Here's another story from my vacation in beautiful Bintan, Indonesia (I'm on vacation this week, remember?). I promise after this week I'll get back to business.
My husband and I took our 2 1/2 month old daughter swimming for the first time yesterday, and I think it's the first time I've seen real fear in her eyes. We took things slowly, splashing the water up on her legs before taking her into the pool. The minute her little toes touched that cold water her eyes got huge and lip started to quiver before she let out her huge "I hate this!" scream. But once she got used to the water and figured out what it was we were doing she just loved it. We took her into the pool again today and got nothing but big gummy smiles.
So how does this relate to public speaking? Of course you're scared to jump right in and put yourself in the vulnerable position of speaking in public, but sometimes the best way to get over your fear is by taking it slow and getting your feet wet. Once you do it a few times you'll find that you start to enjoy it, well, maybe not enjoy it, but it will start feeling more comfortable anyway.
What if we had ripped our daughter out of the pool the minute we saw she was scared? What if we never put her in the water again? Think of all the fantastic experiences she would miss out on! And think of all the experiences and opportunities you are passing up by giving into your fear and avoiding the discomfort of speaking in public!
For more motivation, see my earlier post, "Public Speaking: Just do it!"