Last week, I facilitated a two-day executive presentation skills workshop for an awesome group of professionals in the banking industry. I pushed them out of their comfort zones, and they rose to the occasion, demonstrating tremendous courage, creativity and risk tolerance. The progress and improvement that each of them made was impressive…and we caught it all on videotape!
Still, I was reminded of how difficult it can be for some people to overcome their fear of public speaking. Breathing techniques help, as do the guided visualization and the power posing, but for some people, giving presentations can cause true physiological distress.
To that end, I decided to repost a recent blog article written by my good friend and strategic partner, Linda Coveney. Read how Linda overcame her own fear of public speaking, and then took that same strategy to tackle other fears that were holding her back.
With the Halloween holiday just around the corner, it’s time to address the monstrous fears that we create inside our own minds, and bravely work through them. Face your fear and do it anyway. Speak your fear and diminish its power over you. I’d like for each of you to think of public speaking as a delicious TREAT that you want to receive in your goodie bag.
What Scares You?
by Linda Coveney
Fear is one of the Five Natural Emotions: Grief, Anger, Envy, Fear, and Love.
These emotions have both positive and negative aspects. They can move a person to achieve goals or they can be destructive and cause a person to do things he/she may regret in the long run.
Here are some of the common fears people have:
- Public Speaking
- Snakes and Spiders
When we are afraid, our body reacts in a flight or fight manner. Our pulse rises and digestion slows. While opinions differ on the matter, they favor it not being possible to be frightened to death, despite the number of times our mothers told us, “you almost scared me to death”. Good tactic to keep us in line.
Public speaking used to be one of my biggest fears. In school, I’d rather get a bad grade on a book report than spend one more minute in the front of the room. However, that didn’t stop me from volunteering to bring in my accordion and treat the class to a few of my favorite tunes.
I remember the first time I had to give a presentation at work. I was actually hoping for a crisis that would prevent me from showing up. If I didn’t have to pay the rent, I might have decided to stay home or quit my job – that’s how bad it was. When there was no way out, I found that I didn’t die, no one laughed, and with practice, public speaking became one of my favorite things to do. I know I’m not alone in this. There’s data that says many people prefer death to speaking in public.
By facing my fears, it opened up my life to opportunities that might not have been available otherwise. I was also lucky to get some support from people who believed in me and helped me to take steps to increase my confidence.
My wake up call for health was influenced by the fear of growing old and not having the energy and vitality to experience life fully. After putting in 60-hour workweeks for decades, it just didn’t seem fair that I might end up as an observer and not a participant in the rest of my life. Of course, as I made the changes in healthy diet and lifestyle, I had to face the fear of giving up the foods that I used as an emotional crutch.
My path to success was to take a slow approach of adding in foods that were healthy and delicious. I stayed motivated as I learned to listen to my body and discovered how poor choices lead to discomfort and poor moods.
How often do we want to make changes, but we hold ourselves back? Perhaps it’s a fear of failure or lack of trust in your own power. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I’m afraid if I eat too many fruits and vegetables, I may get really fit and I’ll become very happy – What will my friends think?” Yet, despite all the information that supports this change, we resist. Moving out of our comfort zone is not always easy, but it is possible with support and determination.
Health coaching is designed not just to provide knowledge, but to address what really is getting in the way of you taking the positive steps to achieve your healthy, happy life.
So what scares you about changing your diet or making lifestyle changes that support good health?
Fear is a survival mechanism when there is a threat of pain or danger. It is only harmful when it paralyzes you and causes inaction. Instead of getting paralyzed, conquer your fears and use them to push you beyond your limits. Using this emotion can awaken hidden resources you didn’t even know were there. Find the support you need to help you in this quest.
About Linda Coveney
In addition to her Health Coach Certification, Linda is a Center for Creative Leadership Certified 360°Feedback Facilitator and an Insights Discovery® Licensed Practitioner.
Contact Linda via telephone at 860.614-1548 or email her at LindaCoveney@Healthy-Behaviors.com
Contact Linda: 860.614.1548
– See more at: http://linda-coveney.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/about-healthy-behaviors-com#sthash.Bp8Us1pJ.dpuf
Learn more at Linda’s web site: www. Healthy-Behaviors.com