I’ve written before about how much I dread public speaking. It doesn’t matter if there are five people in the group or a five hundred, it freaks me out every time.
Around a year ago, I received an invitation to speak to a book club about four hours from my home. It sounded like fun, so I agreed to do it. It was all fine and dandy until the date drew near and my anxiety of speaking to a group began to swell. It didn’t help matters any that I’ve been so incredibly busy the last month, I didn’t even have time to practice my speech more than a few times. I ended up just taking a printed copy of it with me.
The restaurant where I was to meet the group was busy and loud, but the moment I met the women of the Story Sisters Book Club, I felt at home.
They made me feel not only welcomed, but also appreciated. I did end up reading part of my speech, but mostly, we talked and visited and laughed about life.
In truth, I felt like royalty as they showered me with the loveliest gifts and told me how much they’d enjoyed my books. This basket was brimming with delightful treasures that included chocolate, candles, a gorgeous fresh flower arrangement in a fabulous vase, John Deere goodies, dish towels, an antique tea cup with tea, the most beautiful doilies and more. I truly felt so pampered and spoiled by these sweet gals.
If I’d given in to my fears, I would never have met this group of lovely, incredible, smart, funny women who added so much joy and brightness to my day. I felt like I made a whole group of new friends, and that is far, far more important than letting fear win.
Here’s to being brave because the blessings of stepping forward with courage can take us to the most amazing, wonderful places!