Monday, June 8, 2015

Overcoming Fear + Grateful Heart

I think it's safe to say nobody likes to feel fearful or afraid. I'm not talking about being chased by a serial killer in a dark ally afraid..albeit that is pretty damn scary. The type of fear that I'm referring to is the kind that gives you that pit in the bottom of your stomach, the fear that keeps you up at night with anxiety, the horrible ache that makes you feel inferior. 

If you've been a regular here the past couple months you know that recently I was invited to be the guest speaker at an 8th grade graduation ceremony...and I was scared speechless (puns are fun). Going through the process of preparing really made me dig deep and examine the root of my fear and anxiety. Apparently, I'm not the only one who is scared of public speaking. There's even a term for it---glossophobia. 

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
Yes, yes, I know I am a lawyer and we all like to yell, argue, and go to trial, right? Not exactly. Sure, I've done my fair share of speaking in front of people in school and work..but this was different. In my job, in school, and other experiences I've always been comfortable speaking because I felt as though I had some authority to speak from because I had either studied it to death or you was part of my job. With this I felt like what authority did I have as a 27 year old to give advice to anyone about how to be successful? I still feel like a mess trying to figure my life out.

Ok I realize I'm starting to ramble. Here are my tips for managing your fear of public speaking. Whether you're speaking for an event, school, job, or whatever I think these tips will be beneficial to getting through it!

Be Prepared

This is probably a no-brainer but preparation really does relieve most anxiety that you have about any situation.  There's absolutely nothing worse than the feeling of not being prepared for something..especially something important. I remember in college the one thing that always helped me stay calm was walking into a test and knowing I had done all I could. However, there were times that I didn't put in the same effort and my nerves could definitely tell the difference. You've heard it all your life but it's true...practice makes perfect. 


It's amazing how your mind can work itself up and drive you crazy.  A tiny of shed of insecurity can turn into a whirlwind of doubt and panic if you don't control it. I don't claim to be a yogi or meditation expert but some simple breathing techniques can do wonders. If you pray, calm yourself with a prayer or recite a simple mantra to yourself.

Envision Worst Case Scenarios

I'm a self professed pessimist. I just can't help it. Worst case scenarios and every possible thing that can go wrong with a situation naturally is the first thing to come to my mind. However, this actually serves me well in certain situations. When you actually sit down and think what's the worst that can happen in a circumstance you can put a label on the fear. Not only does the fear have a name you also can make a game plan to combat any possible problems.

What scares you?

Check out last week's Grateful Heart post!

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  1. Hey Brittany, I'm sure that was hard, but you did it! I have something difficult at the end of this's teaching a yoga class in front of peers. Something about it is just scary, but I know I can do it! ~Aimee from blog

  2. First off you must be absolutely amazing for being chosen to speak at a graduation. I think speaking infront of people comes quite easy to me but at the same time I follow the steps you mentioned. I always prepare as much as possible. I talk to myself in a mirror, shower, in the car. I over prepare. Breathing is a must!! It's relaxing in any situation but especially in this situation. I tip my hat to you!! It takes courage.

  3. Great tips. Still amazed at the 'pretty-ness' of the word glossophobia. :o)


  4. Isn't it good to look back with we do hard and say, "I did it"? One of the best tricks I've found is I never picture myself delivering my speech ahead of time. I used to get so nervous that the restroom saw a lot of me. :-) That trick was my answer.

  5. Great tips. Whenever I have to speak in public I just practice a million time until I almost have it memorized. Then it seems almost second nature when you're up in front of people. Have you spoken at the graduation yet? If not, I know you'll do great ;)

  6. I've always had a fear of public speaking, or sometimes just speaking in general haha. These are great tips!

  7. These are great tips! I work in public relations so sometimes I have to make public speeches and I HATE it. I will definitely use these next time.

  8. Hehe puns are fun! These are great tips. I agree with Kenji... You must be pretty amazing!! I'm sure you'll be just fine!!

  9. These are great; I am like that, too: if I know about it, I'll speak about it. Otherwise I prefer to stay quiet! By the way, I am LOVING your new design! Sarah did a great job!

  10. Such a great post!! I have always had a huge fear of public speaking.

  11. Wow, I am glad to find someone else that thinks of the worst that could happen to be able to combat the issues that arise. This makes me feel somewhat normal, but I find it is similar to the "best offense is a good defense." BTW you have the cutest blog!

  12. :) Girl, I am so proud of you. I really am. I totally understand what you're saying too- when I was in corporate, I had no problem speaking in front of others - something I often did every day. But "things of the heart" (what I call them) and then sharing those things with others... like the really important life things? I can do it but I usually need a glass of wine to get me up there and a glass of wine to get me to finally calm down afterwards haha. It's scary but you know? It's SO important. Being prepared- yes. Having some sort of game plan or speaking out loud kind of what you have on your brain- yes. Worst case scenarios - I don't even go there hahah. And after all of that? Even the wine? I say to myself, "Girl, you'd better fake it til you make it" and that seems to work ;)


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