I’m seven years old and I have a testimony- I had stomach pain, I prayed and It dissappeared- my mum motivates me to share this testimony in church. Adult church. I agree and I mount the podium but after ‘praise the Lord’ and a few words I freeze. My mum’s the next on the testimony queue, she wraps her hand around me as I burst into tears. A camera man takes the photo. The subsequent years of my childhood, that picture serves as a constant reminder never to stand before a crowd.
I’m in the university, i’m a leader in church. I enter the church premise one thanksgiving Sunday and i’m told to anchor the daily devotional reading. I flash back to when I was seven, my palms are sweaty. I take the mic and head for the altar because I’ve never known how to run from a fight. I’m dressed in a stunning traditional attire because its thanksgiving Sunday. My new convert is in the choir and she and others cheer as i mount the podium.
I say, ‘praise the Lord’, my pulse is racing, my lips are twitching, my hands are shaking, my heart is thumping. I don’t freeze, instead I start to speak, my speech is slurry but I don’t stop. They’re all moping at me, I know i’m shaking but I don’t quit. One member of the audience brings to my attention that i’m reading the wrong page on the devotional. I don’t say thanks to her but I start reading from the correct page. I’m pacing, i’m stuttering occasionally, the crowd look like they feel sorry for me, but I continue. Finally, I pray and scream the last, ‘Glory!’
I feel numb as I sit back on my sit. The crowd is cold because they never knew I had such ernomous stage fright, but I don’t feel sorry for myself or ashamed. It was an adventure and I’m glad I now know what it feels like to conquer a phobia.
I’m a corp member asked to give a lecture to medical students. I had a week to prepare. I step into the class and people are murmuring and making side comments about me. They weren’t expecting to have someone this young walk in. I stare at the the audience of 150 students and my nerves kick in. I have two options, open my mouth and make a fool of myself or walk out of the class. I take a minute to breath, I stare at my shaky hands. I look into the faces of individuals in the crowd and I smile. I remind myself that it isn’t a dream and I will live with the outcome of my actions for the rest of my life. Then I decide not to run away.
Pacing always helps, while they fix the projector I pace and smile mastering my body. I want to successfully give the lecture, I don’t want to cower. I open my mouth, “Hi.” They giggle. I wave at one or two people frowning furiously at me and they smile. I tell them i’m nervous and I need their corporation if they want to hear what I have to teach. They applaud and I smile. I exhale and turn to the projector.
I had the best experience of my life that day.
Defeating fears is one of the most rewarding experience in life. Do you know how great you will feel when you overcome that fear? Really great! The world is going to seem so small to you when you walk through that phobia. Dive in to the pool- assuming you have a phobia for water- experience every minute of being in there. Deep your head in , discover how it feels…..
You spend time dreading an activity you have no idea how it works. Why don’t you find out for yourself.
When it’s something you really want to be doing don’t hesitate. Even if you flop, you’re one try closer to being an expert at it.
~Just Do It.~