly and eternally grateful.

May we all continue that legacy, take on the baton of inspiration, and share and serve others through our gifts and abilities, to leave this world in a more beautiful place than we found it, just as she did. I feel her cheering on through her spirit.

This was one of the first things I wrote about in Breaking Free. Recently we have had ample evidence  of how things can change in a moment. In these last few months alone we have witnessed the sudden deaths of Prince, Victoria Wood and Jonah Lomu. I mention those three because in the eyes of many they died well before their time

During their lives we were blessed with the heights of talent in music, comedy and sporting prowess respectively.

Of course changes can occur to the upside in sudden fashion too. That promotion at work, meeting the love of your life, winning the lottery, and the list goes on.

It is somewhat sad to observe that for many of us there is something about adversity that causes us to take a step back and evaluate what is important in our lives, particularly in the face of great loss.  It is a pain motivated pause which goes deep.

Why does that not happen so much when we experience the heights of thrilling events. Some would argue that they do reflect in similar depth, and yet it is rare to find such people who do so.

I recall getting a somewhat intuitive nudge on this subject while driving home from work one day. The statement ‘things can change in a moment’ was like a continuous play record in my head.

A day later one of the worse storms to hit Britain came unannounced, followed by a stock market crash within the week. That was in 1987.  The weather and the economy had converged into one devastating storm that affected countless lives

I recall at the beginning of my major transformation this was prefaced by great tragedy that caused me to find new solutions to what my life was lacking.

Although I could not appreciate it at the time it turned into the perfect storm as it was the turning point for a new lease of life for me, a journey I might not have awakened to and experienced if everything was seemingly ok

What my personal and observed experiences have taught me is that in any given moment things can happen externally to bring sudden change.  However we can also bring about significant change through the power of decisions and our inner creativity

None of us truly know the number of days we have on this earth. Therefore it is important to make the life in our years count.  So if you feel that life is holding you back in some way from living your dream, know that in any given moment you are a decision away from breaking free.

I know it because I lived it out and wrote about that journey in the book and song Breaking Free. Do not wait for something to happen to cause you to pause, reflect and redirect your life towards your dreams. Instead come from within and know that you have the ability to create something of great value and fulfilment in your life.

My favorite sport is football, but it is International Rugby that provides the backdrop of today’s reflection on becoming unstoppable. When I recall the rugby days of David Duckham, Andy Ripley, Roger Uttley and Bill Beaumont, followed by a new generation of stars in the 90s such as Will Carling and Johnnie Wilkinson, one man rises above all others as a global star and rugby legend.

In recent months, rugby and indeed the sporting world paid tribute to the great Jonah Lomu, whose life sadly came to an end at the young age of 40 years in November 2015

He has been heralded globally as someone who changed rugby, combining strength, speed, agility and intelligence on the wing, like none before him, to outrun, outwit and seemingly swat his opponents out of the way, en route to scoring multiple tries. He graced the world of rugby and crowd attendances rose, as many watched a man in action described as ‘unstoppable’

The tendency among so many people watching such success is to observe with a mild or greater degree of envy that they may have been bestowed with luck or special qualities. What many fail to appreciate about Jonah Lomu was the huge obstacles he had to get by to obtain such success.

I am not so much referring to his childhood and exposure to domestic violence at the hands of his father, or the gang culture that exposed his troublesome youth. It is the critical illness he overcame on a day by day basis to grace the rugby field and the world with a display of skill, speed and power that had not been seen to this degree

Jonah Lomu was diagnosed with a critical illness only 2 years after breaking onto the international scene at 19years old in 1994. Many will remember his world cup performance in 1995 against England where he scored 4 tries. His diagnosis came in 1996 requiring him to take time out for treatment. Yet this man refused to lie down and bow to the medical implications of his condition, choosing to live his rugby dream.

The illness would rob him of muscle strength particularly in his legs. Yet strength is what he worked on both inwardly and outwardly, and belief is what he cultivated. He made a comeback in 1997, and won an Olympic Gold in 1998. His last international appearance was in 2002 before his illness worsened, requiring him to have a kidney transplant in 2004. He made it his goal and dream to play in the world cup of 2007

An Insight into Jonah Lomu

 

I do not know many people who could go overnight from prolific rugby star to struggling to walk to the fridge due to the loss of muscle and nerve conduction in the legs, and then defy medical expectations of becoming wheelchair bound to make it back to the rugby field. Jonah made a comeback in 2005 but unfortunately did not manage to secure a super rugby contract, which denied him his dream of a World Cup place in 2007. He retired from the international scene and was later desrevedly inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame

He was not supposed to be able to have children, yet the impossible happened when his wife gave birth to two children in 2009 and 2010, and he devoted himself to becoming the best possible dad, whilst contributing to world peace through sport via the Champions for Peace Club, What does this man teach us about unstoppability?

When you are unstoppable, you are not void of challenges in life, neither are you immune to doubts and fears. Challenges can come in many forms on many levels, physically, mentally and otherwise. What separates those who are unstoppable from those who are not is the capacity to get back up when life knocks them down, to navigate challenges with a perspective that allows them to keep moving forward to achieve their goals, dreams and lifestyle aspirations .

Such people are characterised by a ‘never say die’ attitude. Rather than ignoring the obstacles they look at what lies beyond and adjust their focus accordingly until they reach thir desired destination. Their resilience and resolve do not decrease in the face of challenge, rather they increase.

Somewhat ironically his body could not hold his undying spirit, and yet his life continues to breathe life into those who wish to become and remain unstoppable, myself included. When people who read my book Breaking Free remark about my irrepressibility, I can only humbly testify to the undying influence on my life of such icons as Jonah Lomu from whom I continue to learn how to be unstoppable. You can get his Jonah Lomu’s Autobiography from Amazon too.

 

 

 

I was not surprised to read a recent newspaper article which cited a survey indicating that out of 2000 British people surveyed, the majority remained in fantasy mode about it. The wishful thinking averaged 2hrs a day and many dreamt of having a different lifestyle that would be healthier and more fulfilling. Definitions of that varied but included health, money, travel and career.

Alarmingly 80% of those surveyed admitted they were not living the life they truly desired. Even more shocking was the acknowledgement that by 32years of age they had given up on their dreams, and were living with regrets, as if their life was effectively over!

Although this was a small size study compared to the overall population the percentage of people writing off their dreams and living with regrets was very high. Throughout my coaching days I have witnessed more people than not who speak in such terms, as if life has dealt them a rotten hand of cards.

What I find sad is that the scenario described to me need not be the case. If you look around you at any object like a chair or a car, these things started off in the mind of man so to speak before they showed up in physical reality. They did not manifest out of nothing.

When I put this to many people they accept the concept. However when it comes to translating that concept to create a different reality in their lives, they falter in their acceptance. Why is this so?

It is one thing to accept that other people can produce a different reality through the creative use of imagination. It is another thing to believe that you can do it. This is a big gap I find in so many people.

The second observation I would make as to why people become somewhat paralysed when changing their reality is that their response reflects the conditioning of society and significant earlier experiences that have shaped them to think this way. They hold toxic beliefs that they are not good enough, worthy enough or lucky enough to have the life they desire.

By conditioned response I mean that someone could come up to you and prove something as true, yet you would still reject that truth. Take Christopher Columbus for example. He discovered that the world was round and scientifically proved it, yet it took a long time for the world to accept this as they had believed for so long that the world was flat. Such is the power of conditioning.

The good news is that it is possible to recondition yourself in support of your dreams. Much of my coaching is working with people at a deeper level of their being to awaken them to their true creative nature, so that they can mobilise the inner resources they already have to change their lives.

When I think back to where I was at 32years of age, life had dealt me a tragic set of cards that could have derailed me completely from the life I wanted. Somewhat ironically it was during those years and during the dark night of my soul that I awakened to what was inside me that could transform my life. My life is so different now.

It is somewhat ironic that adversity turned out to be the teacher that awoke me to my inner resources, and I share my discoveries in my book and song Breaking Free, to inspire and help you change the percentages of your dream life in your favour. I have also put some complementary videos together on my website, for you to help you design a framework and blueprint to change your life. So what are you waiting for? Give yourself the gift of change for a better life.

I often recall the words of a famous person who inspired me during his lifetime – a certain Nelson Mandela who sadly passed away two years ago in December 2013. What he left behind continues to hold relevance for the issues that many individuals face in their lives, as well as the evolution of mankind.

As a former football player, coach, mental health nurse and current sports presenter in women’s football, I have witnessed and appreciated first-hand how football breaks down barriers where mental health, cross cultural harmony and global peace are concerned.

Mandela saw sport as a great instrument for building bridges in well-being, worldwide reconciliation and peace. He also talked about the importance of education as a tool to empower lives.

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’ N Mandela

That got me thinking about education. When I grew up I received the traditional basic education which equipped me with knowledge as far as subject matters were concerned.  That got me to college and beyond, and I fared well with hard work.

However, what I noticed as time progressed was how redundant a lot of that knowledge became where  living and dealing with real life issues was concerned.

As I continued to evaluate my knowledge against my ability to impact my life and others in a progressive manner, I often noticed a significant imbalance. I knew so much more than I actually applied.

It was another part of Mandela’s life that was to speak to this discovery and from which I was to draw wisdom in order to address the gap between personal knowledge and influence.

Nelson Mandela’s description of his personal journey in the book ‘The Long Walk To Freedom’ informed me about the power of a transformational journey.  His journey went beyond education, and engaged the human spirit in an inspirational way.

That energy did not originate from intellectual understanding. It put the flesh on the bones of his knowledge, and enabled him to mobilise his inner resources under extreme constraint, and find inner freedom, during a 27 year physical imprisonment.

His human conquest, self-discovery and evidence of what the human spirit can do, makes him an authority on freedom, because it comes from a place of consistent demonstration, not words.

There is a common saying that knowledge is power. I have come to the conclusion that this is not so. Knowledge on its own, without the capacity to influence lives positively, is powerless. Education on its own is not enough when you seek transformation.

Inspire means ‘breath within’.  It represents that life force that moves us to improve or change something in our life. This is an essential key that was missing in my life for so long.

I have discovered that if there is one thing more powerful than education, it is inspiration.  Combine education with inspiration, and even greater empowerment takes place.

This is what I found when I embarked on a journey that took me beyond intellectual capacity to inspirational influence, and the combination of inspiration and education is what shaped my book and song Breaking Free.

I come across so may intelligent people in coaching and life, who know so much at an intellectual level, yet lack the capacity to make it count significantly when it comes to their own personal growth.

Much of my life’s work revolves around inspiring and helping others to awaken towards self-reconciliation and healthy self-esteem as part of the transformational journey to personal freedom.

Those who do so experience profound release and breakthrough.  Are you willing to give yourself the gift of personal freedom through your own transformational journey? Here are a few tips to get started.

Tips:

  1. Look with honesty at the ratio between knowledge and application in your life
  2. Decide to redress the balance if needed. There is power in a decision
  3. Expose yourself to the personal journey and teachings of those who inspire you in the qualities you wish to develop. This is the quickest way to break free, because the inspiration will move you to make the change. That is your starting point.