What is the one thing that terrifies you? For me it’s always been public speaking in any way shape or form. In college I had to take a Public Speaking class and hated every minute of it. Our final project was to teach the class something – anything – but it had to be an 8 minute speech and we could not use notecards. Mine clocked in at just over 3 minutes and to this day I can’t remember what I even talked about. I nearly failed that class.
Fast forward to last week. I was challenged by a friend of mine to get up on stage at a Karaoke bar and sing Spoonman by Soundgarden. I couldn’t do it the first time we went, so this time was my chance for redemption. I succeeded. I got up on stage and I sang. Was it the best version ever? No, it probably fell on the OTHER end of that scale – but the point is, I did something that terrified me and you know what? It wasn’t so bad. I even went back up on stage for another song. I lived – I embarrassed myself – but I lived.
Why is this relavent? Well, that fear of public speaking crosses over into business portions of my life. I can’t stand calling strangers on the phone and asking for work – but it’s a part of my job and I have to learn to control that fear to be a successful business person. By making the conscious choice to put my fear aside and do something that terrifies me, I’m growing not only as a business owner, but as a whole person as well. Suddenly, picking up the phone and talking to strangers doesn’t seem so bad after making a fool of yourself on stage in front of dozens of people.
So…what have you done that’s terrified you?