Feel the Fear

I’ve recently set a lofty goal and I’m telling you about it in order to hold myself accountable—I want to give a TED talk. I realize that most people avoid public speaking, but I have loved being in front of an audience for years.


You may not know this, but as a child, I was really into dance. By really into dance, I started taking dance classes when I was 5 and dreamed of one day being a Rockette. In high school, I competed in several dance pageants and, although I never won a title, I frequently won the speech and interview competitions. In fact, some of my friends used to call me Miss Microphone because they said that if you give me a microphone, I could talk for hours. I believe that this is what led me to a 12-year career in radio, but I digress…


So, why a TED talk? First, speaking on the TED stage establishes you as an industry thought leader, and I would love to be seen as a thought leader in creativity. Also, because TED wants ideas that are worth sharing, the odds are pretty good that my talk could go viral, opening the door to a host of creative opportunities.


Of course, self-doubt also plays a big part in this dream. Do I have something to say that is considered interesting enough? What if this goal is nothing but delusion? I’m actually kind of scared to find the answers to these questions.


I think the main reason that I want to give a TED talk is that the idea of putting myself and my ideas out there is mildly terrifying. Why? Because I desperately want people to take me seriously and find value in what I have to share, and the idea of people potentially telling me I’m full of crap scares the hell out of me.


However, I firmly believe that we need to do things that scare us in order to get to the next level in life. Unfortunately, those moments don’t happen without experiencing even the tiniest twinge of fear.


Don’t wait. Identify these moments now and identify what steps you need to complete in order to get to the next level.


What are you working on that scares you? What lessons have you learned? Share your thoughts in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter at sbarton1220.

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