In my case, I have always been afraid of public speaking. I recently discovered my fear goes by the name Glossophobia, which is really speech anxiety. I would have thought, though, a fear such as this would have gone by a better name. Something like Heartinmythroatphobia would make more sense. I would even accept KillmenowbeforeIgoonstagephobia.
I have learned, however, that fear avoidance does nothing more than delay the inevitable. Eventually the same challenge will appear and I will have to tackle it one way or another.
Facing My Fears
To overcome my fear of public speaking I do what any normal human being would do. I immerse myself in situations where I cannot avoid public speaking.
I realize it sounds counterintuitive. After all, who does that? Who confronts the very thing that promotes that queasy feeling in the pit of the stomach that renders a person sick as a billy goat?
Well, I do.
Whenever there is an opportunity to make a speech, say a few words on behalf of an event, or have a need to make my opinion known, I am there. I do it because I know that if I choose to stay quiet, I will not grow and be a better individual. I will remain the same.
Sameness makes a person lukewarm.
And a long time ago, I promised myself I would never be lukewarm for something I care about a great deal.
God Fights on My Behalf
The other thing I have yet to mention that gives me the courage to step outside of myself and face my fears is I have God fight my battles for me:
“Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you’” (Isa. 35: 4 NLT).
Imagine your fear being a big bully waiting for you at the end of the street. In the past, you turned the corner and went the other way. But on this occasion, right ahead is God who will ensure your safety. He will fight in your stead. He will vanquish your enemies and turn them into dust.
With a thought like that is it a wonder anyone has any fear at all.
Will Fear Ever Vanish?
Yet, every so often, I still have that queasy feeling whenever all eyes are gazing at me. And I am fine with that because I know as I move forward toward overcoming my insecurity I will be a better version of myself.
In that sense, it is all a matter of facing the challenge head on, and tackling it so that I can control it as opposed to it controlling me.
Add to that God’s help, and I know I have nothing to fear.