Yesterday, I spoke at the Global Women in Tech Conference (online). Even though speaking at a conference is something I’ve wanted to do all my life, it scared me sick. For days leading up to the conference, I couldn’t focus on anything. Every time I thought about my presentation, I wanted to throw up. I’m not sure why I was so scared because public speaking is one of my favorite things to do. In fact, I’ve always wanted to be a professional speaker and go on a speaking tour. But whenever I started to think about my presentation, I began to worry. What if I can’t login? What if my internet crashes? What if my slides won’t advance? Or my greatest fear…what if no one even logs into my session and I end up speaking to…no one?
Well, after all the anxiety and worry, I gave my presentation and everything went well (except for when my computer screen decided to sleep at the very beginning of my presentation and I had to revive it). After the presentation, I received some positive feedback and it made me feel so good. Overall, speaking at the Global Women in Tech Conference was a really wonderful experience and I’m so glad I did it. I can’t believe I nearly passed on the opportunity to speak.
Like many things in our lives that we dream about doing, we often don’t take the leap because they’re just too scary. We build up so much fear in our minds that we talk ourselves out of our dreams and the things we really want to do.
Why are we so afraid?
- We’re embarrassed about our dream(s)
- We’re afraid we have no talent
- We’re afraid we won’t be taken seriously
- We’re afraid we’ll be rejected or criticized
- We’re afraid we’ll be ignored
- We’re afraid somebody is already doing it—and better
- We’re afraid our work isn’t important enough
- We’re afraid it will be a waste of money and time
- We’re afraid we won’t have enough time
- We’re afraid we don’t have the proper training
- We’re afraid we aren’t discipled enough
- We’re afraid that it might upset our family
- We’re afraid of what our co-workers might say
- We’re afraid we’re too old to start (or too young)
- We’re afraid we don’t know enough
- We’re afraid we don’t have the right credentials to be believable
- We’re afraid our ideas aren’t any good
- We’re afraid of being vulnerable
- We’re afraid that it won’t go well
- We’re afraid of being exposed as a fraud or a fool
- We’re afraid of what our friends will think
- We’re afraid of how others will judge us
Most of the great things in life that push us out of our comfort zones are scary.
I have a print that says “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” Honestly? I would do so many things, and many of them are on my List of 50 Things.
Since this is my year to be brave, I’m choosing bravery over fear. I’m choosing action over indecision. I’m choosing to live over playing it safe. It’s scary and it makes me sick to my stomach, but I tell myself that I can get used to being uncomfortable and anxious. I just have to tell myself it’s really just excitement that I’m feeling.
Are you facing your fears? How’s your List of 50 Things coming?