Recently, I was preparing to speak in front of a room full of teachers that I had never met before. Trust me, this has become a new norm in my life. As an assistant principal, I speak in front of groups of teachers all the time and I have been picking up speaking gigs here and there. But, for some reason, this time was different. My stomach was so upset that I thought that I mistook the pain for the stomach virus. I quickly realized that it was not the virus that attacked my body, but FEAR. Me, afraid of speaking!? Yeah, right. But, the little voice of doubt and fear spoke so boldly and loudly that day. It said things like, “Who do you think you are!?” and “Do you really think you are going to tell them ANYTHING that they don’t already know!?” I thought about calling the organization and telling them that I had the virus and call it a day.
But, I called my husband for words of encouragement...(AND HE NAILED IT!!!!), took a shower, and put my cute clothes on and walked out of the house with my head held a little higher.My husband simply said this: it’s good that you are nervous, that means you take what you are doing seriously and you want to do a good job, and every now and then, we have to do things that scare the crap out of us(sometimes literally)! I drove for an hour and a half blasting Koryn Hawthorne’s UNSTOPPABLE for 45 minutes straight and Anthony Brown’s Trust in You for the other 45 minutes and went into the building and ROCKED IT!!!!
So, I have to ask myself this question: Was the root of my fear failure or fear of success? I am still unsure...what I do know for sure is that either way, fear steals your Sunshine either way you slice it.
Here are some tips to overcome fear:
1. Do it scared!! Fear does not give you permission to opt out. If you are using it as a crutch, Im here to let you know that it is not alright. Since we can’t control the outcome, do it and see what happens. Like they say about the Lottery “you gotta play to win”.
2. Imagine how you will feel if you don’t do that thing. We are put on this earth to live not conserve experiences. If all else fails, at least you got to know what it feels like to take a chance.
3. Remove the negative “what ifs”. The truth is: we could have a million positive and negative what ifs to any given situation. My students say “but what if we don’t finish the assignment?” my answer is “what if you do?”
4. Growth comes from a little disturbance. Even a tree needs its foliage to be stripped in order to become stronger. Practice being in uncomfortable situations. The more you position yourself in that way, the easier it is to say “what the heck” and dive in to your opportunities.
What dream do you have that scares you so much that the thought of achieving it literally takes your breath away? Maybe it is the idea that you are such a great teacher that all of your students will succeed in your class. Maybe it is taking a leadership position at your place of business. Maybe it is submitting a YOUTUBE video of you and your amazing voice for the world to hear! Whatever it is, maybe 2019 is the year for you to step out and go get your blessing! Check out our Podcast Episode on Fear.
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