By Sabrina Bateman
If you are like me, you have experienced the fear of sitting in a meeting afraid to raise your hand, answer a question, or get up in front of your peers and take ownership of a project. The sweat starts to build, the shakes start to take over, the heat begins to rise in your face, and just when you get up the courage to make your voice known, someone else stands up and effortlessly takes charge of the room. You envy their calm reaction and command of the audience.
Making a choice to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation is a great way to learn to face your fears. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about walking into a dark ally in a sketchy part of town. I’m talking about stepping outside your comfort zone.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” Staying in your comfort zone does not allow much room for growth. Here are some tips that I have learned over the years to overcome fear.
Practice Makes Perfect
Or, as my high school volleyball coach would say, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” Now, I know none of us are perfect. What she was trying to teach us was to master the basics so that when we feel like we are losing control we have the foundation to keep us grounded. So, don’t turn down an opportunity to speak even if it’s only for two people. It’s great practice. And, practice as if your delivery will be in front of a thousand.
Preparation is Key
If this blog has inspired you to stand up and take charge of the next project before it’s fully explained and you know what’s required, don’t worry. You have plenty of time to buy books and learn about the subject matter. Research and preparation will help you to feel more comfortable with your topic. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Find a Sounding Board
Now that you’re ready to stand up and do something great, find a trusted colleague, family member or friend to be your sounding board – someone who will tell it to you straight. Ideally, your sounding board is someone you can bounce ideas off, who will listen to your speech or read your blog and give you professional feedback. You also need to find someone who will keep you accountable and push you beyond your comfort level. Hopefully, you have that one person in your life who will “rain on your parade.” Being brutally honest can hurt, but it will help you see the things that you can’t see yourself.
Put Down the 2 Sticks of Deodorant
The next time you find yourself at that table ready to stand up and show your boss you’re able to take on the next assignment, JUST DO IT!
The next time that your boss reaches out via email asking who wants to write a blog, JUMP ON IT! You can do your research and preparation and feel confident when you hand over your pages.
The next time you are asked to say a few words or deliver a speech KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. By practicing your speech and getting the advice of someone you trust, you will command the stage.
Instead of thinking like Thomas the Train, “I think I can,” you can stand up tall, wipe the sweat off your brow and say with confidence, “I KNOW I CAN.”
About the Author
Sabrina Bateman is an events planner at Telarus. She was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. While she misses home, she enjoys being a Utah transplant. She is a proud dog mom to her springer spaniel, Indy Bear, and an avid volleyball player. Bateman has been a part of the marketing and events team at Telarus for seven months. She has loved her experience in the events and the telecom industry and looks forward to continuing to grow and learn at Telarus.