Fact: I loathe public speaking. Having a group of people look at me or pay attention to me makes me feel really uncomfortable. For this reason, I hated law school where without any warning or provocation, law professors randomly calls on you.
Over the past few years, I’ve worked incredibly hard at overcoming my social anxiety. Yet, anxiety remains a part of my life.
Couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to attend a workshop with Jonathan Fields at the World Domination Summit (WDS). Jonathan is my online crush. I’ve secretly (and sometimes, openly) stalked him over the years. I’ve read his books, and listened to practically every episode of his podcast – The Good Life Project.
He inspires and motivates me.
So, it was truly delightful to spend an entire afternoon with him (along with few hundred other WDS attendees). To my surprise, he opened the floor for questions. Immediately, I felt my pulse quicken, and heat rising to my face. Telltale signs of anxiety. Normally, the anxiety would’ve been enough to derail any thoughts of standing up, walking over to the microphone and asking a question.
Yet, I really really really wanted to ask him a question. Then I felt that old nagging feeling of “please remain seated. You’ll make a fool out of yourself.” Yet, something inside of me said, get up, walk over to the line (which was rapidly growing longer) and speak your truth. I knew if I sat there doing the lawyer analysis of pros and cons of this decision, the moment would pass. Instead, I went with my gut instincts – stood up and got in line.
I don’t recall exactly but I think there were four or five questions before it was my turn. My mind kept rehearsing exactly what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. Finally, it was my turn. The moderator passed the microphone. I felt the microphone in my hand, which felt surprisingly heavy. I took a deep breath and spoke. I don’t recall exactly what I said but it was something like “Wow. I’m really nervous.”
What I really wanted from Jonathan was to know how to be fearless. Or to do the thing you’re meant to do despite the fear, despite the critics, despite the naysayers. I wanted to know his secrets to living a fearless, purpose driven life.
I remember saying something like “I am a lawyer and I want to bring mindfulness and meditation to the legal community.” Then something magical happened – the audience broke into an applause. I said the thing I most wanted to do in the world and at least this group of people, those I consider to be my tribe said YES!
Jonathan, in his typical, generous, kind, and loving fashion suggested I connect with Kristoffer Carter (KC). KC turned out to be just the person I needed to connect with. He’s working on bringing mindfulness and meditation to high performing, high stakes sales and other professionals in the corporate world.
After, I wavered back and forth between wanting to congratulate myself and laughing at myself for thinking this was a big deal. Yet, when I look back at my WDS experience, this was definitely the highlight.
Thanks Jonathan and KC!