Thursday, May 21, 2009

Getting Over Your Fear of Public Speaking

You've probably heard that more people fear public speaking than they do death. Curious, don't you think?

Part of growing up usually means not being afraid of anything...especially if you go to college. We're far too rational to be afraid of public speaking, of getting married, of having children, or starting a business. The result is we are incredibly talented at developing excuses to disguise (sort of) our fears.

I've come to realize that as long as we don't recognize our fears, they sabotage us at every turn. Conversely, merely recognizing that we have "irrational" fears, and naming them, is the first step to weakening their influence over us.

BTW, this works with other fears, too. It's just that communication in my thang.

So, the next time you feel anxious, worried, unduly concerned, tight stomach, icky, or in any way not relaxed, see if you can identify an irrational fear that's lurking in your mind. It's totally normal; it's also holding you back.

Don't try to convince yourself that being fearful is stupid, you only want to excavate exactly what it is that you dread, what you think may happen to you. Bringing up stuff from your unconciousness is not difficult, just a bit tricky. That's why the good therapists get paid big bucks.

Remember that your goal is to always feel relaxed. That's when you're at your best. Simply notice if you're not at ease, and play the detective to get at what's bothering you.