One of the most common fears is public speaking. I've been thinking a lot about this recently and started asked myself "why?" - "why are we afraid to talk in front of people?" - "why are we so scared of being seen?" And I came to this conclusion:
We are afraid of ourselves.
We are afraid of each other.
Now, I wish we lived in a world where we had no reason to fear the opinions of others because those opinions were always honest and true and grounded in integrity. But it just isn't so.
The reason public speaking is so terrifying is because you are essentially placing yourself in a position to be vulnerable. Your vulnerability is the effect of where you've placed your value and your confidence.
Your emotional vulnerability is the effect of where you've placed your value and your confidence.
Confidence isn't walking into a room or onto a stage and thinking "everyone is going to love me" - confidence is thinking "it's okay if they don't".
For so many of us, our confidence has never really come from within us - it has been built on layers and layers of external validation. That external input is really valuable for a while. It allows us to find our footing and discover our strengths & weaknesses. However, after a certain point, we need to transition from operating with that external influence as a beacan and instead retrain our focus inward.
FROM THIS: "How can I sound more professional?"
TO THIS: "Am I saying this because I truly think it is valuable & true?"
FROM THIS: "What is going to make it look like I know what I am talking about?"
TO THIS: "What do I truly know and how can I communicate that?"
When you start to train your questions inward, you not only become more truly confident, but the more you learn about yourself in the process.