When you take on the fear of public speaking, you don’t truly know what you’re up against until you actually do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pile of muscles like Schwarzenegger or a Navy SEAL, public speaking can bring the toughest people to their knees.
To top it off, in contrast to a child who soaks things up like a sponge, it’s harder for an adult to learn new skills, and particularly when there isn’t any reason to.
My perspective is a bit unique in that I had no reason to learn the art of public speaking, let alone a reason to overcome the fear of doing so.
In my case, I knew it was a useful skill but I’d nothing to actually use it on. Not for work, not at school, not anywhere.
Perhaps that’s why if you ask most teenagers whether they like school or not, they’ll tell you “get the f@#k out of my fa…”, or maybe just “school sucks.” It’s because most of what’s taught in school is a waste of brain space when it comes to real-world use. In other words, “school sucks” and rarely does the average teen want to learn what’s on the menu. Not quite the recipe for success.
And that’s what you can expect if you decide to overcome your fear. Without a why, you’ll find that you’d rather die. That rhymed.
I struggled to find out what worked in order to control my nervousness, but mostly I found what didn’t. I was looking for the magical cure. Unfortunately, it became clear that there was no such thing.
The problem I had, or the dilemma, was that the fear of public speaking for me was frustratingly difficult. It activated the worst part of my inner critic as well as the perpetual (physical) feeling of free-falling on a roller coaster (butterflies?). On the other side of this dilemma was the fact that I had no objective, no goal or purpose for getting over my newfound fears.
It wasn’t just the fear I was fighting against, it was the inner nudging of my critic to quit. That pesky question of whether or not to quit and get back to my normal, comfortable life came to me again and again—usually on the days I was slated to speak.
That went on for 7 brutal months.
It was at that point when I finally developed a reason why it was worth it. Finally I had an objective to reach which played a pivotal role in helping me smash my fears.
This is both my warning to you and a message of encouragement. I want you to get over your fear of public speaking. I know what it can do for you and I know what it takes to do it.
So, please, do yourself a favor and develop a true reason WHY. Ask yourself why it would be important for you to overcome your fear of public speaking. Get that out of the way before you step into the public speaking boxing ring, because you will run up against a ferocious opponent (fear).
And don’t use something as stupid as "well, I know it will be useful for something." Take it from someone who has learned the hard way.
Get specific with your objective. Make it worth a damn. Then go for it. Use that to push yourself to the finish line and reach your goal.
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About this guy...
Howdy! My name is Matt Kramer and I used to suffer excruciating death when speaking in front of a group, now I LOVE it. Overcoming this fear has changed my life and it can change yours, too. My focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the confidence to go after what you want in life.