It’s New Year’s Day, are you feeling the pressure? The resolutions and goal setting? How does it make you feel? What does a goal mean to you? Is overcoming the fear of public speaking or performing high on your list? Or been on your radar for so long that you can hardly stand it any longer?
As we approach this New Year, it could be that you simply want to reduce or eliminate your fear so that you can live your life more comfortably, not be in a state of anticipatory anxiety any longer, thinking about the possibility that you may have to speak or perform. Or just to get comfortable with it so that you can boost your career and other areas of your life. Or your goal may be that you actually have a desire for public speaking or performing, that it would be exciting and rewarding – if you could just get over your fear of it.
Then what happens? Fear gets in your way of obtaining a goal to overcome the fear. The irony!
Fear is not a valid reason for not taking action. You can take action while still feeling fear and being aware that it is an illogical, irrational fear. By putting yourself out there, all of the things you’re afraid of, all those fears get proven wrong. You’re able to see that you’re not actually going to die from a panic attack or a feeling of embarrassment. You’re going to be fine.
For people who have severe phobias, which is extreme irrational fear, one of the ways it is commonly treated is through exposure therapy. They are exposed to the feared situation in a safe environment so they can make a new association that it is no longer overwhelmed by anxiety. The Getting Over Stage Fright workshop is not therapy, however it fully embraces the exposure concept while using tools to change the mindset. Getting such a large dose of it in one weekend also moves the process along quickly.
In most cases, our fears of are our own creation, our own feelings. So when we think about public speaking and we think about making a mistake and everybody laughing at us, what we’re really terrified of in that situation is the feeling of humiliation, which is a feeling we would create by what we would make it mean if everyone was laughing at us. We get so distracted by the emotion of fear that we really don’t think this through, we just stop at fear.
When you are on your way to your goal of overcoming fear, you’re bound to feel some frustration, doubt and anxiety, then you will likely think you’re heading the wrong way or “doing it wrong”. The truth is, you’re heading the exact right way by being aware and processing those emotions. You’re taking yourself to the next level of yourself, which makes it easier to achieve your next goal.
Remember, anxiety in and of itself is harmless. Anxiety does not need to be eliminated because anxiety in and of itself is not the issue. It’s our resistance and reaction to anxiety that causes us challenges.
Many people get scared and decide they don’t want to set goals because of the worst-case scenario. They’re afraid of taking the risk, of hurting themselves, of failing, or of success.
Please go through the process of thinking through your worst-case scenario. Read more about this from a previous blog: What’s the Worst That Can Happen – You Will Remain Stuck Where You Are. There are many links in this blog to similar topics.
When you are deciding on a goal, you can’t only consider what will happen if it doesn’t work out. You have to consider what you would be losing out on if it did work out.
Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Explore what the cost would be when you don’t even give yourself the opportunity to try it. Think about all the successful people that you admire and the worst-case scenario of them being too afraid to go after their dreams: of them not taking a risk, for them not being willing to write that book, or make that speech. The worst-case scenario is that they wouldn’t have shown up in their own life. They wouldn’t have created all the amazing value that they’ve created. They wouldn’t have taught you all that they have to offer.
The worst thing you can do is to not even give yourself a chance to begin with.
Get ready to take a chance and exceed beyond your expectations!