Overcoming Fear & A Lesson In Worthiness

Post by Sharyn Holmes for the Kind Kindred series.

photo courtesy of Sculpting Fearlessness

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

I’m a big believer in we teach what we most need to learn.

This week I learned something HUGE about myself – I never sound as nervous or as scared as I feel on the inside. In other words, the way I feel about myself on the inside, is not necessarily how others see me. I have a confession – I’m terrified of public speaking. Ever since my first speech in high school English class, I have struggled with nerves, the idea of being seen and heard and showing to a wider audience who I am. This seems a ridiculous notion even to me after almost 3 years of blogging and selling my handmade products at curated market events. I’m sure many artists will relate to this: it is quite a feat to put ourselves on show where we have invested our mind, body and soul into our creations. It is a truly vulnerable act to unearth our soul by writing, painting and crafting the stories and truths of our inner being for the world to cast their agreement or disagreement over whether our work is good or bad or valuable or not.

In January of this year, I went to an amazing event to see one of my spiritual teachers in action. I’m open to new experiences and learning something new so I had no defined expectations of the evening. I just want to enhance my life and learn what I can.

As is the case with these types of events there is an opportunity for Q&A. I had not intended to ask a question but something within me clicked and I realised that to accept this experience (and honour myself) fully, I had to face my fear of public speaking and stand up in front of a room of what I know know was 200 or so people to ask this teacher whom I respect an admire, the question which burned within me. Despite my nerves, my heart racing, body trembling and my shaky voice, 25 minutes into the Q&A session I raised my hand. I have to tell you, I felt incredibly anxious and I wish I possessed my own invisibility cloak to hide under. The moment arose and there I was 3 rows from the stage standing up to ask my question and sharing my vulnerability and concerns to a room which was filled with strangers. But I did it, I was barely able to take in the wisdom from my teacher so was very happy to know that the audio would be available this month. The
wonderful thing was that every time someone stood up to spoke, shared themselves and asked their question, everyone united with nods, compassionate tears, clapping and calling out their support. It was so comforting to see, feel and know that in those moments of vulnerability and fear we really are never alone.

The audio recording from the event was released a few days ago & no surprises – I was ridiculously nervous to hear my question and also to fully absorb the answer given to me. Once again my heart raced, my breathing was shallow and I was nervous! What a cycle!

This is what I learned about myself after listening to the audio.

What I put out into the world is received far better than what my inner judge thinks.
What I put out into the world is more articulate than what I thought of myself.

Afterwards, there were tears (lucky I’m in a temporary office at my work) and more shaking. This time though, it was with the inner knowing and understanding that I was able to do something that terrified me, but it was all okay and I am just fine the way I am.

You are always more than what you think you are.

My tip to you from my experience is: Any time you feel hopeless, helpless, a failure, messed up or beat yourself up because you don’t feel like you are where you need to be on your life path, I invite you to look in the mirror and affirm how amazing, how strong, how smart, how worthy and how lovable you really are. Give yourself credit and remember that You Can (overcome your stuff) and You Are (the embodiment of all that is good and right).

Sharyn Holmes is a creative artista and writer. She believes in living a wholehearted life with integrity and truth. She shares her passions, creative tips, artful adventures and stories on her website.

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