Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pushing myself to Overcome my Fear of Public Speaking

2013 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy
When it comes to facing our fears the truth is many of us would simply like to stay within our comfort zones. We all know the biggest issue with overcoming our fears is the fact that it usually involves us taking a huge step out of this comfort zone. Throughout my life like many people I too would do anything I can to avoid being put in situations that force me to face my fears. This involved me missing many days of school as a teenager all in an effort to avoid those days when we were required to give a presentation in front of the class. The worst was on the days when my teacher would ask me to read in front of the class. I was so nervous one time that it caused me to read a few words incorrectly resulting in me telling the class that some guy worked in a garbage instead of in a garage. This was then followed by a few laughs from my class mates. It's not that I couldn't read it's just the fact that I was extremely nervous being put in that situation. Now I am pretty sure we have all faced these types of fears in our lives at one time or another. Some of us are eventually able to move beyond our fears while a few of us including me take a little longer to reach this point.

Still today I struggle with being able to speak in front of large crowds. Surprisingly 2013 was a year filled with many opportunities for me to speak publically. The first opportunity came when a friend of mine (Chosen) who is a recording artist told me that she wanted to support Team Brad by donating a portion of the sales from her latest cd to our fund raising goal for this years Walk for Muscular Dystrophy. Eventually this led to me being invited to speak about the Walk at one of her performances. At first I planned to do my best to try and get out it as my fear of public speaking was once again coming into play. Leading up to this event I did my best to prepare even creating a short video that I hoped would help to take the focus off of me that day. When the day of the event arrived I was extremely  nervous to the point that my legs were starting to feel very weak and at the same time my heart rate was steadily increasing. But at this point it was too late to back out plus I didn't want to disappoint my friend or throw away a perfect opportunity to raise awareness about Muscular Dystrophy. In no time I was called upon to speak and thankfully before hand a good friend of mine set up a stool and a microphone for me. This was the best set up as I have found that when I am sitting down it helps to make me less nervous when ever I am doing public speaking. Thankfully everything went perfectly but I was extremely happy when my time was up. In the end it felt great to be able to share my story and raise awareness about the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy.

A few weeks later this experience helped me to take another big step and that involved me speaking at my local Walk for Muscular Dystrophy. Something I have actually wanted to do for a long time but over the last few year's I have let my fears get the best of me. Now it may come as a surprise but I wasn't even required to speak at the Walk as it was optional but I decided to go ahead with it anyways with the goal of finally getting over my fear of public speaking. I guess being invited to speak at my friends event definitely helped to calm my nerves this time around but to be honest I was still a little nervous. But thankfully just like before everything went very well and I now hope that I am on my way to overcoming my fear of public speaking once and for all.

Related Posts:
Team Brad at the 2013 Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy
 My personal story growing up with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy ,
Raising Awareness about Muscular Dystrophy in my community &
Getting to know Muscular Dystrophy Canada

You may also like to read:
My Childhood with Muscular Dystrophy: School & Gym Class &
Growing up with Muscular Dystrophy: The High School years

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