Fear of Public Speaking? You Are Not Alone
Like me, you, or many people that you know, most likely have a fear of public speaking. According to the National Social Anxiety Center, about 73% of Americans have a fear of public speaking. In fact, fear of public is so prevalent that it ranks higher than other phobias such as fear of death and spiders.
When talking about public speaking then, it’s important to remember that it not only affects you, but also affects others too. So, you are not alone in this!
That being said, what you choose to do with this fear is important and can impact you in two key areas: in the workplace and school and with your ability to achieve goals that you have set for yourself. Accordingly, here are two reasons why you need public speaking skills.
Public Speaking Will Help You Stretch Your Comfort Zone
If you have a fear of or anxiety about something, one of the best ways to overcome this fear and manage the anxiety it is by exposing yourself slowly to the thing that you fear. In psychology, this process is referred to as exposure therapy.
For example, if I get into a car accident and then begin to be afraid of driving again, the solution is not to give into my fears and avoid or limit driving. The solution, according to exposure therapy, is slowly driving again. The key word here is slowly. You might first try driving for a mile. Then maybe to the local grocery store, and then finally, maybe to the next nearby city. The point is to slowly overcome the fear by helping rewire the brain.
The process of exposing yourself to your fears is captured in the image below. In, Mastering Adulthood, a book for young people in the process of learning how to adult, mental health practitioner Lara Fielding provides two choices that you have when it comes to fears and anxieties. On the left side is the “Emotional Habits Detour.” In this turn, you can choose actions or things that make you comfortable. Ultimately, this lane will not result in learning new skills or habits.
On the right side is the turn you can take for what Fielding calls “True North Commitment Skills.” In this lane, you take actions or choose things that lead to discomfort but these actions and things will also help you learn new skills and will help you with your goals and achievements. That’s because part of being an adult and growing older (and wiser!) is learning to tolerate and even welcome discomfort.
When It’s All Said and Done: Colleges and Universities Are Looking for Leaders
As I mentioned earlier in this article, workplaces and schools highly value public speaking skills and students who are willing to challenge themselves. Having awesome grades is good, but being able to coherently and confidently share your opinions and work is also need in schools and in the workplace.
So, what are some ways that you will begin to challenge yourself? What are small actions that you will take today to help you with your public speaking skills?
By Winning Feathers Blogger