The more I work with people who are scared of speaking in public, the more obvious it becomes.
The fear of speaking in public could be cured with a healthy dose of love and respect for yourself.
Think about it.
When people get super-nervous about speaking it’s often because they fear being judged negatively, of making a mistake, of looking like a fool. This means that they care more about what others may think of them than they care about how they feel about themselves.
But what if you cared more about how you felt than you did about the opinions of others? What if you loved yourself and respected yourself so passionately that you would never dream of allowing the thoughts of others to affect your well-being in any way?
Can you imagine it?
Oh, sure, it would be nice if everyone wanted to be your friend and it would be great to attract swarms of new clients every time you open your mouth, but if that didn’t happen, how devastating could that be?
So, how can you start loving yourself and respecting yourself to the degree that your well-being comes first and you’re never scared of speaking in public again? It could be challenging, especially if you were raised to place the approval and opinions of others before your own (what child wasn’t raised that way?), to be nice, to be appropriate, etc.
Here are a few steps to move you towards falling in love with yourself:
1. Accept and Appreciate Who You Are Right Now
Yes, I know you are on your way to becoming someone great and grand, but can you appreciate how great you are right now? No matter who you are or where you are in your life, you have a lot to offer and share right now.
2. Decide To Love Yourself Above All Others
Now, this can be scary because if flies in the face of what you’ve been taught. But what would happen if you decided, today, to love yourself completely? If you gave yourself your full approval and respect, no matter what?
Can you at least decide that you care enough about yourself to make sure that you have a fun, easy time when you are speaking in public? Perhaps you can start there.
3. Says Who?
If you find yourself talking trash to yourself, stop it! This can be blatant, like that voice in your head that says, "Oh, you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re going screw this up," to more subtle quieter voices that lob little doubts your way, like, "Maybe this isn’t the right time for me to try speaking at that event."
Who says? Where is that voice coming from?
4. Make the Loving Choice
Make choices that feed your love for yourself, that support who you really are, that show a profound respect for who you are. Sometimes we think we are doing the loving thing by saying no to certain opportunities. We see it as self-care. But be careful. It can also be a way to keep us locked in a familiar but small, disappointing and disrespected image we have of ourselves.
One way to tell the difference is to ask yourself, "Am I making this decision out of a feeling of lack (lack of talent, time, skill, confidence, etc.) or abundance (plenty of opportunities, time, money, etc.)? Does this decision support me and my greatness, or does it keep me small and scared?"
Loving yourself as you are right now will transform more than just your ability to speak in public. As Oscar Wilde once said, "To love one’s self is the beginning of a life-long romance."
To start your own life-long romance with yourself, consider signing up for the "Becoming Fearless" e-zine at http://www.unconditionalconfidence.com. Each month, you get a ton of tips and information on how to speak with confidence, ease and your own kind of charisma.