susan-bradley-hi-def-compressorby Susan Bradley

As I work on my TEDx talk I have needed to get out of the weeds and get back to the balcony—the bigger question of what is the one idea I want to share.

My title is now Change Launches You Into Your Chapter – Whether You Like It or Not. It has morphed several times, each time getting closer to what I really want to say about the power of intention and awareness while managing change.

Last week I nervously gave my draft version of my talk to 40 financial planners at our 22nd Nazrudin Retreat. The feedback was generous and helpful. It felt good to give the first practice presentation to my tribe. But no one challenged my expertise. Why do I have the right to stand up and tell the world about transition literacy? I was preaching to the choir.

Today that challenge came from a global expert in adaptive change management. She asked: Why you, when so many others are talking about this subject? What is that you have to offer that’s new?

I usually feel safe and confident when speaking and being interviewed as the expert in Final Transition Planning. But preparing this talk has been unsettling, for sure. And there’s another feeling that I’m not accustomed to—fear. The TEDx audience is one that assumes I have an idea worth spreading, not just to my industry, but to the world. I realized this isn’t about demonstrating my expertise; it’s about showing the audience how relevant my idea is to them as individuals, as well as collectively.

As soon as that happened, I flipped the switch on my fear and used that nervous feeling in my gut to my advantage—as excitement and a sign that something big was happening. It’s amazing the amount of personal growth one can experience from the simple introduction of a question—a question such as: Do you want to give a TEDx talk?

I’m thrilled that I will be coming together with other women who have pushed forward when the prevailing winds were against them, or injected contrary ideas into a national or cultural conversation. I am grateful to have this opportunity, and I look forward to earning my place among the TEDx Wilmington Women.