It’s October 2015 when I first come across the amazing opportunity… One of the coaches I trained with is organising an event for new speakers to do their first speaking gig together in a supportive environment.
My immediate reaction: “Wow! What an amazing opportunity.. but I could never do that.” The idea of speaking in public is not appealing to me at all — actually it really scares me.
So I don’t put myself forward for it.
Fast forward 11 months… It’s September 2016 when I hear that another one of these events is happening again.
My immediate reaction this time is the same. Except this time I also realise this is why I NEED to put myself forward to speak at it. So I email the organiser to tell her I’m interested in speaking at the next event before I’ve talked myself out of it.
Part of me really wants to challenge myself in this way, but mostly I’m scared of the idea of speaking at this event. But I fill out my application form anyway.
It’s October 2016 and I’ve just found out I’ve been chosen to be apart of the event.
Cue: Fear. Plus thoughts of am I really going to do this? No, really? Am I?
So I try not to think about how scared I am. I try not to think about actually having to speak at the event — in front of actual people.
Anyway I’m distracted by all that’s going on — launching the next round of The 28 Day Gratitude Project, creating and releasing my first product, and just life in general — to worry about something that feel so far away.
But November comes around quickly… My talk has come together. I’ve chosen my outfit. But the closer to the event we get, the more nervous I get.
Two days before the event I completely freak out. Why did I agree to do this? What was I thinking? Seriously, how can I get out of this?
I tell myself to show up — even though I’m scared.
I tell myself that I’m going to be glad I did this.
I tell myself that I’ve done things that scared me before — and it ended up being okay.
And I remind myself that freaking out is part of the process.
It’s November 24th, the day of On The Rise — a speaking event for new talent.
I wake up with a sore throat, irritated skin that looks like a rash on my face and strange breakouts — all which have deiced to appear overnight.
I tell myself that no matter what happens I am going to show up and I am going to speak, no matter what.
I spend most of the day watching Parks & Recreation to relax (and honestly — distract) myself.
I make my way up to the city with my parents and boyfriend in tow (my support team) and we eat Mexican for dinner and then I head off to the venue. Am I really going to do this?
Before I know it I’m at the venue with the other speakers and people have started arriving. This is actually happening.
Some familiar faces fill the room and I’m instantly relieved. I know that these people are going to be supportive. Maybe I can do this.
Before I know it the event has began and it’s time for me to actually do the thing I’ve been trying to avoid thinking about.
I’m the second speaker for the night. When my name is called I walk to the front of the room (with my notes in my hands) and I speak for the next 10 minutes of one of my favourite topics — gratitude.
I don’t remember much from my talk… Mostly that I felt overwhelmingly nervous. Mostly that I talked too fast. Mostly that my mouth got so dry I felt like I was never going to be able to get all the words out.
And then, I’m done. It’s over. I did it.
And all I can think is: I’m so glad that’s over. But I’m so glad I did that.
No matter how it went. No matter how nervous I was. No matter how many times I had to look at my notes. No matter anything. I did it.
I get some really nice feedback from people at the event, which is really nice. But most of all, I’m proud of myself. I’m proud that I felt the fear and did it anyway. And I’m proud that I’ve proved to myself (again) that I can do things — even things that I’m afraid of.
I’m sharing this with you today because I want you to know that it’s okay to freak out when you’re doing things you’ve never done before (I do it all the time!).
But mostly, I want you to remember that you CAN do things that scare you.
You can do things you never thought you could do.
You can be afraid, feel the fear, and do anything you want.
You can do things that scare you.
I know you can.
And I know you’ll be okay.
As Benjamin Mee said:
I know that something great will come of it for you.
PS. If you enjoyed this article, I share writing like this directly into the inboxes of The Infinite Community each week or so. Sound good? You can join by entering your email address below 🙂
Enter your details below to get access to The Infinite Collection — a FREE library of resources to help you get the most of your one infinite life. There’s an eBook, worksheets, workbooks, audios and more!
Plus you’ll also receive super exclusive content from me each week, including personal stories and insights, behind-the-scenes peeks (that I don’t share anywhere else!) and lots more.