I am reasonably sure you have come across this term at
least once: fear of public speaking.
I’ve been hearing it for years.
Does it apply to you?
Are you afraid to speak in public?
If so, you’re not alone; apparently, out of all the fears we
can feel as human beings, this fear is only second to the
fear of dying! Incredible, right?
But it’s okay because I have some good news for you!
I am also going to help you do something about it.
First, it is not public speaking that people are actually afraid of.
This is important so let me explain.
About a year ago I gave a talk at a local business meeting about self-awareness (my favorite topic and if you think about it, it covers everything). Part of that talk was on, you guessed it, fear of public speaking.
After the presentation, once I sat down at my table, a prominent member of Toastmasters (https://www.toastmasters.org/) expressed his amazement about what I said on the topic and told me he could not wait to go to his next Toastmasters meeting to share what he heard.
And here, in the nutshell, is what he heard:
People who believe they are afraid of public speaking are simply misled.
As a self-awareness expert, I love to dive into people’s fears, as well as my own. What I found was that much of our inner dialog is imprinted in our fears.
As Life would have it, shortly before my presentation, I worked with a really amazing lady who came to me specifically to ‘work on her fear of public speaking’.
In a relatively short time, what she discovered was not only the source but also the truth behind her fear, and what she was actually afraid of.
In short, she was afraid to be perceived as inadequate and stupid!
As in many other situations, when we are faced with presenting ourselves to the public, what happens is, our own self-judgements and unacknowledged, latent beliefs rise up to our conscious awareness. Often, only just enough to make us feel uncomfortable.
Since we don’t quite understand this discomfort and we don’t really know what those latent fears are, we often misinterpret the whole thing and explain it away with something that makes sense.
We label the discomfort as something that makes acceptable sense like people are afraid of public speaking; I’m uncomfortable about it so I too must be afraid of it – there, that fits, right?
And off we go into the world having adopted or reaffirmed yet another misleading belief.
The fact is, there are millions of people out there believing that they are just another person who is afraid of public speaking. This isn't so.
In reality, we are afraid to be perceived in certain ways; sometimes we don’t clearly know what those certain ways are, and why those ways are even there.
Simply put: we don’t know why we feel how we feel.
Can you relate?
If this is you, here is what you can do to begin to discover your truth behind
this false fear.
Imagine yourself standing on stage ready to begin your presentation; really get
into the role. Now, ask yourself:
1. what’s the worst that can happen?
2. why is this the worst thing that can happen?
3. what would it mean about you?
4. what would your audience think of you?
5. how does knowing this make you feel?
The answers to those questions will shed some light on how you feel about YOU.
Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of what’s behind your stories,
patterns, and labels.
The power of self-awareness is your ability to change your life by first understanding
and then transforming those stories, patterns, and labels.
Self-awareness = Empowerment
Fear of public speaking, just like fear of success, which I will discuss in future,
doesn’t really exist. At least not in the way millions of people think it does.
So now that you know, do you agree?
Let me know what you think in the comments.
Do you ever feel like whatever you’re working on or trying to accomplish is a lonely journey?
Well, let me tell you, I am very familiar with that feeling.
The other day I was watching my favorite player as he was winning yet another tennis match. (I love watching tennis and love and admire the very best maestro of the game, Roger Federer).
As I watched, I felt so much joy for him and I truly wanted him to win (I always do!). And as always, I joined the crowd at the stadium in cheering him on to another victory.
Then, suddenly, I felt deep much emotion rise up in my body and tears rolled down my cheeks. Usually, I feel very deeply and I cry easily for any reason that is present on the spectrum of feelings and emotions so this did not surprise me. Though this time, as the tears kept coming, I took a moment to ask myself “why am I really crying?” The answer was surprising and obvious all at the same time.
I longed to be cheered on!
It can get really lonely sometimes building your dreams from scratch on your own like I am. I am sure you can relate to that on some level, right? We all have something we are working on; at home, with family, at a job, or in your own full-time or part-time business or even a hobby. We all can feel a little alone with our passion and efforts.
As is my nature, I immediately went to a place in my being where service to others resides and, without much contemplation, I realized there are many women out there who must feel like I did and long to be cheered on too. In a moment, I decided I would do just that; I would take the time to cheer them on!
And just like that, the “I Am Cheering You On!” project was born.
Within few days, with great joy and excitement, I sent out greeting cards to women all over the world. As I cheered them and their efforts, I also asked them to do the same for three women in their life who could use a kind word and some cheering on in their efforts toward accomplishment.
And now, with hope and excitement, I invite YOU to do it too.
Do you know a woman (or three) who is working hard and giving her all to something, anything, who would like to know that her efforts and dedication are appreciated; that what she does matters and that she matters?
It is so simple. Get a greeting card, write her a note (nothing better than a hand-written note from a friend, right?) and send it to her. That's it!
Let’s truly honor and support each other as WOMEN.
All women need that. The world needs that!
Let’s cheer each other on and often!!!
We all, each and every one of us, need it, appreciate it, and deserve it so!
To make this even easier, here is what I wrote in my cards (use it if you like):
I am writing to you to let you know that I am cheering for YOU!
You are an amazing woman and all you do is so very valuable and important.
You are valuable and important!
So keep going, (insert first name here)!
Know that I’m thinking of you and wish you every success you dream of.”
I encourage you, ask you, and challenge you to be part of of this heart-felt project, cheering other amazing women on in their efforts to make this world a better place, just as you are.
Whether you know it or not, whether you do it intentionally or not, you are changing the world and I honor you for it! Thank you for your wonderful contributions.
You rock, Girl!
So please just keep going!
You're worth it and your dreams are worth it!
The entire WOMANHOOD is worth it!!!
With love and appreciation,
I would really like to hear what you think so do leave a comment or ask me a question;
I love questions!!!
About the Author
In early Spring of 2011, as I sat with my journal at a family cabin, I felt the seed of my creative writing come through from beneath the surface. As I picked up my pen to begin my first journal entry, I felt a feeling of profound peace and indescribable comfort. All was well. I felt I was Home - finally!