“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
– Andrew Carnegie
For those of you unfamiliar with who Andrew Carnegie was, he was a self made millionaire who built his fortune primarily in the steel industry in the late 19th and early 20th century. I like this quote because it remind us that sitting around and simply reading about something doesn’t really help us. In the case of fearing public speaking, it holds true even more.
I am a big believer in “immersion therapy”. The idea is that you overcome the thing you fear by continually facing it. With people who are afraid of public speaking, this can be a daunting task. The catch-22 is that you’re afraid to speak so you don’t get up to speak. By not getting up to speak you never gain any confidence from facing your fear. You can’t overcome your fear if you don’t face it so you stay afraid. And now we’re back to not speaking because you are afraid.
Try to find small ways to face your public speaking fear everyday. Try talking to everyone you meet: clerks at the grocery store, someone standing next to you in an elevator, etc. You will find that the more you talk to people everyday, the more confident you will become. Higher confidence will lead to a stronger will to overcome your fear. That could lead to being able to get up and speak. The more you get up to speak the more confident you will become. And now the catch-22 is in your FAVOR!
To say that there is no ego in a person who does public speaking regularly or for a living would be clearly a false statement. But for those of us who only speak from time to time, when you see a speaker who can walk out in a room of 30 people or a auditorium of 3000 and literally “own the room”, it really is an amazing transformation. To imagine how you could ever be that much larger than life is mind boggling. Continue reading →
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
This quote reminds me that, when it comes to public speaking and the fears we have, that:
We are the cause of our fear. It was something in us that eventually drove us to have this fear.
We need to have a new mindset or paradigm shift in order to get past that fear.
It’s always possible to overcome fear and adversity. The main issue here, as mentioned by one of my favorite people to quote, is that we have to change our way of thinking in order to overcome the obstacle. The things you do to improve your situation are one method of changing your mindset. For example, the fact that you are looking for quotes and other resources for public speaking is already helping you with that mindset change.
So, keep moving forward and keep moving to a new mindset. Eventually you will find that your thinking is different from when you were afraid and it’s at that point you will have overcome your fear.
We all know that the fear of public speaking is one of the biggest fears that most people have. Just the thought of having to get up in front of a group of people can cause some to go into full panic attacks. There a many different methods to combating this fear: deep breathing exercises, NLP (Neural Linguistic Programming), even drug therapy. However, a researcher from Scotland has discovered another method for reducing stress: Sex. Continue reading →
The other day I started thinking a lot about the benefits of joining Toastmasters as it relates to helping me control my fear of public speaking. I’ve written about this in the past, but I didn’t realize how much this was connected to my membership in Toastmasters. Continue reading →