Exactly 3 weeks ago I did something really really cool – and the biggest step out of my comfort zone yet to date – I gave a keynote in Polish. And not just a keynote – a workshop based on the Idea Lab. OMFG!
Polish is my first language, but I left Poland as a child and haven’t been speaking proper Polish in about 15 years. I didn’t know any “grown up words”. Some 2 years ago Mateusz Broniarek found me (I don’t even know how he found me!) and I slowly but surely started to awaken my mother tongue!
So when he asked me if I was interested in doing a keynote “sometime” at Waza, I immediately said YES! Some time in 2020, I thought. He meant… September. This year. Hey, I am first in line to a challenge. So on September 30th I did my very first 90 min keynote in Polish!
HAVE YOU SEEN THE POLISH KEYNOTE SNACK TABLE? This should be standard everywhere!
I was scared! Not for the language barrier (I am not a shy one and I have been doing keynotes in English for the last 5 years or so without knowing ALL the words), but if the insights and takeaways I had with me were innovative enough and worth the audience’s time. I think I “passed”.
The feeling right after – indescribable! For the record, I had the option to do the keynote in English, but turned it down. I thought that not only will I be able to practice my Polish, but also – if I can, by literally throwing myself out of every existing comfort zone, inspire just one person to go to the office tomorrow and make a boldzy move (such as speaking Swedish if you are new here, which some of my audience were) – then that’s great! Win win, right?
Listen! I survived, I thrived, and I still don’t speak perfect Polish. If I dare to challenge myself and can go out of my comfort zone – so can you! Deal? OK!
Another cool thing that happened as a result of this keynote: I accidently promised the Waza community that I’d launch Idea Lab in English five days later. Well… I did. It’s now available for everyone. Find it here:
(Mateusz – thank you! I owe you big time for my Polish! You and your lovely wife have dibs on our guest house all summer!)