Does the thought of getting on stage in front of a group of people leave you in a cold sweat? Or do you feel as though you could quite possibly put a room of insomniacs to sleep? For some speaking is fine, but selling from stage is terrifying…. You’re not alone. Studies have shown that 1 in 4 people fear public speaking more than they fear death.
As Jerry Seinfeld once said,
“… this means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
What is at the root of this fear? The answer isn’t as complicated as you might think. In fact, you probably know it instinctively. Take a moment, have a quick think and write down the first thing that pops into your head. Don’t cheat and skip to the end! Go ahead … I’ll wait for you …
Now, keep that piece of paper close and we’ll see how you go!
As a speaker and as someone who trains others to speak, I often see beautiful, brainy, brilliant people who fear letting their light shine on stage. When I see these same people blossom into calm, confident, contagiously enthusiastic speakers, I see not only a change in their ability to present on stage, but almost as if by magic, I see their entire lives begin to shift from ‘good enough’ and ‘okay’ to ‘magical’ and ‘outstanding’.
Although you may not realise it, you’re not nearly as far away from being where you want to be as you think you are. It’s a just a decision to follow your heart! Just like my Mum overcoming her fears- not forever- but for enough time to ride that London Eye!
“Oh, that’s easy for you to say!” I hear you cry. “You’re a speaker – you make a living from being on stage! You don’t know what it’s like to be afraid of getting up in front of a group of people … “
I’ll let you in on a secret … when I was a kid I was so painfully shy that I wouldn’t even answer the home phone. Just ask my Mum! If the phone rang, I would make my sister answer it in case it was someone I knew …
Why was I so shy? Well, I had some limiting beliefs about myself that held me back. When I realised this and started to work on turning those beliefs around, my life began to gather momentum. All of a sudden, the things I wanted began to snap into place like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Just like Mum had to let go of her beliefs about heights to experiece the views from the top of the Eye.
Looking at her up there half way between enjoyment and terror- but committed to DOING THE THING – I learned the #1 secret that was holds people back from having everything they ever wanted …
Time to look again at that piece of paper … what’s the answer?
You’ve got it!
The only thing that has the power to hold you back from having everything you have ever wanted is you.
You are smart enough …
You are strong enough …
You are rich enough …
You are good looking enough …
You are enough.
The moment you choose to accept this, to let go of your limiting beliefs and to step out of your own way you can begin to build the life you have always wanted. Make that choice now and watch the life of your dreams unfold before you. Just jump on the “London Eye of Life” and have a ride. I guarantee you- I have never yet died from speaking!
And when you are again struck by the negative feelings or when the fear that you can’t do it threatens to overwhelm you, remember:
Without fear there is no courage.
Without doubt there is no certainty.
Without the possibility of failure you could not know the ecstasy of triumph.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson
Let me know what you think! Leave a comment…