Overcoming my phobia: a personal story

I haven’t always been the confident, self-assured person I am today. For most of my life, I’ve been paralyzed by a fear of public speaking. It all began when I was in elementary school and had to give a book report in front of the entire class. Ever since then, my stomach tied up in knots anytime I had to perform in front of others or speak out loud.

My phobia kept me from advancing at work and participating more fully in social settings. Slowly but surely, however, I decided enough was enough and took steps toward conquering my fear. First, I identified mental obstacles – thoughts like ‘everyone is judging me’ or ‘I’m going to mess up’ – that got in the way of progress. Then, I looked for opportunities to practice speaking publicly as often as possible. Slowly but surely my confidence started to build with each step forward and each success big or small along the way.

Turning points during this time included joining a Toastmasters club and working with an online coach who helped me learn proven techniques for overcoming my fear one step at a time. Overcoming my phobia wasn’t easy and there were still times where my anxiety creeped back in from time to time, but ultimately having a mentality that anything worth achieving is worth the work helped me push through it all.

Today it’s hard to believe how far I’ve come from the shy, timid person I used to be–one who was afraid to take any risks or try anything new out of fear that it would end in embarrassment or failure. No matter how scared you may be feeling now, just know that with perseverance you can become the confident version of yourself that you strive for –– just keep pushing!

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I can relate to this post – I, too, have faced fear of public speaking for a long time. It’s a common battle. However, it’s important to remember that we are capable and will never know what our limits are unless we push our boundaries and try. There’s no doubt that fear still creeps in from time to time, but I’m learning to take it one step at a time and use my fear as motivation. Whenever I feel like giving up, I remind myself why I’m doing it and how far I’ve come already.

Your experience is inspiring and something we can all draw from. Like you said, having the mentality that anything worth achieving is worth the work is key. Sounds like you have come an incredibly long way - Congratulations!

Wow, your story really resonates with me. I used to struggle so much with public speaking too, and it held me back in so many areas of my life. It’s amazing to hear how you were able to identify your mental obstacles and take steps to overcome them. Joining Toastmasters and working with a coach were great ideas! It’s inspiring to hear how you pushed through the anxiety and kept striving for the confident version of yourself. I’m currently working on building my own confidence, and reading your story gives me hope that I can get there too. Thanks for sharing your experience and giving me a little extra motivation to keep pushing forward!