How I Overcame My FearsJul 19, 2023
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." - Nelson Mandela
Today, I want to share a personal journey that has recently made an impact on my life.
It's a story of conquering fears, stepping out of my comfort zone, and finding the courage to embrace the spotlight. Yes, I'm talking about overcoming my fear of speaking on stage.
For as long as I can remember, public speaking was my Achilles' heel.
Anxiety would consume me, robbing me of the opportunity to express my thoughts and ideas the way I dreamed of.
In fact, the first time I spoke in front of a large crowd, I completely bombed! … & it was quite literally one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.
I felt like such a disappointment.
That experience haunted me and stripped away my confidence.
But, I’ve been determined to change that narrative!
My first step was acknowledging and accepting that it was holding me back.
I realized that if I wanted to grow personally and professionally, I couldn't allow this fear to control me any longer.
So, I made a conscious decision to confront it head-on.
I threw myself into the fire by joining an intensive 2-day retreat called, Speak Your Soul.
I wish I could say it was a breeze, but this process tested me until the very last minute.
Our task was to spend one day in workshop creating our 10 minute talk; then the very next day, get up on stage in front of a live audience and professional camera crew and share our story… with NO notes… gulp.
I can feel my tomato cheeks burning already.
I went home that night with my draft written, but something didn’t feel right.
I knew I couldn't get up there with what I had.
My thoughts went something like this…
"It’s already 7pm and I have to be on stage at 9:30am — what the heck am I going to do?
I refuse to put myself through humiliation again. No way.
I can’t do this… I have to cancel.
No, you are going to do this.. You’re not a quitter. You can do it!"
I took a deep breath and let my heart lead the way.
One hour later, I had a brand new talk. I spent the next two hours practicing… I woke up and practiced in bed, practiced in the shower, on the way to the venue, even in the bathroom before I spoke.
Then, it was time… I put on my sparkly heels, said a prayer, and headed up on stage (first btw!)…
And what happened next felt like magic.
It’s as if I was surrounded by angels and all fears left my body & I told my story from a place of peace & empowerment.
… and I’m proud to say, I nailed it!
My mentor said it was the first time she’s ever hosted this event, where she didn’t have coaching for someone…OMG.
There were so many excuses that I could’ve made to not get on that stage, but I kept going, chose to believe in myself, and decided to see what's on the other side of fear.
The other side was one of the most transformative experiences of my life.
My journey has taught me that fears are often far more powerful in our minds than in reality.
By taking that first step, confronting our fears head-on, and seeking support from mentors and peers, we can unlock our true potential and discover newfound confidence.
So, to all of you who may be grappling with a fear of your own, I encourage you to take that leap of faith.
Embrace the discomfort, knowing that growth lies just beyond your comfort zone. You have a unique voice and perspective to share with the world, and it's time to let it shine.
Wishing you courage and success on your own journey of overcoming fear.