I remember sitting on the floor when I was 5 years old, just before I got up to give my first ever presentation in front of my class.
At that point in my life I was beyond shy…
Even though I was a little bit excited about telling everyone about Calisthenics (my passion when I was young), and I had all the props to go along with it, I was still shaking and as I got up to give my speech.
This moment is still so clear in my mind. Even before I could say a word, I felt a trickle of wee run down my leg… and then much more than a trickle… until it was a puddle on the carpet around my shoes. You see I was so shy in fact that I wouldn’t even ask my teacher if I could go to the toilet.
The shame was real.
I was lucky enough to have my best friend in the class who took me out to the little toilets and helped my take off my wet stockings. She even lent me her ‘over the stockings undies’ because I didn’t have a spare pair – what a legend (yes we are still friends today)!
So, you see, this was my shaky start at public speaking. When people tell me they have a fear of getting up in front of a group of people, I get it! I’ve totally been there. The fear can be crippling. It can make you want to run home and hide under the blankets and never show your face again. I would watch those seemingly gifted people who could get up on stage and talk with ease… and think, wow, I wish I could do that.
Later on in life, I found out that public speaking is a skill and can actually be learned.
Alas, there was still that little problem. That damn four letter F word.
F E A R
I couldn’t seem to get past it.
I was fine getting up and dancing in front of people… but speaking?!
Anyway, I finally figured out WHY this little old thing fear gets in the way.
You see, way back when, in the early days of human existence, people travelled in groups – it was safer that way. If someone was shunned from the group, it was likely a death sentence – literally – they would have been killed by a predator. So over time human beings have developed this survival mechanism… and even though these days it’s not exactly a threat to be alone, we still have these inbuilt survival instincts.
So when we get up in front of a group of people this act is a threat to our basic survival instincts. In fact, for many people, the fear of public speaking pretty much ticks the boxes of ALL 3 Universal Fears. That’s right, all 3… The fear of not being enough, the fear of not belonging and the fear of not being loved.
Want to know how to get past these fears?
I’ve put together a short video for you… Check it out here!