This September I am giving a presentation at The WOW Factor Conference in California. I jumped at the opportunity and then began to free-fall into the depths of fear. I actually enjoy speaking. Oh sure, I get nervous before hand, but I always have fun. However, the majority of my speaking experience has been with notes or power point to back up my less than stellar memory. The parameters for this presentation are no notes, speaking from the heart and sharing three “take aways”. In other words, not just a fluff talk. My first reaction was, great! I can’t memorize things anyway, so why not just speak from my heart. But then the self doubt, what ifs and oh dear…my perfectionism, kicked into high gear. The presentation is not until September, but I know with the busyness of summer, this really meant only a few days to focus on what I wanted to share.
One day went by, then another. A few nights of sleeplessness ensued as I allowed my mind to build mountains out of mole hills. I felt all alone. I began thinking of reasons why I should not fly all the way to California and subject myself to speaking without notes. I couldn’t even get my first thought on paper. And then the email arrived requesting a signature on the dotted line – a contract of sorts. Oh dear…this is real. I jump or I bail!
I jumped. Non-refundable fight and hotel reservations made! Shortly after, I went for a walk with my friend Barbara Stanny, a successful author and dynamic speaker. I shared my struggles with writing my outline and she shared her terror of putting words on paper for each and every chapter of her books. Really? You mean I am not the only one? She also shared that she does have notes when she speaks. They are not in her hand, but they are close by and there to use if needed.
In every circumstance, there is a learning experience. From my fear came this “ALWAYS SHARE OPENLY AND HONESTLY YOUR TRUTH”. By sharing my struggles with Barbara, she shared her truth and I relaxed enough to move forward. In fact, some of my greatest insights have come from other people sharing their truth.
What truth has been shared with you that helped you get past your own fear – or at least embrace the fear, feel it and do it anyway?
Warmly with Truth
PS. My outline is complete!