when fear meets confidence

Some people are afraid of heights. 

Some people are afraid of dogs.

Some people are afraid of tofu. 😉

My fear?  Public speaking.

Today I had to give a 2-hr lecture on both customer service (which I hardly know much about, other than my what my common sense has told me,) and food allergies.  Despite the fact that I knew everyone in the group by name, I was literally shaking.  My voice.  My hands.  My feet.  Shaking.  Shaking with fear.

But at the same time, I’m confident.  Confident with the fact that I can deliver the presentations.  Confident because I’ve done so before.  Confident that the shaking will subside after the first few slides.  Confident. 

This confidence has come with a few tricks that I’ve developed along the way.

First, I don’t admit my fear to anyone.  I convince myself that I’m the most confident of all public speakers.  For an hour or two, I become the most knowledgeable person on the topic at hand.  Ready for any and all questions.  (Just FYI, this is one situation in which it is a-okay to lie to yourself. 😉 )

Second, I eat well.  This is hard for me, as public speaking is the one thing in life that makes me lose my appetite.  But there’s nothing worse than feeling lightheaded from fear and from hunger. 😉 

Lastly, I practice.  Over and over and over again.  Convincing myself that people are there to listen.  To learn.  I’m not being judged or criticized for my performance.  I try to think of it as a discussion between friends (only with me doing all the talking…ha.) 

I’m not saying that I’ve completely overcome my fear.  It’s still there.  And really, it’s okay to have fears.  We all have some form of a fear in our life (new job?  a long road race?  flying?)  What’s important is that we learn how to take control of these fears instead of letting them control us.  It’s a journey, but it’s a journey worth taking.

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Cookie

I don’t actually like pumpkin pie, but I love this breakfast cookie version!  I’m sharing it, because I believe that you’ll love it too.  Spiced with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, each bite is a delicious taste of fall.  Perhaps my favorite part is the texture, which is a mix between the regular breakfast cookies (firm) and overnight oats (doughy soft.) 

I love sprinkling the top with granola for an extra bit of crunch.  You could also add 1-2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder to the cookie mix before refrigerating overnight.  The sweetness from the bananas will sweeten it right up, giving you the well loved combination of pumpkin and chocolate.  It’s wonderful. 😀

  • 1/2 c. regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed well
  • 1 T. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (definitely optional)
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • granola for topping (optional)
  1. Mash together all of the ingredients except for granola (which is optional.)  Spread evenly on a plate, cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The following morning, enjoy with a fork and a glass of milk for the extra protein boost.  😀

Question:  Do you have any fears?  How have you learned to deal with them?


14 thoughts on “when fear meets confidence

  1. I can not agree more with you about public speaking. I have experienced all the above mentioned symptons (jittery voice, shakey everything…). But, like yourself, I have learned to “fake” my confidence. Who knows any different except me, right?!

    I also get the jitters about heights. My feet tingle when I drive over bridges or look down from a tall building. I wouldn’t classify it as a fear. It’s more like an anxiety (that sounds even worse, though!).

  2. Congratulations!! I love all of your tricks. So insightful. I’d say one of my biggest fears is dealing with the unknown. I know this is kind of big and vague, but it’s sometimes difficult for me to not get too worked up with stress over it. My Dad has helped teach me relaxation techniques when I feel overwhelmed, and I always feel so much better. 🙂

  3. Great job and thank you for sharing the techniques! I don’t mind public speaking (I can’t since I’m going to be a teacher) but 2 hours is a long time for sure!
    I’m really fearful of driving in bad weather. Makes me really scared and I lose all confidence in my driving abilties.

    • Hi Bronny, and thanks for requesting a post! I love it when readers share what they want to hear.

      Look for a photography post within the week! 😀

  4. Public speaking use to be my biggest fear too!! But practicing def helps–BIG TIME!! I also started using my “yoga breath” to stay calm before I give a presentation, that way it calms your pulse, and eases the shakiness! Congrats on being done!

  5. I get it too – the shakes, the heart-beats, the sweating… I hate public speaking! It used to be absolutely dreadful for me, but in my last year of high school I got a little better. Hopefully in the future I can use your tips 🙂

  6. I’m terrified of the dark. Always have been. I still have to convince myself that it’s not a big deal when I walk from the house to the garage when it’s dark out!!

    • Me too!! I feel like (a) it’s the quintessential autumn dessert and (b) I should like it because of my deep love affair with pumpkin. Maybe someday I’ll acquire the taste for it. 😉

  7. Oh geeze, I’m TERRIFIED of public speaking!! I had to do a class debate in high school, and I completely choked in the middle of my argument…and my partner was one of my best friends! I literally sat there for two or three minutes, trying to come up with something to say. I am totally comfortable with discussing books and articles in classes, but when it comes to formal presentations and standing in front of everyone, I get SO nervous!

    That bfast cookie looks awesome! I love heating up pumpkin and banana slices, then whipping the two together. I like to top off this yummy mixture with graham crackers/cereal and brown sugar! And pumpkin pie was definitely an acquired taste for me…it’s still not my favorite Thanksgiving pie, but I definitely make room for it now 🙂

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