“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Jerry Seinfeld
Do you see that face up there on the left? That is the face of fear--it is a mask I wear to fool my brain and nervous system that all is cool despite the fact that at that particular point in time, my mind was working overtime with neurotic worry. Am I going to have to address this audience of over 400 people? Please, say it isn't so. Deer in the headlights, ladies and gentleman, deer in the headlights.
You might not be able to tell that I'm afraid, but believe me, I was. I had just been called up onstage at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference to accept my "award" for being accepted into Ten Spurs, their literary journal.
Before I embarked on my death journey, I was afraid of both death and public speaking. (Actually being in public with people looking at me kind of freaks me out too.) But now, I've kind of chilled to both. I went to a hypnotherapist to help me with the speaking thing because I had to do a reading at graduation. I was still nervous when I read from my manuscript, but I was able to calm myself when my heart felt as if it were going to shoot out of my throat. Yes, I'm still not overly excited about exiting the earth, but I'm a lot more accepting of the idea than I was two years ago.
Take my poll on the blog. It's conveniently located on the top right hand corner. Let me know what you fear more.