Getting Over Yourself

March 11, 2014

Do you sometimes feel as awkward as you did in high school?

When I was in high school, I was sure everyone was judging me, so I didn’t say “hello” to people in the hall that I didn’t know because I thought they would think, “Who is she and why is she saying ‘hello’ to me?” Ah, yes. Consequently, of course, that makes people think you’re stuck up. When it’s just feeling self-conscious–more concerned with what they think about you than with making somebody else feel good by saying “Hi.”

I blanked out once in front of the student body because I was supposed to announce the name of the song we were going to sing and it just went right out of my head. And it was terrible. The name of the song was “America, the beautiful.” Not that difficult. And I probably remembered it right away, but it sure added to that feeling of hating to be in front of an audience.

So, it’s hard to explain to myself why I voluntarily put myself in an awkward situation. Our Girl Scout had gone to Hawaii (we spent a full year earning the money to do this) and while we were there we learned to do the hula. When Senior Banquet time came around and they asked for volunteers to provide entertainment, I said I’d do the hula! Really! I can’t imagine what possessed me to do that. I could do the hula pretty well. But I forgot the part about I was really uncomfortable about being up in front.

Well, there we were at the banquet. I had on my costume and was feeling pretty shaky. My name was announced and I went to the front–that was okay. But I stood behind the floor mike (rather a restrictive position for dancing in the hopes that they couldn’t really see me behind that microphone. I’m pretty they could. And, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t dance nearly as well as I had in my living room.

It was quite a number of years before I learned how to stop being self-conscious and really got the hang of getting myself out of the way–or getting over myself. That was such a big deal that that’s the name of one of my books as well as my website: “Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking and More.”

It changed my life, and now I do raps for my 30 second introduction at meetings where I’m networking. You can watch a couple of those on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=039–PHhjbk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_fVfrdn9TI&feature=youtu.be

No more hoping the microphone will protect me.

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