by Janet Hilts
If you have a fear of speaking up, you're not alone. Studies show that 85% of people are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of death. Wow! That's a huge fear. So you're a fairly typical person if the thought of speaking makes you anxious.
However, the consequences for you if you're not speaking up are NOT typical. You're a business owner. So you need to be heard. It's critical that you get the word out calmly and clearly about what you do.
A decision to resign yourself to speaking anxiety is a choice to stay small in your business. It's that simple. Because it's socially acceptable to have performance anxiety, so it can be an easy way to hide. I know because I've done it myself. Yes - it's embarrassing, but it's true.
While coaching other people to speak up so they could grow their businesses, I found lots of reasons to avoid doing some things involving speaking because of my own fears. On the surface, they looked like performance fears. But digging a little deeper, I uncovered the truth.
My real fear was about what could happen if I expanded my business. As long as I didn't address my own particular speaking fears, I didn't have to know that, did I? It was a safe way to stay small.
What Are You Missing Out On?
Are you doing the same thing? If you've decided this is just part of your DNA so you're not going to address your anxieties about speaking, here are some of the business opportunities you're turning down:
- doing group coaching
- creating videos
- creating audios
- making radio appearances
- doing your own teleseminars
- presenting workshops
- giving free and paid talks
- networking effectively
- being taken seriously by other professionals
- speaking calmly to those with more authority or visibility
Take A Closer Look
Do yourself a favor and take a peek behind that fear of speaking. Is it just a reason you use to avoid a bigger fear? Maybe some version of fear of success? Fear of being overwhelmed with too much work? Of not being able to maintain a new level of production? Something else?
It's not always pretty, but the truth really will set you free. It gives you have a solid, specific place to start from. There are solutions to all these concerns.
Sometimes, just dealing with your core fear will make your speaking discomfort disappear! It was just an illusion after all - a camouflage for something else. And sometimes you need some outside help with those speaking fears so you can jump on all those business opportunities.
Take whichever path will work for you, but do yourself and your business a favor and eliminate that anxiety.
From the desk of Janet Hilts MPH, EFT-ADV
Copyright © 2010 Janet Hilts, Speak Up & Shine | Clearing Pathways, Inc.