I know we hear about this subject time and time again. We hear about the grown up who is terrified to go to a podium to speak to his/her peers at work. We hear about the friend who is trembling when he/she has to say even to say a few words at a friend’s funeral. I “googled” (It seems as though I’m always googling these days!) to find out more about statistics on fear of speaking in public and found many listings. Some surveys and research results show that most people rather die instead of talking in front of a live audience. This is a “global fears top ten”: 1. Fear of public speaking (Glossophobia) 2. Fear of death, (Necrophobia) 3. Fear of spiders (Arachnophobia).
I know people who would literally rather take a gun to their head than sing before a group of people, even in someone’s home. I saw evidence of this at a retreat I attended in which David Friedman decided to prove he could get anyone to sing. As you may know, David Friedman was interviewed on Kay’s show, YAK, and I’ve written a column about him. Since it was a very safe space, five of the retreaters agreed to try it. We have a cabaret segment at the retreat – just a fun time to sing and share talent. I could see this making the dedicated non-singers even more nervous. They got up one at a time and – waddaya think happened? Within no more than about seven minutes each (tops) each and every one of them not only got some croaks out, but each and every one carried the tune and got the rhythm right. David and the atmosphere got these lovely people to feel safe enough to do it whatever the result might be. The result didn’t matter. It was clear that someone at some time in their life told them they weren’t singers and they should mouth the words and be quiet if they wanted to sing.
One of my dear friends, who shall remain nameless, was told that her sisters were singers but she should be quiet. She is now singing and I can see her whole spirit brighten. There are stars who are terrified of performing – and – so what? They’re still terrific. Years ago I worked with a pretty well known actress who never saw herself as being as good as she truly was. At least she got on the stage and gave the audience a treat.
Even if nurturing a talent you have for singing or acting or speaking in public doesn’t bring you fame or fortune isn’t it worth pursuing and cultivating? It will bring you JOY – plus you’ll contribute joy to the people you know and others who get to experience your talent and experience the joy you have in having the talent. If you’re terrified – so what?! That terror probably came from some wrong thing some well meaning relative or teacher told you when you were little. Let it be there and do it anyway.
There are many people who think I’m courageous. People tell me that I was so courageous to write my book! To me, writing it was the simple part. I think I can safely say that most writers look at the writing as the simple part. Marketing is the part that gives many talented people the jitters. Jitters are interesting. Hmmm…I just realized something. I get no jitters when I’m marketing my songs. I do when I’m raising money for a show and when I’m selling what I think are my business products909090909 So, here’s my plan, fellow Here Women Talk members… I’m going to market my creations and allow myself to be terrified as I click each email out and/or make each phone call. This goes toward my Leadership Stripe too.
I’m asking you to allow yourself to develop and contribute your talents to the world, whatever they may be, and just say to your fears; “Hi Fears. You won’t have a ”capitol F” for long. You can stay with me for as long as you need to, as I go ahead and get my talents out there! Know this – you ain’t stoppin’ me! When I feel you there I know I’m probably heading in the right direction!” So, if you must, come along with me for the ride to the top – cause, I’m saying YES to me!