I’ve struggled with speaking in front of people for a while, but until recently I didn’t really push myself to improve. Somehow, it didn’t click to me that coaching is all about speaking in front of people. I was never super uncomfortable speaking in front of a team, but now I can see that there is definitely room for improvement. Plus, if I have any real aspirations to teach (which I do!), I need to get more comfortable. I’ve been working on it more purposefully lately with in-class presentations and presenting at Douglas County High School. Even with only a little time spent getting feedback, I feel better already!
The tricky part for me is not getting judgmental or over-analyzing myself through this process. I have pretty high expectations of myself and I don’t take failure well when I think I should be able to succeed. So initially, I expect to get very detailed and negative critiques on how to improve. I love the critiques and finding out how to get better, so it doesn’t upset me. However, I do find it odd that I jump to the negative so quickly. In actuality, the critiques I’ve gotten so far have had quite a few positives intermixed. Even the critiques meant for improvement were surprising to me. The basic gist was: “Just be you.” What in the world! That’s it?! Sounds easy enough to me. I’ll give it a shot. 🙂
I think this lesson is important for many situations, not just for my public speaking phobia. This can come up with people we work with all the time. The need to succeed and feel liked and appreciated can cause us to lose sight of what makes us who we are. Striving for “perfection” in sport and life may in fact be causing some to lose their genuineness. I think it’s important to let athletes and clients know that it’s not only ok to have flaws, but that it’s also what makes them unique and interesting. If we can foster that idea, I think we can help people overcome some of these superficial fears. I think I can too!