Glossophobia (fear of public speaking) is very common, anyone would encounter such anxiety before speaking to the public. However of all fears, this is perhaps one of those I could overcome with the least effort. I have such courage since young. It was just like something God weaved in me when I was in my mother’s womb. Camping alone in the jungle, watching horror movies, walking on the streets of Pudu at night, those could tremble me. If that is speaking in front of thousands, I will need a few seconds to take a deep breath, pray to God and here we go.
As I have always thought I could handle public speaking, I found out that as time goes by my fear of speaking is getting stronger and stronger – I am not as fearless as I used to be!
Just yesterday, I participated a Toastmasters speech contest. Right before my turn to speak I had many thoughts running wildly in my mind. What if I forget my speech? What if I fall on the stage? What if I speak overtime (that is time disqualification!)? What if I am just not good enough? As the contest chair called for my turn, I cleared my throat and delivered my speech. When I was talking, I saw a woman sitting at my right signaled to a man at my left with her hand gesture and her unimpressed face, I felt a sharp pang in my heart – my audience was not impressed by me so much so that they expressed it so explicitly! I felt as if such ruthless truth slapped my cheeks so hard that my face hurt, but what it hurt the most was my belief that I could overcome the fear easily. Yet, with defeated and deflated soul, I delivered my speech till the end the best that I could.
If you are hoping for a twist in the story, no there is none. The result was so predictable that I almost wanted to walk out of the hall before they announced it. As I was looking at my failure, I was looking at my wounds. I came to realisation that I was not afraid of speaking as my true self, but as an adult with years of learned experience, I was afraid of judgement. What people think of me when I speak in public affects my reputation, affects my credibility, affects my impression. Now it is always better to be judged as a great speaker than a lousy speaker isn’t it?
In this world where judgement comes too often quickly and harshly, we need to shelter ourselves with lightheartedness. Take judgement of men with a grain of salt, maybe the person is right that the victory doesn’t belong to me today, but it doesn’t mean victory will never belong to me. It will, someday.
Hence if judgement of men is what you are fearful of, remember it will last for a while, God’s judgement is what we should be fearful of, because it will last forever. Living a bold Godly life is what I intend to do, I invite you to have the same intention as well.