#overcome fear, #speaking

The Bridge to Courage Part 2

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Photo by valor kopeny on Unsplash

Have you ever known exactly what you need to do, but did not take action to accomplish the task or take the necessary steps to reach a goal?

That is what happened to me.  It happens to the best of us.

I had been dancing around the idea of joining a Toastmasters’ club for over 9 years, before I actually made the decision to become a member.

Toastmasters is an international educational program that teaches leadership and communication skills. For more information, find a local chapter near you. https://www.toastmasters.org/

Fear stopped me right in my tracks.

I was scared and did not take any steps to reach my goal.

In this blog post, I will cover the third and fourth steps to overcome fear, specifically the fear of public speaking.  Last month, I covered steps 1 and 2.

I call it the ROAR method.

In order to cross the bridge from fear to courage we ROAR – Reflect, Own it, Act, Repeat.

The third step is A for Act.  Move forward and take action to conquer the fear.

In order to cross over to courage, we walk through fear.

The bridge to courage is the fear itself.

How do I do that? I open my mouth and speak.

I know that sounds easy, but it took 10 years for me to tell my husband that I did not like eating at a certain restaurant chain.

I joined Toastmaster’s last year, then I took these three action steps:

  • I speak positive affirmations out loud daily. For example, I say, “I am an effective communicator.  I speak clearly. I ask questions for clarity. My words inspire and motivate others.”
  • I practice what I am going to say. I do this over and over until I am comfortable with my pace, my words, my body language and message.
  • I also focus on the audience and try to not think about myself when speaking.

Over time, my words became clearer, my communication is more effective, and I begin to even like speaking, imagine that.

That leads us to the fourth step of the ROAR method.

R is for RepeatContinue to find ways to strengthen the skills you learned to conquer the fear.

Repeating the thing that you are afraid to do, will help you overcome the fear and cross over the bridge to courage.

About three years ago, there was a complete shift in my thinking regarding public speaking. I attended a women’s health and wellness conference in the fall of 2016.

As I heard each speaker, I felt a nudging on my heart. When the last speaker came up, I literary had to stop myself from running up on stage. I kept hearing in my head, not audibly, but a voice saying, “You can do that”.  I said, “Me? No, I could never do that.” Confirmation came back saying, “Yes, you can.”

My desire to speak grew.

I continue to find ways to speak at Toastmasters and other events, train new hires at work, attend conferences and spend time around people who inspire and motivate me.

I stand before you, a miracle in the room. If I can be a speaker and trainer, a person who used to be scared to death to open her mouth, so can you.

The world needs to hear what you have to say. The world needs to hear your voice. It can bring hope and healing to a broken world. Your words can be the answer to their heart’s cry.

Over the last two months, we learned about one of my greatest fears, the fear of public speaking. We covered the ROAR method: Reflect, Own it, Act and Repeat.

Find the source by reflecting and naming the fear. Own and tell it to go jump in the lake.  Take action to overcome the fear and repeat the process until it no longer has control over you.

The next time we are faced with fear and it roars at us like a lion, look at fear straight in the eye and ROAR back!

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 Facebook page to request your spot:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MABlaunchteam

I would love to hear how you overcame fear or any other comments you would like to share.

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