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They say life is a grand adventure. This is especially true for the fearless and the risk takers of the world since it would appear they have the world at their feet. Then there are those who move thorough life a bit more cautiously but still manage to reach their dreams. Both have their own set of advantages and challenges, so there isn’t a right or wrong way to deal with what life sends your way. What I do know is that it is good to have a balance between your adventurous and conservative side. Creating that type of balance for yourself can seem difficult if you are dealing with fear and find yourself paralyzed when it comes to those decisions that would enable you to live your best life. It is not out of the ordinary to feel fearful since fear can keep you from harm, but it soon becomes unhealthy if you are fearful in your daily life and see that it’s keeping you from your goals and aspirations. If you find yourself stuck you must work on developing a sense of poise and an active amount of confidence so you will be equipped to overcome the obstacles that fear can create within your life. The process begins by you making the firm decision that you are going to manage your emotions when you begin feeling that uneasy feeling inside of you. You will need to commit to the idea of never allowing fear to keep you from moving forward in your life or limit you from creating the lifestyle you desire. You have an unlimited amount of courage and strength deep inside of you. Decide now to harness these character traits because when you do you will understand your own power and begin using it to your full advantage. You will also have to think positive, let go of negative thoughts, and put your plan into action that will allow you to confidently seize the moment. It only takes small steps to overcome what you fear. Each step will make a positive change in your life and can bring you even closer to achieving your hopes, dreams, and desires.

bonnie toastmasters phoneYou will find there are many times in life when a new experience or an unknown circumstance can cause an extreme amount of anxiety within you, and what you end up with is a fair amount of stress. Are you aware that surveys show that the number one fear held by most people is of public speaking, and that it’s higher than the fear death?

Years ago, I found myself almost paralyzed with fear, especially in the area of public speaking. Overcoming my anxiety has been a process but I soon moved beyond those feelings by taking on small challenges one by one. You can experience the same freedom too by making the decision to not allow your fears to hinder you and the life you wish to live. Learn to embrace the fear by looking it in the eye and declare your success! Stop procrastinating, because the postponement only increases the fear inside of you. Find the courage to take the plunge and get comfortable with feeling the fear, and you will find that it will be one of the best life decisions you have ever made. It’s easy to forget that we all have fear. You just need to remember that all is well, and you with some work you can move past it. 

The thought of standing up in front of a group to give a speech or to talk about your ideas is a fear that many people including myself have had. The possibility of embarrassment goes through your mind and can cause fear and panic. This was something I would stress about often but I found by just expressing my fears, taking the time to practice speaking in front of others, taking action often, and learning to use the feedback offered not only helped me in overcoming this fear but it also helped me to become a more confident speaker.

It is common for both experienced and beginning speakers to be nervous about giving a speech. The difference is that the experienced speaker knows how to manage the uneasiness and will push forward in order to appear confident and poised in front of an audience. By being prepared, you can harness those anxious or negative thoughts and create a positive result that will boost your confidence even more.

A couple of years ago I was challenged by one of my coaches to move beyond my comfort zone and address my fear of public speaking. She suggested that I join a local Toastmasters group. I listened but knew in my heart that I was not even close to ready at the time. Then something changed late last year, and I decided to stop avoiding my fear and to finally take action. As a result I visited a local Toastmaster group (Toast of Queens in New York), with a friend of mine as guests for the night. That first meeting turned out to be a wonderful memorable experience. The leaders were so friendly, professional, supportive, and very passionate about public speaking. I was impressed at how organized they were. There was a written agenda with times and the names of who was going to speak. The positive energy in the room instantly gave you a feeling that you were in a safe environment. I was relaxed and felt I could still have fun while gaining public speaking experience without any added pressure. I went back a few more times and then made the decision to commit to my personal growth by joining the Toast of Queens (part of Toastmasters International a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs).

What I like the best about being part of Toastmasters is that you go at your own pace and nothing is forced on you. I suggest you begin with a role such as an “ah” counter, timer, or grammarian. These roles help you become comfortable with the structure of the organization, the people within the group, and you also get great insight as to how everything operates. By attending on a regular basis, you will gain even more confidence every minute that you are in front of the room and you speak. This is especially true after your first speech, which is fondly referred to as the “The Ice Breaker Speech”. No worries though since everyone gets through it just fine, and I cannot express enough just how great a feeling it was to finally face one of my greatest fears and to receive such a warm response. The support has been incredible. Each time I have presented, I’ve become even more relaxed even to the point of enjoying taking on a role while fully embracing the new experience.

Another memorable Toastmasters moment was releasing one of my fears during a meeting was when I heard my named called by the Topicsmaster (the Topicsmaster role improves organizational skills, time management skills and facilitation skills). The Topicsmaster selects questions on non-specialized themes or topics in advance of the meeting. This part gives members and guests who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting so they can get practice to quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu setting for 1 – 2 minutes without preparation. There is an out in that you can switch topics in our group if you are uncomfortable or don’t know the answer to something that was presented to discuss. The idea is to think on your feet and speak.

As you can imagine I was stunned to hear my name called. Since the first day I started with Toastmasters, I had an overwhelming fear that if my name was called that I wouldn’t know the subject, and I would freeze up, and feel completely embarrassed. As life would have it, my name was actually called and I was, of course, the first one picked to answer the table topics question that night. I was asked my favorite part of the academy awards, (not a fun topic like sports or the stock market lol). I didn’t have a clue how to answer but I didn’t panic or apologize for not having an answer. Instead, I spoke from my heart telling the audience that I didn’t see the Academy Awards. I only heard a few words about the red carpet, and that I actually watched a movie that night. I couldn’t remember the name of the movie (Madoff) at the time I was in front of the room, but I just kept on talking. As I looked around the room, I noticed is that by being up there completely clueless about the topic at hand, was actually helping the guests feel more comfortable. Seeing their response made me want to inspire the audience and let them know that when their time came that they too would be safe. In being up there, I proved that to myself as well. Luckily I made it through, and even received complements by members on how well I did. What helped me most is that I remained calm and poised. Nobody knew my fear, only myself, and this serves as a great testimony to support my motto, “you can do anything your set your mind to”. I was elated that I pushed forward and broke through my fear, so much so, that I put together some quick points that I hope will help you too. 

Simple Steps To Poise and Confidence When Feeling Fear

  • Practice – The more you do something the more experience and confidence you will have.
  • Visualize – See yourself successfully doing your talk,
  • Relax – The more you relax the more the words will flow.
  • Journal – Grab a pen and write down exactly what you’re afraid of and why. Writing what you are feeling can give you more confidence, and help you realize that what you are worried about is not really true. My coaches taught me 99% of what you worry about never happens. Be present, do your best to be in the moment, and stop worrying about tomorrow.
  • Develop a mantra that you can say to relax and that will inspire you – Use positive words ‘“I can handle this” or “Nothing can hurt me,”. My mantra is “I can do anything I set my mind to”. Repeat the mantra, say it over and over. Use it whenever you have to do something that scares you.
  • Take some deep breaths! Breathe in for the count of 3 and breathe out for the count of three. Do this 3 times.

Additional Tips from Toastmasters International

Improve your speaking and leadership: click here

90 tips from Toastmasters that can help youclick here

Well, what do you think? Are you ready to take the plunge and move beyond your comfort zone? Don’t delay. Get the most out of life and decide that you are ready to make a positive change and move through your fears. When you take action you will be empowered and discover that fear is normal. Everyone has some kind of fear and the most successful people move through their fears one by one. Practice seizing the moment by doing something today that pulls you out of your comfort zone and teaches you how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Whatever it takes, feel it, and embrace the fear. You will soon discover just how quickly it will pass. Each time you do something new, learn from your experience and allow it to empower you. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to worry any longer. Don’t even think about it, just do it. Never allow fear to stop you, there’s too much at stake. You can do anything you set your mind to! You will be glad you did because your poise and confidence will grow, and help you move closer to your goals while you continue to create the lifestyle you desire. 

To your health, wealth, and happiness,

 
Bonnie
The Inspired Wealth and Well-Being Coach
 
 
 

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Bonnie Gortler
Bonnie Gortler, the Inspired Wealth & Well-Being Coach, is a successful stock market expert who has been instrumental in managing multi-million dollar client portfolios within a top rated investment firm during her over 30 year corporate career. As the author of "Journey to Wealth", Bonnie has made it her mission to share the importance of risk management and how to enjoy true financial well-being by applying the technical and mental sides of investing. Bonnie has a M.B.A. in Business Administration and is a certified life coach. She is a huge sports fan who believes in healthy eating and has an unyielding passion for fitness. It is through her love of social media, blogging, coaching that she is able to create change in the lives of many and inspire people from around the world.

Bonnie is fully committed to your personal growth and development as she shares her winning spirit and powerful techniques with you. Visit BonnieGortler.com to gain tips and insights surrounding investing, healthy eating, personal development and inspiration through her writings on Wealth and Well-Being. Live the healthy, wealthy lifestyle you desire.


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Like this post? Feel free to use it in your blog or ezine as long as you use the above signature in its entirety.

 
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Bonnie Gortler

Bonnie Gortler, the Inspired Wealth & Well-Being Coach, is a successful stock market expert who has been instrumental in managing multi-million dollar client portfolios within a top rated investment firm during her over 30 year corporate career. As the author of "Journey to Wealth", Bonnie has made it her mission to share the importance of risk management and how to enjoy true financial well-being by applying the technical and mental sides of investing. Bonnie has a M.B.A. in Business Administration and is a certified life coach. She is a huge sports fan who believes in healthy eating and has an unyielding passion for fitness. It is through her love of social media, blogging, coaching that she is able to create change in the lives of many and inspire people from around the world. Bonnie is fully committed to your personal growth and development as she shares her winning spirit and powerful techniques with you. Visit BonnieGortler.com to gain tips and insights surrounding investing, healthy eating, personal development and inspiration through her writings on Wealth and Well-Being. Live the healthy, wealthy lifestyle you desire. ~ Connect via LinkedInTwitterPinterest & Facebook~ Choose your very own FREE down-loadable gift by visiting Bonnie's Offers~ Subscribe to BonnieGortler.com~ Order your copy of "Journey to Wealth" today! Like this post? Feel free to use it in your blog or ezine as long as you use the above signature in its entirety.  

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