Horrific. That is the only way you could describe my first public speaking event. I was on a stage in front of about 50 people to speaking about a topic for which I was ill prepared and putting people to sleep. Halfway through I forgot my speaking points and before it was all done, about half the audience had left. Luckily that was a long time ago, and although I was initially apprehensive to hit the stage again, I had many more opportunities to redeem myself. Even today I get the jitters before speaking publicly, but I love channeling my nerves into passion and energy when I speak.
My fear became my advantage and it is enormously empowering to know my fears cannot own me. To continue reading this post, click here…
Whether it is fear of failure, fear or rejection, fear of embarrassment, fear of loss or fear of physical harm, like or not, many of our choices in life are influenced by fears. Take a moment and think about how fear influences your decisions. Perhaps fear plays a part in where you decide to vacation, what jobs you take, who you associate with, and how you use your time.
Fear is an emotion and a very useful emotion, indeed – it heightens your awareness of potential threats – but an emotion just the same and not all threats are real.
As children, we learned by doing scary things, only we didn’t consider them scary at the time. Riding a bicycle, for example, could result in serious injury and for some perhaps it did, but we tried it because we didn’t know any better. Once we became adults our brains got involved. We started having internal debates with ourselves about the logic, safety or desirability of doing things. This keeps us out of a lot of trouble, but it also prevents us from doing a lot of fun and rewarding things. As the list of fears pile up, we cut ourselves off from a lot of fun and rewarding experiences in life.
If fear ruled my life, I would never would have learned how to ride a bike, never skydived, never gone bungee jumping, never learned to speak well in front of an audience, never become a successful entrepreneur, and, heck, probably never would have even met my wife! These are all great and wonderful experiences that I consider to be critical parts of my life journey and I am so glad that I pushed fears aside in order for them to happen.
I am not suggesting that anyone ignore their fears or run blindly into dangerous situations. Not at all. What I am suggesting is that we ask ourselves whether our fears are real or perceived before we decide to avoid what might in fact be a wonderful experiences.
There are plenty of fears I have not yet faced. Some big and some small. I intend to face them all over time and will share my experiences here as often as possible.