Irrational Fear Week – Day 5: Public Speaking
Each day this week I’ll write a post about a fear that I used to have (some I still have) and how I have dealt with it in order illuminate some of the strange things we allow to get in between us and living a full and productive life.
I grew up a very shy person. And I’ve worked hard to overcome that part of my nature. People who meet me now are sometimes surprised when I tell them I’m an introvert. Constant social interaction drains me. I crave human connection, but need my solitude to think clearly and recharge. Crowds are a form of information overload for a guy like me.
So the idea of getting up in front of people and speaking makes my stomach churn. I have done it, however. When I’m doing it—when I know the material I’m going to discuss—I absolutely love it. When I go to conferences, I often wish that I am that person on the stage, holding the attention of the audience—sharing with them some knowledge I’ve uncovered that will benefit them. There is a connection with people that happens in that space, which is unique.
But fear of public speaking still exists in my mind. I supposed it is tied to fear of embarrassment. Screw up on stage and everyone will see it. Maybe they will all find out I don’t know what I am talking about, and this is the moment I’m exposed as a fraud. That’s not reality. People screw up all the time, in front of people, recorded for all to see. They survive it. Ask Michael Bay. Somehow I think he still has director jobs lined up.
I can’t exactly explain this desire, but public speaking is becoming something I crave to do. Even though I’m still afraid of it. It’s not a matter of if I’ll develop into a great speaker, it’s when. Maybe it’s just the next fear I know I need to eliminate. Or it’s a kind of self expression I’ve yet to embrace and conquer. Who knows.
What I do know, is that if you ever see me up there in front of a crowd, I’ll be nervous as hell.
And loving every minute of it.
See you tomorrow for Day 6!