I took the day off the other day because I had lost my voice. Ironically, I spent part of the evening watching the TV show The Voice with my wife. On the show singers compete for the big break in their career.
Each competitor has something in common with nearly every professional I have worked with in developing their presentation, public speaking, or media interview skills. They have to overcome their fear to achieve their dream.
And it’s a big fear.
The nature of our fear
I used to think people held back because of fear of failure, fear of drawing a blank, fear of looking bad.
It’s more complicated than that.
Some of that fear is a fear of success too.
You see, if you succeed, if you really shine, people will see the real you. Putting the most authentic you out there in front of other people–whether it’s a crowd of nine or 90,000–is a scary proposition.
The fact is you have something to say. You have an insight to share. You have something unique to bring to the front of the room that the world needs to hear because there is no one else who has ever lived who is or was exactly like you.
You can choose to keep that authentic you hidden behind a cloak of fear, a cloak that keeps your truest voice silent, or you can choose to let your voice be heard, the voice that carries your deepest truths, your greatest hopes, your grandest dreams.
If you let your voice be heard you have the power to change a life, a company, a community, a society, even the world. But if you choose to hide behind fear the world will never know what you know because the world will never again see a person exactly like you. Never.
Moving past fear
On the show The Voice, each singer who dared to shine despite feeling fear discovered another part of his or her voice they didn’t even know they had: a broader range, a softer tone, a subtle texture. It works the same way for professionals like you.
If you will move through the fear and dare to bring the most authentic you to the front of the room you will discover parts of yourself that don’t even know about yet: bigger dreams, more daring goals, greater insights that are all lurking below the radar of your attention blocked by fear.
Early next year I will release an on-line course that will help people move past what we commonly call stage fright. I’ll show you the techniques. For now, I want you to simply make the commitment that you will begin to act despite feeling fear.
The real journey
Becoming a better presenter, public speaker, or media interview isn’t the end of the journey. It’s the beginning.
The front of the room isn’t the end of your fears. It’s the end of allowing your fears to prevent you from becoming all you can be, all you can share, all you can learn about yourself, all you can give to the world around you, to the people you know and to the people you can influence who you will never even meet.
A new year; a bigger voice
As you begin to look to a new year, I have one question for you: If you had no fear and total confidence what would you tell the people in your company, your community? That’s your authentic voice.
Will you let your voice shine in 2017? The world is waiting for your answer.