To Leave a Legacy, Speak Up!

Your ideas are part of your legacy—but only if you put them out into the world!

Joni Mitchell once sang, “Nothing lasts for long,” and she’s right—but we humans want the best parts of ourselves to last for as long as possible. (And yes, the advent of a “big birthday” is what has me thinking about that.)

Your legacy may include children, the work of a lifetime, generous deeds, or your name on a bunch of buildings.

But there’s one type of legacy that’s easy to enhance—no matter where you are in your career and life: a legacy of ideas.

What stops us from building a legacy of ideas?

The wisdom and experience—the thoughts, observations, and encouragement—that we share with other people today will influence them for decades, and may even be passed on to new generations.

A Jewish prayer for bereavement says, “[Our loved ones] still live on earth in the acts of goodness they performed.” And while I find that insight both apt and comforting, it’s not always easy to share the goodness of our thinking.

Often, we hold back for reasons that don’t make much sense, like:

  • I haven’t perfected this idea yet, 
  • I don’t know the right words to get this point across, or
  • Nobody cares about what I have to say.

That kind of self-doubt may convince you in the moment, but it doesn’t hold much weight against the question: How do you want to be remembered by others: As a person who contributed? Or as someone who held back, for whatever reason?

Overcoming what holds you back

Nobody ever makes big changes alone—particularly in an area like public speaking where self-image, career success, social anxiety, and yes, legacy converge.

That’s where an objective and experienced public speaking coach comes in.

Your coach will show you what you need to work on, and how to work on it.

They’ll create a safe space for you to explore and practice new attitudes and skills.

And they’ll counter your “reasons” to hold back by showing you that:

  • An idea doesn’t need to be perfect to be valuable,
  • Words don’t matter; there’s always another way to make your point; and
  • Your audience takes their cue from you. If you care about what you’re saying, they will, too.

If you want to leave a legacy of ideascontact me.

And together, we’ll get your thinking out in the world.

Image by Tim Mossholder | Unsplash
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