Learning to say yes

I’ve often been asked by close friends and family if I have been on the TED stage.  Since I’m always so enthusiastic about my TED experiences and a fully committed TEDster.

Whenever I’m asked this question, I give a version of the same answer, I explain how learning new things is important to my energy, and TED, with it’s commitment to sharing big ideas, fuels my soul.  TED is a space where I feel I really belong.  I gain so much from this belonging, I am reluctant to trade that experience for one of giving not receiving. 

Yes, I’m a real [comfortable in my skin] geek.

and then I got the note from my friend Diane, asking if I could help her co-host TEDxSanJoseCA‘s first TEDxWomen event…

The planned co-host had to leave to care for her ailing mother and could not be at the event.



Next thing I knew, my dear husband went on a recon mission to the dry cleaners to get my red dress, and I said “yes”.  I pushed aside the thoughts of fatigue and ill-preparedness and I decided to open up and embrace the opportunity.


The experience was exactly as you would imagine — amazing, inspiring, difficult, complex and wonderful.  I was winging it in the most authentic way I knew how, allowing myself to get out of my own head and into the moment. 

It required me to dig really deep, and I was completely spent when it was over, but I left feeling so blessed and thankful.


Ironically, this was not the first opportunity of this kind to come my way this year.  I had been asked a few months back to do a keynote for the TechWomen visit to Oracle, a last minute request when the “real” keynote speaker they wanted [Safra Catz] had a conflict.



Again, it was not a convenient time, but I said “yes” and decided to believe that I would not fall flat on my face on stage, but have something to offer the audience that could inspire and help them on their life journey. 

Now, since we all know these things come in threes, I look forward to working out what next opportunity will be.  I know that I will again push myself to say “yes” and it will be hard and meaningful.   It will be about something more important than my own fear or doubt– it will be about someone else who needs me to say “yes”. 

It seems that I might have a new reputation as a reliable back up plan.  I think I am ready to take that out for a spin and see where it takes me. 

Look out 2013, this is going to be a big year!

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