Speaking: Like A Deer In Headlights

The unknown can be a scary place, especially the more we sit in it without any action.

When it come to our fears and our desire to face them, it’s easier to sit back and talk about the change we want to see, rather than taking a deep breath and facing that fear head on.

After completing a 31 day pilgrimage called the Camino de Santiago, where I walked around 1000 km across Spain, my heart began to change and my mission in life became clear. I knew after this experience that, while all my my travel experiences were fun and exciting, that I was not here on earth for just that.

My heart truly opened up through this experience and I left realizing more than ever that I was here on Earth to do something much bigger than just to have amazing experiences for my own pleasure.

My heart yearned for something that would allow me to help bring positivity into this negative world and help be apart of changing lives across the globe. 

Since I was young, the thought of speaking in public scared me more than I can describe. As I was walking the Camino de Santiago, it seemed like every step I took, the more the desire in my heart grew to do motivational speaking.

I can remember many nights laying in bed wide awake fighting between my desire to speak and the “what ifs” that filled my mind.

  • “What if I say something and I look dumb in front of people?”
  • “What if someone asks me a question and I don’t know the best way to answer it?”
  • “What if I get up there and get off track with my thoughts?”
  • “What if I get up in front of everyone and go blank and forget completely what I am going to say?”

When I traveled back to my hometown in Arkansas to visit, I had the opportunity to speak in front of  some of the most influential businessmen and women in my city. I had already given multiple speeches before (even up to 700 people at a time), however it was my first time to speak in front of people who knew me, or at least had an idea of who I was.

The moment came to give my speech. I took a deep breath, stood up and could literally feel my heart pounding 100 mph.

Within three to five minutes of speaking, things changed for the worse.

All the sudden I had a moment of panic and lost my whole train of thought. Normally when speakers make errors they can cover up their mistakes casually, but not in my case. I stood there, in front of everyone, like a deer in headlights unable to get back on track. After a good 10 seconds, I took a deep breath, got back on track and finished strong.

When it comes to our fears many times we spent too much time without action, only focusing on the “what ifs.”

During this time it’s easy think of hundreds of things that could go wrong and play through all the scenarios in your head on each one of these possibilities. In this time we do nothing but procrastinate on taking action and place even more fear in our heart.

I stayed up many nights and played through hundreds of scenarios of things that could happen, the worst scenario was going completely blank in front of everyone and looking ridiculous. I convinced myself of how terrible the situation would be and then on that day, in front of everyone, it happened.

The funny thing about the situation is that as soon as I got back on track with my thoughts, I quickly realized that what had happened was NOTHING compared to how I made it out to be in my head.

When I finished my speech, I ended by telling the group the lesson that I had learned from this error and that being: NO BIG DEAL if we make a mistake.

In our life we are going to try many different things and in the process we will make mistakes. I now will strive to embrace the mistakes that I make, learn a lesson from them in order to not make the same mistake and realize that each mistake is apart of the growing process.

The moment in life when I realize I have not been making many mistakes is the moment in which I will be a bit worried, because that shows that I am not stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something different.

In EVERY situation, no matter no bad they seem, we can always learn something.

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Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comSpeaking: Like A Deer In Headlights