To paraphrase the mesmerising Will Smith, as well as America’s
#1 Success Coach Jack Canfield – on the other side of fear…lies amazing opportunity.
In my 20’s, I was given the rare (we’re talking rainbow unicorn rare) opportunity to audition for breakfast radio in Melbourne. What an incredible door to have held open for you, even just a crack! Unfortunately, I completely and utterly tanked the audition. I was stilted, I was wooden, I was quite honestly paralysed by fear. Where did the sunny, happy, witty (even if I do say so myself) me go? Why on earth did she disappear on me, when I needed her most!?!
Why did I freeze? My
best guess, without becoming a frequent flyer at my local therapist’s office, is
that it was fear of failure. I got my
mind so caught up in the size of the opportunity and ‘what if I fail’ that I
fulfilled my own prophecy.
…and that is just one of the spectacular opportunities that I’ve missed, while I stood paralysed on the other side of fear.
Fear is like a wall, it’s the barrier between you and what you dare to dream. Like a prisoner seeing their family on the other side of an inch of plexi-glass – what you want is right there in front of you, but painfully out of reach.
To quote Tony Robbins, “Life is a dance between what you desire most and what you fear most.” When the desire for what’s on the other side of the wall outweighs the barrier in front of you, nothing will hold you back.
For so long I have dreamt of helping others conquer their fear of public speaking, but the fear of failure has always loomed large, and time and time again it’s made me slink back into the shadows.
Call it FOMO – but my desire has finally overcome my fear and I’m excited (and scared) to offer my thoughts, tactics and techniques to those who are holding themselves back from their dreams, because of their fear of public speaking.
You could say my FOMO has turned into FOOMO (fear of others missing out).
Now when the fears creep up and threaten to overtake me, I simply say “So What?” If it doesn’t turn out the way I dreamt it, so what? The possibility of failure is now nothing compared to the pain of not even trying.
In my Find Your Voice Workshop, we take a closer look at WHY you run away from the doors that open for you to share your story, your products and services…and give you the tools you need to climb the wall and discover the opportunities that lie on the other side of fear.
…it’s OK, not a single participant has died…yet.
Don’t waste oxygen talking about what you don’t want. Fuel your goals not your fears.
For me, the opportunity to speak to a group is a tremendous privilege. Everybody’s time is precious, so for people to give me their undivided attention to share my thoughts, opinions or ideas should be treated with the greatest respect, and used wisely.
Mother Teresa is quoted as saying “I will never attend an anti–war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.” Hmmm…Anti-war / Pro-peace…isn’t it to-may-to / to-mar-to?? I think you’ll agree there is a subtle yet powerful difference between the two. To be anti-war is to use your energy pushing against the unwanted and focus on the unwanted – it’s exhausting, and even if the war ends you are no further forward than the day before the war began. On the other hand, to be pro-peace is to focus on what you DO want, it’s effects go way beyond the day the war ends to a brighter, more harmonious and prosperous future.
From a speaking perspective, when you speak in the positive it offers energy, excitement and opportunity, you are lifting the energy of the room and focussing your audience on solutions. When you speak in the negative without providing an alternative, you are lowering the mood and leaving people feeling worse than when they walked in (politicians take note – give people something to vote FOR not against).
It is something that you will hear me harp on in my presentation upskilling workshops – it can be the difference between getting the job and not, the difference between being thought of as a leader or…not.
So when you’re gathering your notes and your thoughts to share in a meeting or deliver to a group – consider the opportunity before you, remember the Mother Teresa Rule and give the bulk of your presentation to the solution, not the problem.