If you’re reading this to get rid of your fear of speaking in front of others, you’re in the wrong place.
In our experience, that isn’t possible. And it isn’t even desirable, for reasons we’ll get into later.
What you can do is change the way you think about fear.
We’re not going to give you a quick fix for your fear. The instant prescription that will eliminate your fear forever. What we’re going to give you is, we believe, much more viable than that. What we’re going to give you is a way to change the way you think about – and therefore the way you react to – fear.
We’ve seen this process transform people, their lives and their careers, and their sense of self. And you can do what they do. You can get rid of the voice in your head that says you can’t do it.
Sure you can. You’ve got the tools. And one of them, believe it or not, is the very fear you are allowing to hold you back.
Well, never again. We’re going to shine a light on your fear. A light so bright fear need never have power over you again. Fear won’t control you; you control it.
Here’s the truth about fear:
• Fear only controls us when we give into it.
• The simple task of walking through our fear – doing what we fear, then doing it again – transforms our fear and courage.
• We change are negative, limiting thoughts by behaving in a manner contrary to those thoughts. When we act as if we have courage often enough, we wake up one morning and discover that we do have courage.
• Fear is a habit. We establish a new habit by faking it ‘til we make it.
• Our fear rarely shows. And when it does show, it shows less than we think.
• Fear is rooted in professionalism. Accept your humanness and remember that vulnerability is an asset in effective communication.
• You will survive even your worst-case-scenario. Preparation practice will see us through anything.
• Fear is normal.
• Fear can be transformed into one of our greatest tools: energy
The physical responses our bodies experience when we stand to speak our natural reaction to what we perceive to be a threatening situation. It all dates back to the days when we lived in caves. In any threatening encounter, one of us wasn’t going to live. And nature gave us some specific tools to deal with those circumstances. Blood rushes to our muscles, to prepare us either to fight or flee.
When we stand up to speak, the same thing happens. We feel threatened. Blood rushes to our muscles, in the way nature intended. But we feel that natural response and become even more fearful. We begin to shake because our muscles are pumped with blood and we start to wonder if we’re going to kneel over and suddenly we’re really reacting. And all those physical reactions mean is that we’re ready. Ready for a challenge.
• Develop a personal mantra or affirmation that cuts the power of your fear. Phrase it in the present tense, as if it were already true. Repeated daily. Look at yourself in the mirror and say the words. “What I feel is normal and has no power over me. It does not hold me back or limit me in any way.” Or, “Fear is an old habit. My new habit is confidence.”
• Practice relaxation techniques regularly, not just before big presentations.
• Talk about your fear to people you can trust.
• Slow down. If your heart is racing, slow down all of the physical responses you can – voice, movement. Take the time to make eye contact.
• Stand tall and breathe correctly, which will strengthen your voice and eliminate the quivers.
• Practice, practice, practice.
• Turn your fear into energy
For more about overcoming fear, read Chapter 12 in The Million Dollar Toolbox Book HERE…
If you’re serious about advancing your skills and making an investment in yourself, we invite you to our Excellence in Speaking Institute. Classes are filling up quickly so don’t delay! Visit this page to read feedback from our graduates about their experience.