With one word, I committed myself to a public speaking event on mental health at the Sechelt Library on May 4, 2017, at 7 pm.
Speaking in front of people. Me.
For most of my life, I have been challenged with social anxiety. I shake. I sweat. I get dizzy. And, in one extreme case, I passed out.
I am not ready to get up in front of a room full of people and talk about my struggle with communication.
And that is exactly why I said, “Yes!”
Fear is the anticipation of the negative happening. It is the worse case scenario playing out in our minds days, months before the event. It keeps us awake at night and ruins our days. It does this long before the fearful event occurs – long before we have a REASON to be fearful.
I recently saw a video on Facebook of a speech done by Will Smith in which he talks about the terror one feels before skydiving. That it invades your sleep and holds you captive until the event.
He talks about standing before the open bay door as the instructor or jump buddy says “Ready? We jump on 3.” The person counts up . . .
And the jump buddy pushes you out of the airplane on two. Smith states that this occurs because we grab the frame of the door on three. We panic when the moment actually happens. We hit the brakes. We aren’t ready. (Click here to view the full speech on Facebook).
The best things in life happen after you take the risky step and jump. That is where you find the best in you. You learn more by stepping out and embracing the experience you fear the most.
“Want to do a speech on social anxiety for Mental Health Awareness Week?” was the actual questions, but what I heard was “Ready? We will jump if you are ready.”
“Yes!” was really my way of saying “two.”
Am I ready? Far from it. I will shake. I will be a sweaty, hot mess.
But at the end of the night, I will be able to say, “I did it.”
And every time I do it, I am one step further from the fear that has held me captive for decades and one step closer to the best me I can be.