“Hello. My name is Kevin Duncan. And yes ladies… I’m single.”
Several years ago, before I met and married my lovely wife, this was how I introduced myself in a speech to a church auditorium filled with strangers.
Years earlier, the notion of speaking to a packed auditorium would have terrified me. Like many individuals, public speaking was one of my biggest fears. But God, in His infinite wisdom, decided: “Kevin, thou shalt become a high school teacher.”
Nothing will cure your fear of public speaking quite like a job requiring you to speak to a room full of teenagers. It’s akin to speaking to an angry mob that wants to see you tarred and feathered. And not just speak to them, but control them.
“Sit down and be quiet, angry mob. I’m going to teach you something you won’t appreciate for another decade.”
After a while, I discovered public speaking wasn’t so scary. In fact, I was pretty decent at it. Not only could I control the angry mob, I could make them laugh and learn while doing so.
Fast forward a few years and I’m telling an audience of strangers I’m single and ready to mingle. Fast forward a few more years and I’m giving my wedding vows to a packed church.
Don’t get me wrong. The fear is still there.
Those things that scare us? Those situations we try to avoid? They’ll probably always scare us.
But you know what? That’s okay.
Being brave doesn’t mean never being scared. It means doing those scary things anyway.
If you don’t like speaking in public, the only way you’re going to get over it is by getting up and doing it.
If you’ve never participated in a podcast because you think you won’t do well, you need prove yourself wrong.
If you’re hesitant to create videos because you worry how you will look, you need to take a page out of Jon Acuff’s playbook and tell yourself you’re “really, really, really ridiculously good looking.” (Because you are.)
When we let fear keep us from trying something new, we’re depriving our blog audiences – the audiences we have today and the audiences we could have tomorrow – of something potentially quite special…
Ready to stop depriving your audience?
It’s time to get out there and do something scary.
Creative Commons Image via Haphazard Traveler.