How I Manifested a Speaking Gig

A couple years back, in the pre-covid era, I attended a leadership summit for customer support leaders in the tech industry. I even wrote about it! At that conference I said, “I’m going to speak at the next one.”

What was normally an annual event happened almost three full years later, in Portland, Oregon. And guess what? I spoke!

I really love public speaking, especially when I can lead folks through workshops and learning experiences, which is exactly what I got to do in Portland. My topic was Cultivating Independence Through Coaching, and I led an audience of about 70 through a process of discovery to reflect on their leadership style, then equipped them with tools to have powerful coaching conversations with their team members. Very fun!

In preparing for this talk, I reflected on the path to getting here, and how this moment marked the amalgamation of my varied professional experiences up to this point: teaching, personal development, coaching, customer support, and team leadership. And, I remembered the declaration I made at the first event, and pondered, “Did I manifest this?”

Over the years I’ve been drawn into books, podcasts, and videos on the topic of manifestation, because the idea that we can think and speak our reality into existence excites me. I believe in the power of our thoughts, and it’s very appealing to think that if I put something on my vision board, and chant a certain mantra everyday, it will come true.

The truth is though, any time I’ve attempted to adhere to a specific system of manifesting, it completely stresses me out! I feel like if there are specific rules and a protocol to follow, and I don’t do it right, then I’m going to screw the whole thing up. The inner perfectionist goes into hyperdrive, and robs the experience of any fun whatsoever, which I believe is the antithesis of manifesting 101.

Here’s how it really happened:

  • I attended the Support Driven Leadership Summit in 2019 and felt inspired by the talks. I declared then that I would speak at the next one. I knew inside that this was true.
  • After the event, when swooped back into life, and then the pandemic, I pretty much forgot about it.
  • I moved to a new city, and in wanting to meet interesting people while nurturing my love for speaking, I joined a local Toastmasters club. Through that, I polished my speaking skills, and gained more confidence through practicing.
  • Simultaneously, my leadership path at work continued to unfold, as I led several teams, a special project, then became a senior manager leading team leads.
  • I nurtured my passion for coaching and completed a life coach certification program at Sofia University in 2021.
  • I led several workshops for my colleagues and team members at Automattic, both in person and on Zoom, mostly related to well-being and resilience.
  • Several months ago, my manager notified us of the upcoming summit and that they were accepting applications for talks. I submitted a proposal, was accepted, and the rest is history.

When I look back at this sequence of events, what stands out to me most is that my vision came true through following my passions and doing a really good job at whatever I was invested in, whether it was work or Toastmasters or coaching. That meant, when the time came to apply to speak, I had something of value to offer and many real life experiences to draw from.

There’s also the piece about just knowing deep down that it felt right and true. I wonder how much of what we manifest is simply an intuitive awareness of where we’re already heading? Conversely, I’ve summoned up future life scenarios based on what I think I should want, and that never has the same kind of sparkle.

Finally, I wasn’t attached at all to that specific outcome. As I mention in the second bullet, I completely forgot about my declaration and the event itself very soon after it was over, and was only reminded of it when my boss brought the opportunity to my attention.

If I were to translate this into a formula for manifesting it would be:

  1. Ask yourself, what is something that sounds really fun to do or achieve? Write it down, speak it out loud, then…
  2. Release any attachment to it coming true in the specific way you imagine.
  3. Focus your time and energy on nurturing the skills and experiences that inspire you and help you grow.
  4. Do what you do with excellence, take risks, and make sure you’re enjoying yourself, even if it’s really hard work. If you’re not enjoying it, you probably took a wrong turn somewhere.
  5. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities that pique your interest and allow you to bring that vision to life.

That’s what works for me. Again, mostly this happens because I’m following what inspires me and pushes me to grow. I can then piece it together in retrospect and see how all the elements feed each other, so don’t overthink it!

Do what inspires you! Have fun! Share your joy 🙂

I’d love to hear in the comments below any experiences you’ve had with successful manifesting, whether deliberate or accidental.

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