How many times have we not heard to TAKE ACTION if you want something? Sometimes it can feel like its being rammed down our throats. However, its so true! In fact, never was a truer suggestion uttered! You cannot mow a field by thinking about it….you have to DO! This is just as true for standing up and speaking in front of people…be it your colleagues, your staff, at a wedding, or at your weekly sales meeting. You still have to ensure that you communicate effectively! This is a skill that needs to be learned……………………despite the argument that speakers are born, not made……I do NOT agree with this statement. It is NEVER to late to learn to speak more effectively…or even to speak at all(in front of others). In my experience, as a Public Speaking Coach and Presentation Skills Trainer, and having run my own business for the past few years, I have had the experience of discovering that the fear held by some people is so deeply entrenched that they find it a challenge just to make the decision to contact me in order to help themselves. Sometimes we just OVERTHINK…..and by doing so, we think ourselves INTO and OUT OF situations, thereby making us our own worst enemies!
This is meant to be more of a ‘kick up the jack ‘post than a punt for learning to speak in public, except that the rules are basically alike. Overcoming a fear of anything is a similar process. You see, FEAR is a BULLY! and bullies MUST BE FACED. Invariably, just like bullies, fear is a coward, and a master of disguise. We fear this bully because of all the hype that surrounds it, similar to the hype that surrounds any fearsome creature…………….we imagine all the PAIN we are going to go through, and therefore tend to run in the opposite direction. We avoid pain, and move toward pleasure. Sadly, in these instances, the pleasure is short lived and unlike laying our fears to rest for once and for all, we continue repeating this dangerous and vicious cycle as many people believe it is the path of least resistance,( and the action of ‘intelligent’ people).(In order to protect ourselves we have the choice of ‘fight or flight’).
We need to understand THIS………..overcoming your fears is an ONGOING process………………it requires becoming a LIFELONG practice, and why? Because there will ALWAYS be stuff that we fear….ALWAYS. So practice the process now, and know that it is or rather COULD become a lifelong habit to be mastered.
As a Internationally Qualified Firewalk Instructor, I have pushed through fear many many times, and I have witnessed many others do the same. The euphoria and the sheer empowerment experienced by individuals who have faced the glowing coals, and pushed through their deepest fears, to come out victorious on the other side, realising that THEY need to get out of their OWN way and TAKE CONTROL of their destinies to manifest their dreams is a sight to behold. This analogy is hugely powerful!
I have been blessed with the attitude of always looking for the good, the positive attributes in people. We are ALL good at SOMETHING……………..though a lot of us do not REALISE it. I cannot tell you just HOW many highly capable people I have witnessed and watched, whom I have observed are great at what they do, hesitate to put REAL faith in themselves and just ‘take the plunge’, so to speak.
Feel the fear……..I am by no means suggesting that you pretend there IS no fear. FEEL it……and go ahead and do whatever it takes, anyway. Whenever we feel fear we feel a resistance. PUSH through the resistance and follow through to your achievement. Remember, fear is a bully, a coward making a lot of chatter inside your head, with the sole intention of intimidating and scaring you. So, some people would argue and say that fear has its place. YES……………….it does, it has its place when there is an element of physical danger involved, and one needs to intelligently calculate the risk involved. Having dived out of a perfectly good aeroplane several times simply for the adrenalin rush, I ensured that the risk I was taking at the time was minimised by doublechecking that my parachute was in impeccable condition and that I had previously trained with experts who had my absolute safety in mind at the time. The same when scuba diving in shark infested waters……I made sure that I had contingencies for every conceivable situation, and that my gear was in great ‘nick’at the time. When swimming solo in a pool of Giant Greenback Turtles that had snapped a boy’s ankle the day before, I did what was required to minimise the risk and maximise the ‘good’in my experience, and even though there is still the chance of something going wrong……………that’s where some of the thrill lies! Funny, embarking on experiences that are regarded as sort of ‘living on the edge’ have been amongst my most memorable and thrilling moments of my life.
The one common factor in all these experiences required FACING FEAR! And now that I reflect and think about it……..Facing the fear(facing that ‘bully’) was both my payment and reward for being blessed enough to experience so many amazing thrills!
Think about it……………..Fear separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Its the one obstacle that we all face daily in so very many forms…………………………imagine committing yourself to finding a way of smashing through those false ceilings and ensuring that you never miss out on what life has to offer because of an emotion that CAN be beaten?
Internationally Certified Presentations Skills Trainer and Firewalk Instructor