Today marks a milestone in my life. I turned 40. As I sit here and write this, I am thinking to myself “How did I get here so fast?” I find it hard to believe that 40 years have gone by. I’m also sitting here thinking “what have I done with my time here so far?”
When I think of this in terms of personal growth and development, I’m reminded that it’s been 22 years since I started my journey to public speaking success and controlling my fear. I can’t believe that it’s been so long since the days of having absolute panic attacks at the thought of getting up in front of a crowd.
I am thankful to my high school English teach, Mr. Doran, for making the class do a public speaking project in my senior year. This was one of those rare moments in your life that changes who you are and who you will become. I honestly think that without his help, I would not be able to do the things I do today.
I also look back at the opportunities that I have had to just get up and speak or just be in front of a crowd. I’m glad that I had the courage and support to help me overcome what was once a debilitating fear. It wasn’t always easy. But the more I did it, the easier it got. I took advantage of every opportunity I had to gain experience and learn new skills. I’m at the point now where the thought of being in front of a crowd is more exciting than scary.
My birthday wish is that each one of you who has some kind of fear, whether it’s fear of public speaking, fear of flying, or fear of little stuffed animals (yes, it’s a real fear), can find the strength, courage, and support that you need to help control, and ultimately conquer your fear. I hope that you can one day look back at your life and be as happy as I am with what you’ve accomplished. It won’t always be easy. But I guarantee the results of your hard work will pay off.