Recently Rachel and I were talking about our business and visioning where we wanted it to go in the next few years. We were brainstorming about workshops and presentations and eventually retreats we would hold, and the ideas were bubbling out in excitement.
The more we talked, the more we both realized that, while our long-term vision still involved one-on-one coaching as an integral part (since it really is one of the most powerful means of personal transformation), we want to reach an even bigger audience. And that means that becoming renowned speakers is just as important to our mission as coaching.
This was simultaneously a thrilling and terrifying realization for me. You see, I used to be really afraid of public speaking.
I remember in high school and college how my stomach would flip and my face would get embarrassingly flushed and my mouth would completely dry up whenever I had to speak in front of the class. It was awful! And it took a long time (and quite a bit of coaching) to release that fear.
Over the past year or so, though, I’ve realized how much fun it can be to speak to a group of open-minded people about something I’m passionate about, and honestly there’s really nothing better. The more I speak in public — especially about topics I truly care about, like career and dating challenges that millennial women are facing today — the more I’ve come to love being in front of the room.
Yet even after several recent speaking events that left me feeling confident and buzzing with excitement afterward … the realization that I want to go to a whole new level and be known as a speaker brought up old those old fears.
In fact, the very next day after acknowledging out loud that I want to be a well-known speaker, I woke up with the worst sore throat.
I had to laugh. I knew my fear was freaking out and trying to fight back and keep me small.
But instead of giving into the fear and shutting down (like I once would have), I faced it head-on. “Game on, Fear!”
I decided that the best way to release the fear was to tell a bunch of people about my new goal and about my fears that were coming up. I got a ton of support and encouragement and compassion — and those are things fear simply can’t survive against. And you know what? My sore throat cleared up almost immediately.
So now it’s your turn: When you step out of your comfort zone or do something scary, how does your fear fight back? And how can you smother your fear with support and compassion?
Kristen (& Rachel)