Face Fear with Friends
Welcome to Lesson 9!
We’re made for connection and community. That’s why misery loves company and strength comes in numbers.
Now let’s look at how to join hands with others and overcome fear together!
Today’s Speaker is…
When I decided I wanted to overcome my fear of public speaking, I joined a local Toastmasters club.
Toastmasters helps 280,000 people in 144 countries learn to become better speakers, leaders, and communicators. They offer regular meetings with various roles you can fill. You also get speech tracks you can complete, along with various awards and certifications you can earn.
That’s great, but the biggest win for me was how it helped me assume leadership roles at work, church, and in the community. As a former shy person, none of that would be possible without the support of like-minded friends who wanted to overcome their fear of public speaking—and go on to master the art.
What You Gain from Facing Fear with Friends
The advantage of joining Toastmasters is the structure they offer. You can come in without a clue about what to do and quickly learn how it works.
In one club I visited, the Table Topics Master asked me if I wanted to answer an impromptu question. I could have said no, but I thought, “Why not?”
Another club had people sing their answers. It was a scary thought, but it was fun to watch. And since they all knew each other, everyone took the test in stride.
If speaking in public scares you, singing in public probably scares you more!
The camaraderie led people to stretch themselves. The meeting agenda had encouragement built in, too. Usually, there would be three speeches, and each one would be evaluated by another member. A good evaluator would point out what was good as well as what needed work.
And no one could be too abrasive because everyone is in the same boat. You lift me and I’ll lift you.
You stretch me and I’ll stretch you.
When others help you grow, you’ll go further than you’ll go alone.
The Feedback Is Priceless
You can learn a strategy from a book or video, but you never know how good it is until you try it.
Other people will give you feedback. Learn from it. What worked? What didn’t? How can you change your approach? Is your goal realistic?
When you’re done, help someone else with the wisdom you gained.
Form a Mastermind Group
If no group exists to help you overcome your fears, why not start your own?
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Choose members wisely. Would you want to be friends with this person? You’ll be spending a lot of time with them, so make sure you get along well enough to help each other grow.
2. Set a regular schedule. Will you meet once a week? Once a month? Where? Decide beforehand and you won’t have to think about it later.
3. Have a clear agenda. This ensures you spend your time well. You might start by catching up, then spend some time helping each other.
4. Share evenly. When you share your goals and challenges, you get valuable feedback. When you help someone else solve a problem, you gain wisdom.
Don’t be a loner. Join hands with like-minded courage seekers. You’ll find courage you didn’t believe was possible!
In our next lesson, we’ll wrap things up with 10 ways you can practice overcoming fear every day. See you there!
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