Conquering fears

Over the past few months, I have been working on conquering a couple of fears. One makes sense, I suppose. The other was kind of silly. Both are still a work in progress.
One of my fears has to do with my job. This sounds really silly, but I have been totally dreading doing the announcements at church. 
Now, for anyone who knew me in my Discovery Toys days, this probably sounds ridiculous. One of the things I MOST loved about working with Discovery Toys was the opportunity to speak at retreats and conventions. I love sharing an idea, or inspiring someone or motivating people. 
I have done hour-long seminars. I have spoken at retreats. Back in my reporter days, I often was a guest on a weekly radio show.
But for some reason, I have NOT been looking forward to the day I would have to talk for 3 minutes on stage at church. I have been so afraid that I would walk out on stage, my heart would start pounding, my mouth would get dry, everyone would be staring, and I would have no where to hide. I envisioned myself staring blankly at a crowd full of people, unable to remember anything I was supposed to say.
I think my fear might have something to do with the fact that announcements are inherently boring. One of the things I like about speaking to a group is making a connection. I like to see people nod or laugh at a joke. I like to see someone’s face light up when they “get it.” That interaction fuels me and makes public speaking fun.
But announcements? I’m picturing myself standing all alone on a big stage staring out at several hundred people who are looking forward to me sitting down. I was thinking of how I would probably try to make a joke and everyone would give me that look of, “Could you hurry up already?”
Well, I have done the announcements three times now. I simply couldn’t avoid it any longer. The first time, I dreaded it all day Friday and all day Saturday. I knew it was ridiculous, and yet, the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
The second time, I was less nervous.
So, basically, I survived the announcements. Thank God, I didn’t have a panic attack or faint or trip. I’m hoping it will get easier each time I do it.
I think I made a few stupid jokes, and I’m not sure if I really covered all of the announcements. In fact, I can’t remember if I actually even said my name. I probably talked way too fast and had that look on my face you get when you are climbing to the top of a roller coaster. But that’s OK.
More than anything, I’m relieved that I’m starting to conquer my fear.
Please tell me I’m not the only one with ridiculous fears. Is there anything that you are dreading at the moment? Have you conquered an irrational fear lately? I would love to hear!

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  1. Oh yeah babe. I'm right there with you. I don't mind teaching classes in church to any age group of children or adults, but when it comes to conducting a meeting I get really nervous. I agree with the fact that it's basically of low interest, you are there to take care of business… not to teach or inspire. You need to sound confident and in charge so the pressure is on. Best advice I ever got: Practice. Just like when you teach a class or give a speech. If you practice out loud you will be more prepared and know what you sound like. Try it. It works for me.

  2. Oh, Jenny! I'm so glad I'm not the only one! That makes me feel better. And yes… I do practice… I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it. I don't like to use notes, so I want to be sure I know what I'm going to say.I'm looking forward to the day I won't need to practice. 🙂

  3. My fear: going into a room where I know nobody. Or to an event where I'm "alone". Makes me nearly nauseous.But I did it this weekend – I went to a conference alone. Had to pray a ton, but I actually had fun. And the best part? At the scariest moment (heading to lunch) I found a familiar face and wasn't alone any more for the rest of the day.No amount of practice will ever make that fear go away for me, I'm afraid. Just part of being a mostly introvert.

  4. Lara, that would be a HUGE fear of mine, as well. In fact, it would take a LOT for me to overcome it. The lunch part is the worst. Doesn't that just bring back bad memories of grade school?Sarah, I'm glad you can sympathize… thanks. 🙂

  5. You do a great job up there Emily! You are a natural. You look very relaxed and the fact that you don't use notes helps keep people's attention (mine anyway). Keep it up!

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