Is Fear Real?

So let’s talk about fear. Think about yourself. How do you feel when you know that you have to give a public speech? Do you look forward to it? Do you anticipate it? Do you have any kind of anxiety? For a lot of people, just the thought of having to get up in front of a live audience and talk creates a lot of anxiety. And so a lot of people will spend the time leading up to their speech, actually being fearful and creating and thinking all of these negative thoughts. Maybe it’s that they don’t think they’re very good public speakers, the event won’t go well, they’ll look stupid. They don’t want to do it and on and on and on. And, really, I mean, I love this quote, it’s there is no illusion greater than fear. And that’s really what it is. I mean, it’s fear is actually an illusion because the event hasn’t even happened yet. So you’re creating all of these beliefs and ideas and things about something that’s untrue, it hasn’t existed. What’s true is your negative feelings in the moment. But believing that something bad will happen to you. I mean, it’s just an illusion. And so that’s what I’m going to address in this session is how to recognize what your beliefs are and what your feelings and thoughts are, and assess them and understand them better so that if it’s detrimental to your well being, basically your overall comfort level and ultimately your confidence when public speaking that you’ll be able to understand that and then know what to do to change your beliefs and feel better about it and ultimately feel more confident about your public speaking. So, one thing that might be helpful is if you and this can apply to any kind of a situation if you are afraid of something, it might be helpful to assess what those fears are, and this template might work for you. So I recommend that you write it out. Think about what is the situation or event. for public speaking, it might be that event in itself that speaking formally in front of a live audience, that is the event. And so you’d write that down and then write down what your feelings and beliefs are regarding that event. So this is just an example. Maybe your feelings are or you believe that when you speak publicly, that you won’t be able to breathe, and breathe and then you’re going to suffocate. Okay, so what might be the consequences of that? Well, knowing that then the consequences might be that you panic in that kind of situation. So and then what are some unhelpful thinking styles? Well, perhaps you just feel that you’re you are going to fail. Now, again, this is just an example. But think about this rubric here and what? How would that apply to you? So let’s give you a little more, some examples. Let’s fill this out more completely. So we’re still going with the speaking formally in front of a live audience. Okay, so what might be some other beliefs about that? Maybe that you believe you’re going to have an attack or a panic attack in front of everyone, that you will look like an idiot in front of everyone that maybe you will forget what to say. And ultimately, that you just really feel horrible when speaking publicly. Okay, so this is what you believe. I’m not suggesting this obviously, for you. But as an example, some people may believe that about themselves. So now what are the consequences of that? Well, you might panic, you’ll get stress, your heart will pound you’ll have lightheaded headedness, dry mouth, your breathing will be fast. Maybe you’ll you will feel tightness in chest maybe just overall malaise not feeling well. And that’s not a normal comfortable situation that anyone wants to experience. So what are some unhealthy or unhelpful thinking styles? Okay, well jumping to conclusions such as you won’t get a raise, maybe his presentation event is related to your job employment. Maybe you have to give a speech for schoolwork. So you’ll get a bad grade. You won’t be successful, your parents, friends, colleagues, Boss etc. will judge you. So these might be all possible thoughts that go in your head leading up to any kind of public speaking event or even just even if you don’t have one planned? This is maybe you or some aspect of you that think These thoughts about a specific event. So you might want then ask yourself well, and that is bad because so let’s just let’s break this down. Okay? So let’s say with public speaking, you don’t want to be there. Okay? You’re here. Let’s say it’s a live event. You don’t want to be here. And then ask yourself and that is bad because why is that bad? Well, I can feel my heart beating faster and faster. Of course, that’s not a fun experience. But and that is bad because it will be so hard that I will have a heart attack. Perhaps but and what will that mean? Okay, well, nobody will know how to help me and what will happen then I will be left there to die. So, of course, this is an extreme, extreme case, very unlikely that is going to happen to you. Perhaps that could happen to somebody but very unlikely that somebody is going to have a heart attack and die on stage. And if they even if they did have a heart attack or had some kind of a medical issue on stage, usually somebody’s going to be there to help you. So this is really more of a worst case scenario. You just keep breaking it down. And why is that bad? And why is that bad? So think about what is the worst case really what can happen? These are all negative thoughts that just can spiral anyone down to, I mean, understandably, why they would be afraid of public speaking. So let’s break it out into more of more of a balanced thought. Okay, so let’s take those negative thoughts and change them to more positive thinking. So a more balanced approach could be how realistic are my thoughts, beliefs and expectations? Well, chances are most people will respect me. Okay, if I were not anxious, how might I review the situation differently? Maybe I would be excited about it. And what The balanced thought I will be prepared. Again, this is just an idea. I recommend you use this template and fill it out for you what comes up to you. So here’s some more ideas about this. Okay, so how realistic are my thoughts, beliefs and expectations? Again, people most likely will respect me think about that. Most people will be in the audience and be glad that they are not the one on stage. So that person that’s on stage, most people will respect that person. They appreciate them being up there because they don’t want to be up there. So just the fact that you are up there, that alone Garner’s respect. Okay, so another thing might be everyone makes mistakes. So just because I make a mistake doesn’t mean I am an idiot, right? And most people can relate to feeling anxious on stage. That’s really a more realistic thought, belief and expectation, more likely what is to happen? So if you were not anxious, how might you view the situation differently? Okay, you might feel excited. You might feel indifferent. You might be slightly annoyed that you have to do this public speech, but it doesn’t really matter. Right? You are not anxious. Or you could just say, Hey, I’m glad I have an opportunity to be in the limelight. I don’t know. You know, this is about you. So balanced thoughts. I will be prepared. I will know my topic Well, I will present a solid speech. I will do the best that I can. Even if it’s not perfect, at least in my mind. All I can do is the best I can. And the last is I don’t have a lot of experience with public speaking. But I am learning. Okay, these are realistic positive thoughts. So don’t be so hard on yourself Don’t beat yourself up that really there’s no perfect public speaker out there anyway everybody’s different everybody brings their unique skills so overall if you feel like if you if you you’ve got this course it might be helpful and there’s a lot of studies to back this up that you create your missus cliche I know you create your reality but positive thinking can lead to a positive experience negative thinking can lead to a negative experience because you build up these whatever your thoughts are is what may transpire and what may happen. So before you have to give if you are feeling anxious, think about why you are feeling anxious. What are the what are the reasons and how bad is that really and is that actually a realistic thinking? I mean Keep in mind that the vent hasn’t even happened yet. So instead of thinking negative thoughts, that’s, that’s going to go poorly, think of it, envisioning it as if it’s going to go really well. And that if any case, anything, at least you gave it your all, and that there will be benefits from it, and there will be positive aspects of what happens. So, don’t look at your glass half empty, think of it as half full, and most with confidence, I can say you will feel better. If you keep doing a self pep talk, and telling yourself that you will do well, you will likely feel better about it, you know, so it’s like going to bed with if you’re angry, and then you wake up and you just don’t feel right. But if you go to bed with positive thinking and think about good things, you might have a more restful sleep and wake up more refreshed so the same principle can apply with public speaking.