Often ranked the thing that humans fear the most – across the board, and often ranked before death – it would seem that being afraid of public speaking is not necessarily an ‘introverted thing’.
I’ve talked before about how I was afraid of a LOT when I was a kid.
Answering the phone (still not a fan, ick).
Bananas (this is a weird one, I know, but I’m slowly getting over it, because smoothies. But it’s been a long time of avoiding them).
You get it, many things.
But one thing I was never afraid of was public speaking. And, I’m about as introverty as introverts get (well, not really, but I introvert with the best of them) and so it always baffles me when I hear people say:
“I’ll never be a public speaker because I’m an introvert.”
“I didn’t ask a question, because I was too introverted.”
This sounds to me as though these people are, in fact, using being an introvert as an EXCUSE to not do something that is a bit scary.
Sorry to burst that bubble.
Last November I had to speak at an event full of people that I admire and work with and coach and train. It was a crazy busy day and I didn’t even get time to get nervous, but there was an underlying anxiety (mostly around not being prepared AT ALL to speak – that’s a topic for another day though).
The subject was ON introverts. And I felt pretty wrecked by the time I had to get up to speak. In fact, I actually was feeling “too introverted”, at that point in time. But that didn’t stop me from stepping up onto stage, taking a deep breath, and looking out at all the faces in front of me.
Granted, it was too late to turn back by then. But the point I’m trying to make is that, there’s really no such thing as being “too introverted” to do anything.
That choice is entirely ours to make.
When I was a kid, I would go so far as to describe myself as meek. My self confidence was low. I had braces, freckles, curly hair, and a best friend who could easily be described as a ‘frenemy’. It never occurred to me that my personality might be something that could hold me back from speaking in front of the whole school – something I used to do pretty often.
And, you know what? It was the same back then as when I was asked to speak at the Beautiful You event in November. You see an opportunity and you take it.
Or you don’t.
But that has nothing to do with being an introvert.
I still get a bit freaked out speaking in public. Anxious. Nervous. A bit sick even.
But hiding behind being an introvert and not doing it altogether was B.S for me as a 15-year-old, and it’s B.S now if you’re reading this and you think that you don’t have the ‘right personality’ to speak in public.
Have you heard of incredibly successful public speakers such as Brene Brown, Susan Cain, Danielle LaPorte, Selena Soo, Tara Gentile, Jim Rohn?
All excellent orators of their chosen field and profession.
But don’t expect them to hang around afterwards for idle chit chat.
Imagine a world without inspirational speakers such as these? There would be some really great stuff missing from it, that much I know for sure.
What if your fear is the one thing getting in the way from being the next great speaker, writer, or performer?
This is a question I ask myself all the time (and I urge you to consider it too).
It’s something I see a lot in my day-to-day life and my business life too (it’s a hazard of my choice of business). I see people who actually are confused about what it means to be an introvert.
They think it means they shouldn’t like people, or need people in their lives.
They think maybe they’d be more successful if they do another business course, or work with someone to get more clients, or read more books like Dale Carnegie’s ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’ (the book that is rumoured to have started this whole extravert-preferred world we currently live within).
They think it means they don’t have to do big, scary-ass things like speak in front of a crowd (for example).
And my view? Do whatever you want (or not). If speaking in public is not something that is going to – in any way – impact your life or business for the better, then that’s awesome.
But please don’t use being an introvert as an excuse not to do something, just because it’s easier than the scary feeling that comes as you step onto stage.
Because, guess what? That feeling passes. And the high afterwards is extraordinary. And it could, in fact, make all the difference for what you’re doing right now.
And ‘being too introverted’ is just another reason why you’re not where you want to be right now.
And that devastates me.
Why? Because I’m a super sensitive, INFJ Pisces…but, seriously, because it is my mission to make sure that no introvert ever feels that who they are isn’t good enough to achieve whatever it is that they most want to in the world.
It should be because you made an intentional choice not to do something. And found a better way to get the same result.
If you’re feeling like you need to get a crash course on what it actually means to be an introvert and how your personality is impacting your life or business, I just so happen to be running a free online workshop next week.
Pop your deets in the box below, or head here, to reserve your spot. It’s going to be fun, and you don’t want to miss it.