My answer... Yes! Yes! Yes to all!
Most people would rather die than speak in front of a large audience! And there are statistics that support that! I actually get a charge out of it. I get extremely nervous, fearful, all those things I mention above, yet in the end I enjoy doing it! I had the opportunity today to speak to an auditorium of people. It wasn't a massive audience. It was around 70 people, but that's more than you'd meet in a coffee shop! I had the butterflies in the stomach, heart pounding, hope-I'm-not-pitting-out nervousness. I was sharing the story of my family from our book Miracle of Belief to a group of medical professionals. I shared a very emotional reading from the book and at that point, I actually felt my knees buckle. My legs were feeling a bit numb.
Here's my observation about this. Somehow, I pushed past the signs and signals my body was giving me. I pushed past the fear and the physical "feelings" and I did it anyway! I put myself through this physically, emotionally charged situation anyway.
Why? I found myself really asking Why? It wasn't like I was auditioning for The Voice, or a chance to win a million bucks. I didn't have to speak to this group. I was asked and I said yes. It was my choice.
Here's what I believe to be the answer. I am driven by the "connections" I can make with the audience. I am driven by the "passion" in my heart to share a message with others that I believe can have an impact, inspire, and make a difference for a handful of people in that group of 70. I know that it is my calling and I'm willing to push past the fear and the near nausea to get to the other side.
Have you heard the expression "Feel the fear and do it anyway"? Let the fear be your friend. When it shows up, invite it to sit down beside you. Stop trying to chase it away. It's there to force you to grow.
Love and Prayers,