Crushing your Fear
I have a confession. I've been harboring a deep fear and didn't even realize it fully until this week. I did my first speech a few weeks back in front of an audience of 2, one of which was my husband recording it. It wasn't nearly as good as I hoped and I realized it still needed a lot of work. This is why we do our first tries in front of two people, right? Even leading up to that first speech I had to force myself to practice that speech. I knew on some level I was afraid of it but now I think that fear deepened because it wasn't what I hoped it would be.
Flash to now and I've been doing a ton of work on that speech. I have an idea of where I want to do the next one and I'm getting my notes in order. I've been taking an online course that is showing me exactly what I need to do to make my speech successful. Piece of cake, right? Uh-uh. I use a daily planner to schedule my day. This one is from Brendon Burchard and it's called High Performance Habits. In it, you start your day filling out your goals, must do's and there is a section of questions each morning to get you in the right mindset. There are also questions you are supposed to go through at night to review your day. One of the questions each night is "Something I learned or realized today". After writing down on my goal list each day for two weeks; "practice my speech" and blowing it off everyday, I did realize something. I'm scared to practice my speech. It was the first time I said it out loud or put it down in words. It was freeing in a sense. I knew what my problem was and I knew what I had to do about it.
I got up the next morning and did my regular routine. Catching up on the news, going through social media, finding cool stories for you guys to talk about in the podcast, then doing the podcast. Made myself some breakfast and watched a little t-v. I was about to head back to the bedroom to take a nap and I yelled at myself. No nap for you! Not until you've done at least one speech run through. So, I did it. Because you know how important my naps are to me. I think the run through went really good. I haven't done it again but I've been working on adding and subtracting things based on that run through. And I will do it again today.
The great thing is...once I realized what my fear was for sure, I forged ahead and just did it. I forced myself. And it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared it would be. In fact, unlike my first speech which I basically tried to memorize with some help from a couple notecards, I talked off the cuff, from my heart. It went so much better than I thought. I realized that I love what I do so much and I believe in what I'm trying to get across so wholeheartedly that I can probably talk about it for hours without any notecards. I was born to do this. Is it scary? Heck yeah. Am I going to work through that fear and do it anyway. Oh, Shell yeah. Because I believe the pessimists of the world need me. They need my example that it can be done. They need to know that even the worst of the negative Nellies can change it around and become Happy Harriets. I see it as my duty to inform everyone I can on how I did it so you can do it too.
Fear is one of those things that can paralyze us, but only if we let it. We often operate with a fear deep inside our subconscious, not even realizing the extent of it. So keep questioning yourself. Keep trying to figure out where you are getting stuck and why. Just identifying the fear is so powerful in itself. Once you do that, push yourself ahead and do the thing you are afraid of the most. It's so freeing to prove to yourself you can do it anyway, through your fear.
Still having some trouble? What are the worst possible outcomes of doing the thing you are afraid of? When it comes to my speech, I could suck at it and no one responds to it (I'm pretty sure that won't happen) but even if it does I can move forward with that knowledge and adjust accordingly. If it turns out that I'm an awful public speaker, I can do online courses, write a book, keep up the podcast and blog. There are still all kinds of options to keep my purpose moving forward without public speaking. It's better to know this is not my forte than to never face my fear and just do it. It can keep you stuck for years. You won't ever be 100% ready for something you've never done before. Just do it and see if it's something you can improve upon or go in a different direction. Just do it. Just try it. Put those fears on paper and prepare for that worst possible outcome, which is rarely as bad as we think it is. Also, keep in mind that we are not usually great at something at first. It takes practice. Be willing to suck at it until you aren't. It's really that simple.
As the quote above says, thinking won't erase fear but action will. What are you afraid of? Just do it. You'll find it isn't nearly as scary as you thought and you will feel so brave and empowered for finally doing it, as you should. Don't let fear win. Not living up to your full potential because you are scared is not acceptable. How sad would that be?
It's finally cocktail Friday y'all! Hope you can grab a cold one later on and have some great plans for the weekend. Be safe in whatever you do. Now, go make today, your best day yet!