“It’s so nice to meet you. And I’m so scared.”
This is how I was greeted last Monday at the opening of my “Comfortabel Presenteren” masterclass. These words came out of the gorgeously lipsticked mouth of a very attractive, super-sharp professional woman. I asked her right away (after telling her it was lovely to meet her and did she want another soy cappuccino) why she was scared. She said that speaking English made her very nervous, and that’s why she decided to join our masterclass. I held her hand, looked her right in the eye and said “I’m so glad you’re here. Remember this moment, because it might very well be the last time you feel nervous about speaking English. Enjoy this feeling of fear while it lasts.”
As it turned out, her fear of speaking English didn’t last for long. She left beaming, 3 hours later, with a spring in her step, her beautiful smile even wider, and wouldn’t leave the building until she gave me a big hug. (And I gave her the famous “Duberman Death Grip” hug right back.)
In our Masterclass I told people my theory when it comes to fear. It’s really simple. Think of the scales of justice. You know, that lady wearing a gown and a blindfold on top of the court buildings? (Kind of looks like she’s ready to go to a kind of kinky bathrobe party? Yeah. That lady.) She’s usually pictured holding 2 scales. And a sword. (Which is so rock and roll, by the way.)
I want you to imagine that all your fears are in the left scale. Put not only all your fears, but your doubts in there too, while we’re at it. And throw in your comparison to others. Add your mom’s (or anyone else’s) voice inside you telling you that you’re not good enough. And put in all the things that have gone wrong in your life that come back to haunt you from time to time. That’s the left scale. Pretty heavy, right? Like super duper heavy. Hold that thought.
Now let’s fill up the right scale. Fill it up with all of your ambition. Your passion for what you love doing. Add your message that you want to share with the world. Throw in the light that you so desire to shine upon others. Put in doing what you were born to do. And while we’re at it, add the things that bring you joy. Ok. Now how heavy is that? I hope it’s the heaviest scale imaginable.
Let’s measure up the scales. Which one is heavier? The one on the left filled with your fear, your doubts, your comparisons? If so, then it doesn’t matter how strong your ambition or your passion is. The fear wins. Every time.
However, if the scale on the right – the one filled with your passion, your ambition, your joy is heavier, then you don’t even notice the fear. Your drive to do what you want or need to do totally outshines that fear. And outweighs it. And, at some point, that fear will just become so light that it will start to disappear. Believe me. I’ve seen it happen in others. And I’ve felt it happen in my own life, too. It’s an amazing feeling to know, deep inside, that your passion can conquer any fear. I so wish that for you.
The more you focus on your fear, the bigger it gets. The more you focus on your joy and ambition, the heavier that scale gets. It’s really that simple.
Try it. Let me know how it goes.
Sending you love and a right scale so heavy it breaks,
PS: I’ll be doing a workshop and signing books this Friday and Saturday at the Drongo Language festival – a true celebration of everything language! Do come and join us, it’s free! Stop by and tell me about your scales!