At a recent poetry evening I saw young teenagers, adults and older members of the audience share a common stage in our family of humanness. The common thread of unity was their love of literature and their fear of public speaking. Each person stood up and recited their poetry, each at times nervous, unsure of how their peers and general audience would receive their efforts and each thrilled to return to their seats when finished. Red anxious faces accompanied at times with slight tremoring hands relaxed into happy relieved smiles. Each participant glowing in the knowledge that they had accomplished a major personal milestone on their ladder of achievement and success.
It is universally acknowledged that the fear of public speaking is our number one fear. Last Friday night in an atmosphere of mutual respect and co operation many young and older people of both participants and audience recognised that age, youth, experience or novice is no cushion to a vulnerability that unites us all in our human family.
“Be sincere; be brief; be seated” Franklin D. Roosevelt
I salute all who put their personal fears aside, who grab courage and faith by the hand and step up to their personal challenges.
At whatever stage you are at in your life, dig down deep, have faith and courage and take a jump into the waters of life. You may never know what you are truly capable of or what rewards await you if you continue to play small. It serves no one least of all yourself.
This week, find one thing, anything, that puts you out of your comfort zone and keep doing it until you achieve it. It may be the start of a whole new You.
“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” (Jerry Seinfeld)