Many years ago I read the book, Feel The Fear And Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers. It was a great read, but once I finished the book I put it back into the bookshelf.
I love reading self development books and generally have two or three on the go at any one time.
My problem though is that I read a book, feel inspired by it, but then often I don't put into action what I have just learnt.
A couple of months back I attended a two day seminar called Courage To Be You. It was run by the Coaching Institute and was extremely motivational. I came away deciding that I needed to "find my voice" as I often tend to be the listener in many situations.
I'm not sure where this stems from, although I am aware that as a young child I had a stutter and attended speech therapy for a period of time which helped considerably.
My mum then encouraged me to enter speech competitions of which I had mixed results and gave this pursuit up after a particularly harrowing experience at a competition where I was not at all prepared for what came up.
Throughout my career and life I have been called upon to speak to groups large and small but have never really felt comfortable enough to attempt giving a speech without notes.
After attending Courage to Be You, I joined a local Toastmasters group which meets every two weeks. I have been to four meetings now and really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. I have been wanting to put my name down to speak but when I eventually found the schedule, discovered it was full for the next couple of months.
But then it was announced that the group is holding it's annual Humourous Speech Competition on the 19th September. I have never considered myself a funny guy, however, I first heard that they only had one entry, so I rang the organiser and put my name forward.
It looks like half a dozen others have entered as well now. Am I looking forward to it? Yes I am suprisingly, however, I know on the night I will be a bag of nerves. I have decided to give it my best shot though. I don't expect to place but realise that I have to start somewhere. I feel like I will be jumping in at the deep end as I plan to leave my notes behind, but in order to feel the fear we need to take risks.
I realise I could have waited till a speaking spot come up at one of our bi-weekly meetings, but what have I got to lose? Nothing really, except maybe a red face if no one finds my talk funny or even deep embarrassment if I experience a mental block part way through.
Well if thats the worse than can happen, I would assess the risk as being worth it.
I have spoken about my fear of speaking without notes, however, we all experience fear that holds us back on a daily basis. There are people I know who fear flying, travelling to foreign countries, driving in busy cities, meeting new people, changing jobs and even gassing up at different gas station.
Fear can prevent us from being our true selves, from fulfilling our greatest potential. I can personally bear witness to this. Why do we hold onto fears. Jeffers talked in her book about how we grow up learning that we need to attain perfection in whatever we do, resulting in us giving up trying new things in order to prevent us failing.
Sometimes we may hold onto a negative belief. One that I held onto for many years was that I had reached my highest level of education when I left high school as a 16 year old. I created this belief after just scrapping through with my school certificate results. It made sense to me at the time.
However as time went by I kept on scrapping through higher level tests and exams such as those I needed to pass after joing the police force. It wasn't until I was in my late thirties when I realised this negative belief that I held onto was not true. I completed a Diploma in Career Counselling plus a few University papers of which I passed with above average results.
If this negative belief was not true, then maybe there are other beliefs that can also be turned around? Take a minute to think about beliefs that you have turned around in your own life, then start tackling the negative ones you still hold onto. At least give it some thought, you never know what you may achieve until you try.
thanks for listening.
Become a member
By joining, you get: