I was shaking and sweaty and I kept running to the toilet because I was certain I was going to throw up from nerves. This lasted the entire 48 hours before I gave my TEDxWomen speech “Re-inventing Teen Motherhood”.
It was the first speech I gave. Ever.
If you’re not familiar with TED, it’s pretty much the cream of the crop in the public speaking world. It’s on most speakers’ bucket lists.
I almost didn’t even audition for it. I had never talked in front of an audience before and I had no idea at all what I was doing. I felt the fear telling me that I was unprepared and inexperienced but you know what? I auditioned anyway. What was the worst that could happen? They say “No”? So what?
I found out a few weeks later that I had been selected and I started reading the Bios of the other women speaking. There was a best-selling author, a CEO, an architect, even a freaking Congress woman…. and me. The girl with no fancy title and not even a high school diploma.
Then the fear hit hard.
“Who am I to give a talk that’s meant to inspire others?” “What have I done that’s so special?” “What if I sound dumb?” “What if I forget what I’m supposed to say?” “I’m going to be compared to all these amazing, successful women and all I did was survive teen pregnancy.. barely.”
I was experiencing fear of criticism, fear of judgment, fear of failure and self doubt.
The fear was very real and painful for me but really.. what did I really have to be afraid of?
So after giving myself some time to freak out, I then rationalized my fear and realized that they were all the silly kind.
So I used the process that I describe in the video below and I rocked my speech 🙂
Now I want to know if you’ve ever let fear hold you back from something? Or do you have any tips to controlling your silly fears? Let me know in the comments below.