Last week, I did something that was brave… at least for me.
I was asked to be the keynote speaker at a luncheon. To some, this wouldn’t be a big deal. Not in the least.
To me, it’s a huge deal because I dread public speaking like a dread having a root canal with nothing to numb the pain. I’m an honest-to-goodness introvert who tends to hyperventilate at the thought of speaking in front of a group of people.
But one of the things I decided to work on this year was tackling my fear of public speaking. And the only way to do that is to agree to speak in front of groups.
I prepared a speech I hoped would be fun, engaging, and entertaining. Then I practiced it and practiced it until I had it memorized. The day of the luncheon, I tried not to think about anything other than the words of the speech.
The luncheon was with a lovely group of people who immediately made me feel so welcome. When it came time for me to give the speech, I wasn’t quite as nervous as I expected and was able to deliver the speech with only a few glances at my notes.
Afterward, I had several people come up and tell me how much they enjoyed the speech and that I did a great job speaking.
So, maybe, once in a while I can tuck my fears of public speaking far enough inside that I’m the only one who knows I’m afraid.
Even though it is stressful, my hope is that with more practice it will get easier and easier for me to speak in public.
And I hope whatever thing it is you fear, you’ll be able to overcome it, too, one step at a time.