What are You Really Afraid of?

Fear. Since I am speaking more often – for work and with Toastmasters – I have noticed I see less fear when standing in front of a crowd of people (especially after having completed my 10th speech).  But still, that little annoying pest still creeps up.

What do I fear the most?

#1) What people think about me. I worry about this ALL the time. Do they think I’m dumb? Do I sound like a three year old? Are my lips too chapped? My hair not done properly? Do they like me? Does this dress make my butt look too big?  Seriously, many of these types of questions pop into my head. When I’m speaking, I tend to focus on these questions more than the actual presentation itself!

#2) Will this impact my life.

How I am slowly getting over the fears:

A. Practice, Practice, and more Practice – and I’m not just talking about standing in the bathroom mirror practice. I’m talking about putting yourself out there and speaking in front of folks (whether that is a speech or just asking a question in a crowd). The more you practice, the more you realize that no one is going to throw a rotten tomato at your head.

B. Chasing my fears to the end of the world. For example, say I worry about losing my job because I made a teeny tiny mistake. I’ll make up the worst-case scenario: If I lose my job, I’ll have to be a stay-at-home-girlfriend (again!). If the boyfriend chooses to dump me, I will be alone and broke. I will have to go begging for money. My parents will allow me to move in with them (which would be nice), but will make me rake leaves, shovel snow, and do chores (again!). Then ______ fill in the blank. I let my imagination run wild. Then I think to myself:  It can’t possibly be that bad! The worst-case scenario helps me put things into perspective (and makes me grateful for the life I do have!).

What are some speaking fears that you have?  And, what ways are you getting over those fears?

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