susan-sandler-compressorby Susan Sandler

I believe we are here to discover who we really are so we can use our gifts to make this world better. What mostly stands in our way is fear. I came to this conclusion after a series of losses required me to punch fear in the face and learn how to navigate new realities. The most profound loss was the death of my mother, the hero of my speech.

Stepping up despite my fears convinced me I could be more. So, in 2013, I began an intensive journey of self-discovery. I started my own business because it would test me. I became a public speaker because I feared I didn’t have anything original to say. So, speaking at TEDxWilmington Woman is a defining moment for me.

Since I already had a TEDx-ready speech that I’d performed many times, I was confident I could do a good job. But, soon, my people pleasing demon and her evil twin sister, Perfectionism, began playing their usual tricks. “You are not enough,” they hissed.

In preparation, we are asked to send in videos of our speech. I suck at technology, so in desperation I asked my younger brother, Marc, to shoot the videos. I had never performed the speech for him. I felt awkward because I talk about private matters in our family. I was intimidated because he’s a gifted actor and screenplay writer. But, I’m glad I asked him for help. Being vulnerable, seeing our shared history through his eyes, benefiting from what he’s learned from practicing his craft… such priceless gifts.

The evil twin sisters, People Pleaser and Perfectionism, periodically murmur in the background. But, I won’t allow “the girls” to run my life anymore.   On October 27, I will leave those evil sisters at home.

I’m ready.