A couple of days ago, I got this comment from a viewer on one of my Live videos:
“I have a large scar on my forehead, and I always wonder people are listening to me or saying: “Oh wow! What happened to him?”.
It completely changed the course of the conversation! Here was this person with a very real and very common insecurity that so many people have to deal with every day.
Whether in person or on camera, speaking in public shines a spotlight on all of our insecurities. Feeling self-conscious about things like facial features, accents, or - as was in the case of the gentleman who posed the question - a well-earned scar holds a lot of people back from speaking up and sharing their messages and stories.
It is, by far, one of the most common problems that I help people with as a communication coach. Just think of all the beautiful stories and bright ideas that are going to waste because people don’t feel confident in themselves to speak up! So if there is anything holding you back from getting out there and sharing what you have to say, here are three things that I want you to keep in mind:
1. Focus on your message
Your message is the star of the show! Do not allow your insecurities - or anyone, for that matter- to rob you of the opportunity to express yourself and get ahead in life! Who you are and the message that you have to share are more important than anything else.
2. Embrace your story
Those things that you perceive as your flaws are an essential part of you and your story. Embrace them and honor that struggle. Allow your inner self the opportunity to come out and shine. You deserve to be heard!
3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Don’t allow people’s comments or behavior to make you uncomfortable! Get used to questions and addressing the obvious, and maybe even have some fun coming up with clever responses to them. And remember: it’s not about you. It’s about your message and your story!
Speaking up fearlessly takes time and practice. Play the long game, take imperfect action and fail forward towards becoming comfortable with it.
The world needs your voice. Don't let fear drown it out!