"Sure I have a message to communicate. But I can't."
"What do you mean? 'you can't?" I said. "Why can't you?"
"Stage fright" he said sheepishly. "I have stage fright."
Part of me wanted to shake him, "What the heck! You've got something worthwhile to offer the world... and you're gonna let "stage fright stop you?!"
"What IS stage fright anyway and why has it taken control of your something to offer body?"
I had a bit more compassion than that. Why? Because "Who of us doesn't experience stage fright?" Let him who is without any stage fright cast the first stone.
Before speaking at times, I would stay up all night, somehow wondering if I could either be struck with total divine inspiration OR the world would end before my 10:30 talk. I don't think I saw myself as experiencing "stage fright" but if here's the World English dictionary's definition. You tell me:
Stagefright n. "nervousness or panic that may beset a person about to appear in front of an audience."
Nervousness? Check. Panic? Check.
How many people... leaders... have been kept from communicating something that could serve the world and help their mission IF they experienced healing and breakthrough in their stage fright?
Offer their services to speak (and even get paid!)
Speak up at a conference
Lead a retreat
Create a webinar
Even write... blog, post, create an article. Comment below.
Soooo... I'm here to at least share some of what I've learned with the hope that maybe, just maybe, the score will be YOU - 1 STAGE FRIGHT - 0 (and I am speaking to me here too!)
Consider doing these.
You can fight that sinking feeling IF you know if the gain is worth the pain. Do you have something to offer that can help just one person? Can this help spread a message that can change a life? Will this help others in your organization if you share this?
Know your BIGGER WHY and it can make your why-not's seem pretty silly.
Do THEY need what you have to offer? If yes. No apologies. Say it.
I have come to believe that much of my own stage fright is my own pride. I desperately fear that if you get to see my flaws and imperfect presentation, you might reject me. And then what?? Well ---- is that really more about ME or YOU?
You are a mouthpiece... It's not about you. For some reason, the God of the universe wants to use you to communicate truth. Or help other people. Or bring life and joy to other people. Or educate other people.
Will you accept that mission? Say "Here I am send me." Or will you cower and hide?
I am definitely still new at this and am still in recovery from some comments. (I had people tell me they were leaving the church I was pastoring because "Jeff, You're not a good enough speaker." Ouch.)
But how small and wounded are those who put themselves out as critics? Are they really wanting to help people.... you included? Or are they small and wounded children?
Here's what Teddy Roosevelt had to say about this.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
OK..... And EVEN if the critic is YOU... (the wounded you) You may need to say, "Thanks for sharing your thoughts... I do have something to say."
Somehow carbs have a way of depressing the confident us because our energy goes up - then down. When it goes down, we can feel, well... yukkk.
Instead eat protein before you speak or write. Eggs. Meat. Bacon (love that bacon!)
Try it! If you speak regularly, you will notice a difference. I guarantee it will help!
Again: REALLY and TRULY JUST CARE! Care that THEY hear and can do something with your message.
You know when you are in your head or there to impress. Instead BE THE MESSAGE! SHOW UP AS YOU!
We can all tell when the person is speaking is fully "there." It's more about relationship than it is about the perfect words.
Authenticity RULES. It certainly does these days when we just won't tolerate spin or show.
Soooooo... how about you? Which of these is add a new perspective for you? Do you have any to add? PLEASE DO COMMENT BELOW. This IS a stage fright free blog.... At least it is now! : )
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