Whether you are professional speaker or not, I’m sure you would agree that most of us would benefit from being able to more effectively communicate our message to a group of people in a public setting. Unfortunately, statistics show that for most of us fear of death comes second only to the fear of public speaking! That means most of would rather die than get in front of a bunch of people and push air over our vocal chords for a few minutes. Rarely is this fear the result of an actual lack of ability. Rather, it is the result of the tremendous psychological pressure we place on ourselves to perform well and project a favorable image in public, coupled with our beliefs about our own ability and self-worth, all combined in a situation where being the center of attention makes us hypervigilant of bodily sensations and reactions that are out of our control. And I haven’t even mentioned whether the content of the speech is good or not! The good news is that there are all kinds of tips and techniques out there to help you overcome your fear and become more comfortable with public speaking. But the bad news is that, honestly, none of them really ever worked for me.
In 10 years, what kind of person will you be, what will you be doing, and what will you have?
I may seem counterintuitive, but the answer to that question is not somewhere “out there,” that is, you can’t look to evidence out in the world to tell you how things are going to be. Rather the answer to this question largely depends on who you envision yourself becoming, doing, and having, based primarily on what you believe you are capable of achieving. First, we tell ourselves the “story” of what we can and can’t do, then we look for clues outside of ourselves to confirm our assumptions, and finally, we set out to ensure our self-fulfilling prophecy comes true. Whether you lead an organization of thousands or you are simply focused on your own personal priorities, how you see yourself and those who depend on you for leadership has everything to do with how things will turn out.
I will never forget the look on my kids’ faces the first time they were served a summons to appear in court. They were about 9 and 10 years old. The letters addressed to them arrived in the mail. Somewhat excited and surprised that they had received official looking correspondence in the mail, they opened them and started reading: “You are hereby summoned to appear in…” That’s when they started to get a bit concerned. Bewildered by the idea that they would need to go to court, they handed me the letters, hoping that I could explain what was going on and whether there had been some sort of mistake. As it turned out, there hadn’t been any mistake at all.
In this episode, I briefly go over a topic that has far reaching implications on whether you set extraordinary goals in life or settle for playing small, and whether you will remain resilient in pursuit of your goals or give in to the barriers that you may encounter. That topic is the fear of failure and what we make it mean about who we are and what we are worth. Check out this short episode to discover the key reason we let our fear of failure stop us, and a few tips and tricks for setting ourselves free to boldly declare, courageously pursue, and abundantly achieve the extraordinary.
The defining moments of our transformation journeys are those moments when we experience a setback or encounter an unforeseen challenge. A vision you believe in and a plan you are willing to follow are necessities to get started, but sooner or later, something happens that has the potential to take the wind out of your sails. Resilience in the face of these challenges is what separates those who conquer seemingly insurmountable odds to claim ultimate success, and those who eventually accept defeat and fail to accomplish their goals.