Over the years, I’ve heard many people fear public speaking more than death. I have never sat there debating between the two, but when asked my biggest fear I would say public speaking. I get it. I, like all humans, was born with two innate fears, fear of loud noises and fear of falling. I am not sure when I made the decision to fear public speaking or when I went “all in” to align with my fear. Could I of made a better decision? Absolutely,and to some degree it was really that simple.
I’ve been in active recovery from drug addiction for over eighteen years. In this context, I managed to speak with a higher degree of comfort. The urgency to share a message of hope overrode my self-limiting beliefs on speaking. My clarity on the potential consequences of remaining silent allowed me to let go of my need to look good and play it safe. However, my experience was much different outside my recovery community.
Eventually, my fear of public speaking created enough emotional turmoil that I knew I had to make a shift. My need to be comfortable was becoming unbearable. My vision is a world that is conscious, loving, connected, and abundant where everybody gets that they matter. What kind of stand am I for this world if I refuse to use my voice? How selfish am I if I allow fear to keep me from being a contribution to others? It was imperative that I released my need to look good, be in control and be comfortable. It was time to make a different decision.
Dismantling my fear was a process of seeking new solutions and stepping outside my comfort zone. I had been drawn to NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) for a number of years and had some experience in setting positive resource anchors. I became certified as an NLP practitioner and coach and in Time Line Therapy® and Hypnotherapy. These tools and techniques were and are life changing for combating my fear and limiting beliefs. I utilize my positive resource anchors and my “as if now” goal setting whenever I speak. The ability to instantly shift to a positive state has been a game changer. I joined Toastmasters. I knew if I was serious about public speaking, it was essential that I surround myself with likeminded people supporting my growth through powerful example and feedback.
I am extremely grateful I experienced the discomfort that prompted me to make a positive life changing decision. We all have powerful messages and it is vital that we use our voice to help others. In my practice I see many people in emotional pain or imprisoned by limiting beliefs. It is an honor to guide them toward the future they desire. I know I am on the right path when I get to be the one utilizing NLP, Time Line Therapy® and Hypnotherapy to help a fellow traveler on this journey overcome their fear of public speaking.