It really was. Just 2 minutes. Even though I spent hours worrying and preparing for it the night before.
Here’s what happened…
I was in direct sales at the time and was starting to finally do well. I had just won my first big award for being a top producer. And I was asked to speak for couple minutes in a small regional meeting we had in Chicago.
Over 400 people in the audience, and I’m terrified.
Instead of enjoying the moment when I got my award and was recognized on Friday night, I was sweating bullets over the 2 minutes I had to present the next day. We’re talking serious anxiety. I think I woke up around 4 am, and was packing back and forth in my hotel room, practicing my “little speech”.
Finally the big moment came. They called up my name and I went up to the podium.
I quickly recalled something I heard sales trainer Tom Hopkins mention in one of his audios… “If this is your first time speaking, make sure they have a podium for you, so that you can grab unto something.”
And I tell you, it’s a good thing they had one so I can put both of my hands and stay still ;). No joke. My heart was racing.
Now I did have some notes but I forgot all about them and looking at what seemed like a million people, I took a deep breath… and just let it rip.
Next thing I know, it was over. Everyone clapped and cheered. And as I’m walking off the stage, I actually want to get back and talk some more.
I survived, and from that point on, I’ve never had to sweat bullets speaking in front of groups again. Oh sure, I may get some occasional butterflies and be “slightly nervous”, but the FEAR was gone for good.
As a matter of fact, it became routine for me to give talks at events like these, often much longer than 2 minutes. I started conducting regular weekly training classes and ran them for years. And at times even MC’d at big events.
Just to think how much agony I put myself through to walk up that stage in Chicago.
Most people are scared to do something when going through uncharted territory for the first time. It may seem scary and cause unnecessary worry, frustration and anxiety.
However these worries and doubts make you feel paralyzed with fear, as self-defeating thoughts crawl into your head and cripple your chances of success.
Do You Have Fears That Are Holding You Back?
- Fear of public speaking?
- Fear of trying something new?
- Fear of failure?
- Fear of rejection?
- Fear of making the wrong the decision?
- Fear of taking a chance and really “going for it”?
These fears, worries and doubts will stop you dead in your tracks IF you allow them to.
And it’s why so many people are scared to pull the trigger and do what they’re supposed to do to move forward and live the life they truly want.
How To Deal With Fears
1. Assess The Situation
If there’s something you need to do and don’t do it because of fear, what’s the ramification?
i.e. If you need to make a call (or calls), and you don’t make them, what are the consequences?
Taking action has consequences, and so does not taking it.
2. Recognize Fear For What It Is
Having fears is normal. There’s nothing wrong with feeling some fear. But realize it’s just a feeling. It’s not a person or an event. It’s just thoughts and feelings.
3. Take Nike’s Approach
Just Do It!
Do what you fear most and you control the fear, instead of the fear controlling you. Chances are, no amount of positive thinking or talking will completely eliminate the fear. Yes, it may help, but you’re not going to just get rid of it by thinking.
Best way to overcome it is deal with it head on. To jump in with both feet and do it.
It’s all about taking action. When your reason to accomplish what you want (your why) is bigger than the fear of doing what it takes to get there, you won’t have a problem stretching yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone to get the job done.