So you may have noticed that I hoop. I post pictures on Facebook, I upload videos on YouTube, and I even tweet about it. But I hadn’t written about how it’s helped me as a speaker and business person, until now. I’m convinced it’s been a critical factor in the growth of my career.
Have you ever…
*Needed to get over stage fright or fear of public speaking?
*Wanted to work out but don’t seem to have the time?
*Wondered what differentiates you from the crowd?
I answered YES to all of these questions.
Getting Used to the Spotlight
Hooping gets me out in the spotlight in a really low pressure sort of way. I hoop at Libbey Park in Ojai, CA on Sunday afternoons. (I also hoop worldwide, with a travel hoop, but that’s a different story.) At the park, there’s usually a dozen of us and we bring extra hoops for kids to play with, too. People watch, take pictures, some of the brave ones even ask how to do it. And I happily show them and get them hooping.
How Introverts Can Be The Center Of Attention (and Survive)
The key point is, I get to be the center of attention for a few moments and not feel like I’m going to die. It’s practicing with a live audience. I’m learning to handle (and enjoy) being the focal point of people’s attention. I can handle the hecklers, the quiet watchers, and even the tourists with videocameras. It’s really not that much different than presenting a seminar to a live corporate audience… not really. I’m practicing getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.
I Don’t Exercise
I like the concept of “playing” much more than “exercising.” There’s no way to hoop wrong. It’s a bit like learning to drive a stick shift. It looks and feels a bit like driving a stick for the first time, too. There are dozens of hard starts and stops and a lot of jerking action. Then at some point when I stop thinking about it, I realized I was hooping. Beautifully. With grace and ease. And a big o’smile on my face.
Play. Risk. Practice.
I don’t think people hire me because I hula hoop. Not directly anyway. What I think people see is that I’m willing to step out and try things. I’ll take the risk. I surround myself with other people who are better at things than I am. I practice. I show up time and again… I’ll play with the learning of it. And I’m finding joy in practice. I encourage others to do what they love. And who doesn’t want more of that?
Are you having enough fun?
These are all business concepts. We’ve all heard that quote about doing something that scares us every day. What’s your practice that scares you? What takes you out of your comfortable knowing and into the realm of expansion and growth? Who do you want to play with? What do you want to learn? Are you having enough fun? Does it show?
PS I’ve hooped at the Grand Canyon, Time Square, on top of the Arc de Triumph, at Carnivale in Venice, Lake Tahoe snow, atop a booth at the Alaska State Fair, LAX Admiral’s club, London… one year I took it everywhere I traveled. It was a great conversation starter. Feel free to watch the video below where I traveled with my hoop for a year.