Have you ever felt like you’ve been standing in your way, because you have a fear of doing something? Or maybe that something has always seemed too challenging and you’ve avoided it at all costs. For me that has always been public speaking. Those who know me, know that I am an introvert. I’m happy spending time alone. I need it almost to recharge my mind, body and spirit. Plus I think best when I have my thoughts to myself if that makes any sense to you. Don’t misunderstand, I am not a loner per say. I have friends and can be social. But I have always kept my circle small. I just prefer one on one communication. However, as a growing entrepreneur, speaking engagement opportunities keep coming my direction. I thought is this a sign? I believe it is. I know I have to break out of my shell, because being completely behind the scenes of my business is no longer optional.
So I thought to myself, how do I do that? First, I put myself out into the world with my book, Business Mistakes Turned Into Life Lessons. My book tells you all about the do’s and don’ts I’ve experienced in business. It gives the reader insight on what I went through and where I am today as a business owner. But as an introvert this works. There is no interaction between me and the reader except on those pages. In contrast to a speaking engagement where I have to tell my story in front of a group of people. Now that has always seemed scary. So I decided to start slow with engaging with groups of people at one time. I have become the face of my brand and I go live on Facebook just about daily. Honestly though, being behind a screen speaking has kept my anxiety in check, but allowed me to interact with larger groups of people at once.
Eventually though, I realized here I am still standing in my own way. I want to get my story out there to more people. Just maybe it can help someone. That’s a goal I’ve always had. So I knew I could not hide behind a screen. Therefore, this week I took a leap of faith and participated on a panel discussion. Yes, me the introvert who dislikes being in the spotlight. When it was my turn to speak, I took a deep breath and found something to focus on. That helped me relax and then it came naturally. I spoke about me, my experiences and the problems I went through being in business. I did it! I didn’t get nervous either and that seemed so crazy to me. I was so proud of myself.
I may do more speaking engagements in the future. I am not rushing to do it again, but at least I know I can. And knowing is everything!