They say public speaking is one of people’s greatest fears, and, holy crap, did I feel that recently.
It’s funny how I can speak in front of groups when it’s my own work, but when I’m a participant, it’s a totally different ball game.
I immersed myself with 100 other (mostly women) solo business owners from around the country for 1 of 3 retreats we’re having this year (2013) in North Carolina.
I got out of my fleece and down, put on a nice dress (and even some mascara), and walked in – gulp.
My coach, Christine Kane, stands on stage. There are two mic’s positioned in front of the stage to ask questions, and 100 of us sitting.
“Crap” I thought, “I don’t want to ask a question because I don’t want to walk up to that mic, make a mistake, look like a fool, and find myself in a little ball on the floor.”
Gulp. But I knew that’s why I came – to break out of my comfort zone and get the most out of this program.
So day two (yesterday), I visualized myself going to the mic, and just standing in front of it.
And that’s what I actually did.
My knees were shaking – actually both my legs were shaking, and it felt like the world stopped. Gulp.
Damn, was Christine direct. All I could think about was, “can people see my legs shaking?”
She went on, for what felt like an eternity, wanting me to get what she was saying. “Can I sit down now?” I wanted to ask.
But I needed to hear what she was saying, so I stood, shaking legs and all.
And I survived.
I felt relieved. I did it. I was scared, and I did it anyway. I didn’t have to, but I chose to, because I knew that’s why I came here – to be fully me.
People came up to me afterward and said how much my question and Christine’s answer helped them – that’s the power of walking into your fear.
You help others shine too.
You help people see they can do it too. That they are not alone.
Today, do something that scares you. Talk to a friend you’ve been wanting to share something difficult with, or do something you’ve never done before that has that scary/excited feel.
I give you permission to shine. Now give yourself permission to shine!