Have you ever been afraid to do something? Not just a little afraid, I mean knees shaking, heart pounding, deathly afraid, frozen, not able to move, kind of fear. We have all been there. We say to ourselves, “I can never do that”.
That is how I used to feel when I would see people on stage or imagine myself speaking in public or speaking at all.
In this blog, I will cover two out of the four steps to overcoming fear, specifically the fear of public speaking.
I call it the ROAR method.
In order to cross the bridge from fear to courage we ROAR – Reflect, Own it, Act, Repeat.
The first step in the ROAR method is Reflect.
Reflect back to a time when the fear first surfaced.
Find the source of the fear and name it.
Sometimes we are not even aware that we are afraid or being held back by fear.
For me, it started when I was a child. I can remember trying to make a phone call and the operator’s voice came on the other end of the phone. I threw the phone on the ground and cried.
I was afraid to talk to strangers, especially on the phone.
You may be thinking, “what if I don’t know when or where the fear originated?” The first step is still to reflect. What is going on inside of your body that indicates you are afraid? Sometimes it may be hard to breathe or your whole body may be tense.
Reflect on what you are thinking about and identify it. Make the connection and name the fear.
The second step in the ROAR method is Own it.
Own the fear, acknowledge that it is real.
According to Essay Basics, owning something implies a sense of full control over it. It also means being responsible for it and the consequences or damages it might cause.
If we own it, we have control over it.
For years, I did not think I could improve my communication skills or know that I could break through the fear of public speaking. I did not even realize that it was a problem until I married my husband who is strong in communicating and speaking his mind. He encourages me to speak up and voice my opinion. In some cases, I am a slow learner. We were married for 10 years before I let him know that I did not want to eat at a certain sandwich restaurant chain anymore.
It is selfish for me to be silent when I should speak up. I am sometimes afraid if I speak up, it will hurt someone’s feelings. Through reflection and owning that fear, I can look at things another way and see the consequences if I don’t speak up. What about not saying anything and then someone gets hurt because I saw the danger and did not speak up?
The bible talks about “iron sharpening iron” in Proverbs 27:17 KJV.
Sometimes we are sent into someone’s life to be a mirror of truth for them, the voice of reason, to wake them up. I am not saying that we should always voice our opinion, but we should ask people more questions and engage them in a conversation to make sure that they have thought through options before making final decisions that might not be best for their lives.
Even though speaking was not something I grew up doing naturally, knowing I could make it a habit and bridge the gap in my learning was one step closer to my goal of effective communication.
So far, in our path to overcoming fear, we have taken the following steps: reflected on the fear and owned it. We know either where it originated or acknowledged that we are afraid. Then, we owned it and took full responsibility of it, and see the consequences if we choose to remain a prisoner to the fear and not cross the bridge to courage.
I hope you enjoyed a snippet of coming attractions from my nonfiction book that will be out by the end of the year. If you would like to join my book launch group and get insider tips on what it takes to write, publish, launch, and market a book of your own, please go to my private launch page – Mirrors and Bridges and request your spot:
Stay tuned for next month’s blog post entitled The Bridge to Courage Part 2, where we cover the other two parts of the ROAR method.
I would love to hear your thoughts about how you are overcoming your fears.