HELPING OTHER REACH THEIR GREATNESS BY REACHING HER OWN: DR. CONNIE OSTERHOLT
There is always a tendency to trust someone more who exhibits tangible proof of what they speak when giving advice. Therapists are calm, personal trainers have six-packs and rock hard glutes; these people have built and industry around their reputations. One of the greatest fears across all age groups and cultures is that of public speaking. Dr. Connie Osterholt is the Olympic Gold Medalist, the Beyoncé if you will, of overcoming this fear. This motivational speaker and life coach has an internationally acclaimed career but everyone has to start somewhere. For Dr. Connie Osterholt it came in the form of being thrown in front of a crowd that would make any rockstar swoon…for her first ever speaking engagement. Just as you give particular credence to someone who has been a parent, college graduate, or war veteran, Dr. Osterholt’s debut set her on a course that has made her an acclaimed speaker and writer on the global stage. Travelling to different parts of the world, often with the assistance of interpreters because such a variety of cultures and locations want to gain the benefit of her insight, she aids those in need in manifesting the types of lives and relationships that they have always desired.
Seventeen years ago, Dr. Osterholt had travelled to Frankfurt, Germany to assist at the Tony Robbins “Unleash the power Within” seminar. While Robbins interacts, motivates, and helps people from the stage, trained professionals like Connie Osterholt would assist numerous others in attendance. With a crowd that numbered around 7,000, the need for Connie and her peers was substantial. When the speaker for Day #4 (Monday) called on Saturday night to say he wasn’t able to leave the US because his passport was expired, he gave management two names that in his opinion could replace him. The first individual turned green when asked and gave a resounding “no” response to the request. Dr. Osterholt on the other hand said “yes” with only one day to prepare. The lesson according to Dr. Osterholt, “Always be prepared and say ‘yes’ when an opportunity arises. I have a tendency to jump in and set myself up so I cannot back out. I wanted to follow my heart and I understood that this was a great opportunity. I wanted to do whatever it took to help serve. If I would have taken time to sit and think, I might have found reasons not to do it. I saw it as an enormous opportunity to speak on the Tony Robbins platform and to speak to such a large audience. It was a topic I was very familiar with (health) and I did a speaker’s course a couple of months before. Through my teaching I knew I could do well. Directly after I said yes, I got nervous and thought ‘What did you get yourself into you crazy woman?” but I already said yes. There was not another speaker available so I gritted my teeth, prepped for 24 hours, and did it. Was it perfect? No, of course not, but the audience did not know if I was forgetting some small detail. I remember, I had to introduce the promoters and I forgot; so I apologized and did it at the next opportunity. It all worked out and the audience loved it; I knew because they came up to me afterwards and let me know. They especially loved the feminine energy after Tony’s masculine energy. When I went for dinner that night, they were chanting ‘Connie, Connie’ from across the street.”
From 9am-6pm, Dr. Osterholt spoke about the overall topic of health; what to pay attention to, what to do, what not to do, how to get yourself to optimal health, full of energy, etc. Intermittent video segments augmented her presentation and communication of this message. Her prepatory assistance from Joseph McClendon, Alice White, and the staff at the seminar allowed Dr. Osterholt to present information from her knowledge and skill set in a seamless and confident manner which belied her lack of experience as a public speaker.
Dr. Osterholt is adamant that this experience for her was not only a new beginning but an experience that allows her to encapsulate how others can apply it in their own lives. She states, “I am a very normal person, maybe I do have a little more determination and courage than most, but each of us in our own way can step out of the comfort zone and try new things. If you always do the same and never the unexpected, living life in certainty, living life out of fear that you cannot do anything else than what you do right now, life gets boring and unfulfilled at some point. We all have taken a leap of faith at some point in life, right? Be bold, take chances, one little step at a time. If I can do it, you can do it.” While this unexpected direction in her life could have been rebuked and become a reason for Connie to reinforce a self-imposed feeling of inadequacy or unworthiness, she rechanneled the energy that fear brings into preparedness. The lesson is applicable no matter what the obstacle in one’s life. Osterholt reinforces, “My personal motto is ‘there is always a solution’ If one does not work, find another and another, till you get the result you want. Life goes up and down, enjoy the ups and manage the downs. If something sad or painful is happening in your life, take time to mourn, to be sad, and at one point you have to move on. What happened in the past is in the past, do not bring it in the present or in the future. I’ve had my fair share of painful events, death of my baby, divorce, betrayal to name some big things…and it was hard to overcome, and sometimes it took a long time. But what choice do you have? At some point you can stay sad or hurt or build up your life again and see how you can start being grateful for what is in your life instead of what is missing in your life. Never forget but allow yourself to get happy again.”
So many years later in what seems like a different person’s life, Dr. Connie Osterholt has become one of the most sought after motivational speakers and life coaches in the world. Addressing crowds at seminars where the individuals don’t even speak the same language as her, Dr. Osterholt brings her story and her strategies to assist others in achieving the great potential she believes they are all capable of. Her desire to help others placed her in a situation that, by taking on a herculean task, she was able to help herself and begin a career that she had dreamed of leading. Those whom she admired in the field, Debbie Battersby, Kim Shaw, Jeffery Ricks, have become those who are both peers and who look to Connie for wisdom. When Tony Robbins called her with congratulations and praise after that first speaking appearance, it was clear that everything was going to change for her. Dr. Osterholt notes, “It’s been quite a while since that first time. I’ve become more confident in my skills and continued my path of learning and growing. I know I can handle any situation as a speaker and as a coach. Not much surprises me anymore. I sometimes still get nervous before I speak on stage but I have learned how to channel that into an even better performance. I have been able to recognize patterns that people are running which are not serving them. I can cut through stories and the excuses people are telling themselves with ease and elegance. I have learned to be bold, lay it on the table, all with their best interest in mind, in order to help my audience a little further on their way. It has become much easier due to years of experience, consistent study, and research. I have a mastery because of my many years of experience and the many, many tools and skills to facilitate change and transformation. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. The fact that my story of trying to help resulted in my greater happiness and being helped is one of the most important parts.”