I was once afraid of public speaking. Now through practice, and a realization that I need not be ‘The Best Public Speaker Ever”, I have come to “enjoy” the adrenaline rush that comes from preparing for and speaking before a group of people.
For the past 20 years, my daily journey includes teaching SPIN (an indoor group cycling class) to 15-30 people. If I had let my fear of public speaker prevent me from trying, failing and learning, I would have been able to enjoy what is now my passion. Teaching Spin.
What are you afraid of?
Fear can be a daunting obstacle, an intimidating opponent or an effective teacher.
Sometimes we fear small things that only seem large at the time, like a test in school, a meeting with an anger client, or going to the doctor. Sometimes we fear big things like a serious illness or that someone we love will come to harm.
Fear is healthy, and we all feel it. It keeps us from doing foolish or reckless things, like venturing out of our house during a storm or running across the street without looking for approaching cars. The problem occurs when, fear prevents us from doing what we need to do for our spiritual growth.
When we face a fear we learn something about ourselves. As we learn, we change in some way, and in turn this revises our perception of the world. This revised perception then becomes a new “teacher” inside us. This teacher encourages us to continue to learn, change and grow.
I find my most effective way to approach fear is to not treat it not as if it were an opponent but instead as if it were a friend with a lesson to teach me. If I feel overwhelmed by my fear, and I don’t have the necessary skills and tools to address it, I try and ask for help from someone who has succeeded in facing what I fear. Each time I take a mindful step forward towards my fear I gain strength, courage, and confidence to keep trying. Soon my fears become less intimidating and more manageable.
What are you afraid of? Do you have the skill to address it yourself? Who can you ask for help? Are you willing to try? What’s preventing you from starting? Remember if all possible objections must be overcome first, nothing would ever be attempted.
Conquering a fear begins with an honest intention to try.