As artists, writers, and messengers, we have work we want to share with the world: Something to say, write, or show.
But for those of us on the more sensitive side, the intensity of being “seen” in this way can be completely overwhelming.
A story for you
Today I want to tell you a story about a woman who went from being terrified of being seen, to writing, blogging, teaching, and speaking her message in the world.
Here it is:
In her 10th grade English class, this woman — a girl, then — was asked to choose a poem, read it to the class from the front of the room, and speak about how it related to her own life.
It was the first time she had been asked to give an oral presentation on such a personal subject. She had never enjoyed speaking in front of the class before, but this took her anxiety level much higher.
When the day of the presentation arrived, she had practiced endlessly, but she was still so nervous and tense about the whole thing that as she sat in the hallway before class, she had tears streaming down her face. Her friends didn’t know what to do or say. Knots were twisting in her stomach, she was as pale as a ghost, and she felt like she could be knocked over with the slightest breath of wind.
When the bell rang, she mustered herself into the door and sat at her desk, her head spinning with pounding voices and everything she was supposed to say. She was so nervous that she couldn’t concentrate at all on the teacher’s or on the other students’ presentations. The class dragged on interminably and she was in agony waiting for her turn, watching the clock ticking closer and closer to what felt like a death sentence.
Then suddenly she realized there wasn’t enough time left for her to present — the bell was going to ring! She was off the hook!
A huge wave of relief swept over her. She was saved. The bell rang, and she left, practically levitating out of the room.
But then the next day at school, she had to face the same situation again. She cried in the hallway again. She sat through class on pins and needles, again. And the class ended without her having to speak, again.
It went on like this for days, literally. Even over a weekend. It must have been at least 7 consecutive school days of this torture, including the crying and her friends not knowing what to do with her.
It was truly, truly awful.
Finally when she did give her presentation — it went fine — and it was actually behind her, only then did she feel true relief from the anxiety that had built up inside her.
I’d like to tell you that she learned from that experience that public speaking wasn’t so bad. But she didn’t.
Instead, she swore then and there never to speak in public again.
It didn’t quite work out that way, with more schooling to come. But she was crystal clear that she would NEVER speak in public voluntarily. NEVER.
Until, of course, she realized that she actually had something to say. Something that was important to her. Words she wanted to share, verbally and on the page.
That’s when things really changed for her.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story, coming soon.
Expand your Spotlight Comfort Zone
With practical and spiritual tools to help you get there
In a safe, sensitive-friendly 6-week study group
~> March 27th, 2012. Last day to register for my next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group on April 24th. Only 3 spots remaining. These groups consistently sell out, so if you’d like to join me, reserve your spot ASAP. Register here.
~> April 10th, 2012. My teleclass, “Sensitives in the Spotlight: How Artists, Writers, Hermits & Introverts can Navigate a Call to the Public Eye,” will be held on April 10th at 3 p.m Pacific Time (4 Mountain, 5 Central, 6 Eastern, Midnight GMT). Find out more and register here.
~> April 12th, 2012. Last day to register for the next session of my Writer’s Circle session starting on April 16th. Get my Free Writing Tips series too, and receive a coupon for a savings on your first 4 week session. Sign up here.
~> Daily and especially Fridays. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.
~> Now my son and I are reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and loving it.