As a kid I used to love watching the movie "Mary Poppins." The title character's beautiful voice, elegant mannerisms and calm confidence made me feel like everything would be OK in her presence. As a result, she gave off oodles of charisma.
One of my favorite things about Mary Poppins was also her magic purse that seemed to hold absolutely everything she could possibly need (even floor lamps and carpets), yet it didn't weigh a ton or take up too much space.
It was a literal representation of the "preparedness" she brought to every challenge or situation in the movie.
Last weekend I got to whip up a bit of my own "Poppins" magic when I sat in on a jazz duo gig at a local restaurant. The musician who invited me said the space was usually quiet and that I probably wouldn't need a microphone, but I brought one anyway...just in case.
The restaurant turned out to be particularly busy that day, and the space/extra chatter naturally swallowed up a lot of sound. Imagine the musicians' surprise when I "miraculously" produced a microphone and full-size mic cable from my purse when they called me over to sing. We plugged it into the nearby guitar amp and started playing away!
Had I NOT been prepared for this possibility, no one could have heard me over the background noise and I wouldn't have gotten to sit in with the duo for about 45 minutes.
The point of this story is to get you thinking about you own preparedness.
If an opportunity to start accomplishing one of your BIG goals showed up tomorrow, would you be prepared well enough to try it out (even if it's not perfect)? If not, what gaps in skill, knowledge, connections, etc. are you lacking? And how can you start working consistently to close some of those holes.
Many times we make excuses for ourselves about being not ready, but in reality, we're AFRAID of getting ready because we're scared of something much bigger like failing in front of others or of reaching our "Upper Limit" as Gay Hendricks talks about in his book "The Big Leap."
The better prepared you are, the more confidence you earn, and the more natural charisma you will be able to bring to a situation.
So get ready. Face your fears. Start "sitting in," as we say in musical terms, and make every opportunity count!
Ashley Orlando is a jazz vocalist/ukulele artist and coach who helps growth-focused leaders find their voice, grow their presence & amplify their impact.