Fear at 40
Why did I wait until I was 40 to face my fear of speaking?
I can name reasons, but here’s the truth… I was afraid to face my fear.
Even though I had my Phd. in Psychology and was helping people with their fears I was able to avoid my own inner terror.
I kept on giving myself excuses…
“I’m too busy… My work needs all my energy… I’m too ashamed to admit that I’m afraid… I can always avoid speaking in public by making other plans.”
The real reason was that I didn’t believe it was possible. How could a sensitive introvert like me stand up and expose myself to other people and their judgments?
The thought of all those eyes looking at me was frightening! I did not want to wrestle with the public-speaking-fear demon inside me.
How could I step into sensations that overwhelmed me and at times left me helpless and out of control?
How could I tolerate the intolerable?
How could I face such extreme anxiety?
Stepping Through My Fear
I knew deep down that I had to find a way to step toward and through my fear. I knew that until I looked my fear in the eye, I would not be free to be myself.
But, what do you know, I continued to come up with excuse after excuse… avoiding facing my fear.
Until one day I was FORCED to confront it when I was invited to speak at a conference on psychology. I admitted to the organizer that I was too fearful of public speaking.
He said: “But Dr. Downing, isn’t fear your business?!!”
At that moment, I was exposed. I had to admit my fear to the organizer.
I realized then that I was finally ready. I was ready to do what it takes to overcome the anxiety.
Transforming My Fear
Now, I could tell you all the things that I did to confront my anxiety… and overcome it… but those things weren’t the reason I overcame my fear.
It was the decision to face my fear that led me to overcome it.
The only way to transform my fear was to commit to learning everything I could about it.
And I not only learned about what it was, but I learned to help other people who suffer from the same fear of being seen.
If you sign up for an Anxiety Breakthrough call with me, I can show you how to gently turn toward what is so scary for you.
In this call, we will make a plan to guide you through your anxiety… so you can finally express yourself without being choked by doubt, insecurity, and fear.