The words leapt off the page cascading through my mind and exploding in my temples. Child-hood bullying had destroyed every shred of my self-confidence. I was terrified of appearing stupid or inept.
The panic in my chest surged and started pounding in my head. Could I speak in front of a crowd?
Perhaps ‘not trying’ was worse than trying and failing?
I got up my courage and started speaker’s training with CLASSEMINARS and Toastmasters. This included receiving personal mentoring.
Two weeks later my trembling hands quieted enough for me to enter the meeting room and give my first Toastmaster’s speech. Smiling faces met my nervous gaze as the drumbeat of my pulse slowed.
With the Competent Communicator manual lying on the table in front of me, I prepared to give my Ice Breaker speech. Certain I would fail, I tried anyway.
Every muscle twitched with fear as I opened my mouth to speak. Four to six minutes doesn’t seem like a very long time unless you’re speaking. Somehow, the words came to my mouth and soon the speech was done. I did it!
Speech after speech my confidence was rising until speech five and I lost my mind. I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to say. I sat down in tears. My mentor looked at me with kind eyes and whispered, “Next week, get up and do it again.”
The next week I got up and I did it again. I was on my way to becoming an accomplished speaker and published author.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
If you have a dream of writing and speaking, the answer will always be no until you try. Say a prayer, take a deep breath and try. Fear, anxiety and terror are just words when God steps in. With His help the right doors begin to open.