Wouldn’t this world be a lot better if everyone was more accepting?
Accepting of others, sure, but also accepting of one’s own feelings, emotions, physical sensations of the body, etc. This is what we’re going to talk about.
An example that illustrates this for me is when I first started running. When I’d run up a hill, as soon as the pavement would level out or start to decline, my body would be overwhelmed with a feeling of fatigue and an incredible urge to stop. My legs would tingle and I’d breathe like a ferocious elephant during mating season.
I hated that feeling. This would lead me to dread the next time I’d be in that situation. “Would I be able to handle it?” I thought. I would stray away from situations that put me in “deep water.” I would also doubt myself and my body’s ability to overcome those situations.
But with this and my experience in public speaking, I’ve learned an invaluable lesson. The lesson?
ACCEPT these sensations!
Stop running away from them. Stop dreading them. Stop pushing them away when they appear. Accept them as normal.
This has gotta be the key to life or something, I just know it! (It’s in the conversation at least…)
No, I don’t mean accept bad circumstances in life. Say you can’t pay rent, this doesn’t mean stop trying or accept this fate. The acceptance that I am referring to can only come with action. When your body is activated somehow. Under pressure. Perhaps any real fearful situation or something you absolutely dread doing.
It’s one of my favorite pieces of advice I give to those wanting to turn the tables on fear. In public speaking I like to tell people to accept any physical sensation brought about by fear, as 100% certified, Grade A, normal. And do it immediately.
If your heart starts pounding, accept it. Invite it over to your Super Bowl party this weekend. Understand that your body is working exactly how it should be. It’s reacting to your thoughts about the situation. Your thoughts are saying to you that you’re entangled in a dangerous predicament, and it’s preparing you to take action. Confront or get the hell out of dodge. Your body doesn’t care which decision you make, it’s just preparing you to make one.
The choice is yours.
Remember, though, the more times you run away, the stronger roots that decision will have the next time. And the harder it will be for you to uproot them and instead look fear in the eye and say, “I’ll take that MICROPHONE thank you very much…”
On the other hand, the more you go against safety, the less power it has over you next time. This compounds. Slowly you start to cut at the rope, thread by thread, thread by thread, until finally you can rip it off like like the doctor rips off the umbilical cord of a newborn baby. [Too graphic? Sorry.]
Again, the choice is yours. It’s possible to divorce yourself from this paralyzing fear. I’ve done it from the ground up, and I know you can, too.
**REMINDER** Public speaking doesn’t have to be all serious and stuff. When you take the fear out of the equation, it becomes fun-tastic—for you and the audience. Fear is like the bouncer at the night-club when you’re not on the guest list. But when you finally get inside, it’s party time!
You’re probably asking, “How do I get on that guest list???” That is a loaded question. Here’s a good start, though. Pick up my brand new book that goes deep into the subject of overcoming your fear of public speaking 🙂 It’s available on Amazon here. As you might have guessed, I like things to be the opposite of boring. The book was no exception. Check it out for yourself.
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