Post written by Richard Lewis, Vice President, Staffing Services
Do you ever have that “thing” rattling around in the back of your mind and you think to yourself, “No, I can’t do that! That is something I will never do!”
I think it’s a safe bet we all have a fear…or ten.
Some of us fear failure, flying, large social settings, and a host of other things we avoid in our daily lives.
As for me, after graduating college, I had numerous fears, including public speaking, sales and writing. (P.S. – This is my 2nd blog post ever BTW.)
Other fears of mine include snakes, heights, spiders, and flying. One of my boys fears horse flies and June Bugs. (Sorry, June Bugs? Must be their sticky feet. lol)
But let’s be honest. Fear isn’t a laughing matter. June Bugs might be funny to me because I don’t fear them, but to my son, they’re a cause for anxiety. For each of us, our perception is our reality.
After graduating college, I invested in myself (big fear) and bought a distributorship with a direct marketing company. I had many successes and failures. Ultimately, the company faced tough times and I lost my business. However, I was fortunate to learn from several mentors and they taught me lessons I still use today.
On one memorable occasion, I was spending some one-on-one time with one of my mentors. After I’d won a contest at work, he asked me why I wasn’t conducting training at the office. I tried to make an excuse such as “I’m not interested in being in the front of the room, in the spotlight, etc.” but he knew.
He knew I was afraid of putting myself out there, exposing a perceived weakness. I was afraid of public speaking.
My mentor said…
“Richard, in life you have to find out what scares you and do it twice. You have to embrace your fear to overcome it.”
Honestly, I thought he was nuts, but the next Saturday there I was, in front of the room, scared to death! I conducted the training and covered all of the material in 28 minutes. (The training was normally about 75 minutes.)
I ended up doing local and regional training weekly for the next three years. I was amazed at the confidence it gave me in both my personal and business life.
Ironically, even to this day, I still get butterflies before a big meeting or speaking engagement.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being nervous or scared. They key is learning how to deal with that fear.
You can even use that fear/nervousness to keep you on your toes…to keep your focus as you master your fear.
If public speaking is a fear of yours, embrace it! Do it twice…and change your situation.
Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
We all need to continue to learn, change things up and do something different once in awhile…something that scares us.
My challenge to you: Make a list of fears you have about your job, your relationships, your hobbies, your church, etc. and then volunteer to lead a committee or a training, etc. even if you’re scared to death. And then commit to it and watch where it takes you.
Do what scares you and do it twice! Turn your fears into a strength!