The Power Hour That Changed My Life ~ #BlissDomCA

When I woke up this morning, I stumbled out of bed, packed my lunch and mindlessly drove to my place of business. As I sat at my desk, staring at my screen the way I usually do on Monday morning, I was hit with the harsh realization that the moments I had been accustomed to experiencing throughout the weekend were now quickly fading into memories. There were no bright eyed coffee enthusiasts shouting “Good Morning”, ready to be inspired, all on only three hours sleep; nor was breakfast set up, waiting to be picked apart and then refilled as many times as was needed.

It was my second trip to Blissdom Canada but things feel monumentally different this time around. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to go through the roller coaster of emotions that I felt throughout my time in Mississauga and I still feel like it is going to take some time to realize the full impact this conference will have on my life.

At the very top of my list was having the opportunity to achieve a personal triumph when I took to the stage for the Power Hour. If we’re being completely honest, I only applied for it because I assumed that with all the talented writers and speakers out there, I would never get picked. I was trying to cheat fear by being able to say that I at least put myself out there and it backfired beautifully. As the big day crept closer and the anxiety grew, I started playing mind games with myself. You know that Sesame Street skit, “One of these things just doesn’t belong here”? I glared at the names on the Power Hour board, Sharon DeVellis, Elan Morgan, Joe Boughner, Shannon Fisher and Erica Ehm, all established in their own way, and I began to fabricate all the excuses I could give to get out of it, when something funny happened. First, Elan told me everything would be alright, then Joe sent me a very kind letter of encouragement, which was followed by Erica being very kind and warm upon seeing me, closed out by amazing conversations with Shannon and Sharon. The next thing I knew I was up there, in front of everybody, sharing a story so personal that I was afraid I wouldn’t even get through it. And, nobody booed. I somehow managed to harness that fear and instead let my passion shine through, and it felt damn good.

In the hours that followed, I received so many encouraging tweets, messages and congratulations that, for a while, I lost complete control of my own emotions. It was surreal and overwhelming to hear a few people say that my presentation had actually made a difference in their lives. That short, seven minute presentation and the series of events that followed, have completely changed me, for the better, of course. I walked on to that stage, unconfident, unsure of my place in the group and scared as I’ve ever been; and I walked off feeling as though I truly deserved to be there.

So, as I sit here at my desk, still staring blankly at the screen, I’m hit with the harsh realization that the moments I had been accustomed to experiencing throughout the weekend were now quickly fading into memories. But, they are memories of the time I pushed through the fear and accomplished something that will inspire me to keep reaching as high I want to climb, for the rest of my life.

BlissDom Power Hour

35 replies
  1. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    Chris, it was an honour to meet you this past weekend. For months, I’ve enjoyed your witty sarcasm and humour on Twitter and was excited to meet a social media powerhouse like yourself. What I didn’t expect was to come away considering you or any of the Power Hour speakers as human, flawed, raw and honest. It was a profound experience to see you get up on stage and bare your soul in the brave way that you did. Thank you for that, and if you ever feel unsure of yourself in any way going forward, just remember: #UnicornChat trended at #2 in Toronto, my friend.

  2. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Beautiful post Chris.

    I am sad that I missed the power hour talk, I have heard nothing but great things about all of the speakers. I must say that I really enjoyed your micro session and am honored to have finally met you in real life. Keep on plugging away.. before you know it we will all be reunited at Blissdom ’14!

  3. Christella
    Christella says:

    Chris, the power hour was the ONLY thing I missed. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself. But seeing you in action all weekend I don’t doubt it was AMAZING.

  4. Matt
    Matt says:

    Don’t think now that you have one under your belt you can start lecturing me on public speaking. 😉

    Congrats on facing your fear and kicking it in it’s junk. It takes a real dad/man to face their fear and follow through with and owning it. Next stop….the Whitehouse!!

  5. shannon
    shannon says:

    I couldn’t believe I was up there with YOU. I’m so proud of how you shared from your guts and with such warmth and energy. I feel pretty lucky to have had your voice touch my life. <3

  6. Shelagh
    Shelagh says:

    Chris, When you choose the door with fear on it, and you walk right through it, there is a whole world waiting on the other side for you.
    So what’s next? How can you push yourself one more step?
    You are a trailblazer and an inspiration to many, myself included. I can’t wait for you to choose fear again.

    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      Wow, thank you so much, Shelagh! I have many ideas of where to go with this next but I’m not sure if I’m ready to tell the world my plan just yet ;D I sincerely appreciate the kind words and they fuel me to want more from myself.

  7. zchamu
    zchamu says:

    You need to understand something.

    There was no way you weren’t going to be up there in some form this year. From the first day we started talking about people to share their stories and skills with BlissDom Canada, you were on the list – the only question was where. What you have achieved in the last 18 months is *remarkable*. And you didn’t do it through strategically targeting anything or having some cynical plot to take over the world. You did it with kindness and enthusiasm and friendship. That is a message people needed – need – to hear. I truly believe that you could do anything you want with this medium. Just believe you can.

    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      Thank you so much, Shannon, for everything. A funny thing happened this weekend, for the first time in my life, I actually believe that I can accomplish the things I want to. That’s because you and the Blissdom crew gave me a chance to prove it to myself. I can’t wait to see what you all have in store for us next!

  8. toywithme
    toywithme says:

    I’m grateful for your strength Chris, without that everyone attending Power Hour would have been missing out on your touching story, infectious enthusiasm and incredible passion. Thankfully you summoned the courage to face your fear head on and share with us. Much respect to you for that.

  9. Brandy
    Brandy says:

    Your Power Hour speech was one of my favourites. Everyone was completely amazing and so inspiring. I hope someday I could be up on that stage and make as a profound impact to someone’s life as you have to mine.

    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      Well, I normally only make my wife cry and that is a calculated effort. For other people to say it was foreign to me and that’s how I react when I am uncomfortable ;D

  10. Lindsay Dianne
    Lindsay Dianne says:

    You did such a great job. And I love that we just spent our morning giggling and being silly because I think we both needed it. See you again soonish, bloggy buddy!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] inspiring talks by Chris Read, Joe Boughner and Erica […]

  2. […] met me or followed me on any social media channel, I attended a conference last weekend called, Blissdom Canada. At this conference, I was given the opportunity to do my very first presentation, with slide show […]

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