I was at the local library recently to read some passages of my first novel, One Brave Thing. It was my first time reading aloud from my book in front of other people. I am not someone who loves public speaking. Actually, I am someone who hyperventilates at the thought of public speaking. Most of my life, I have avoided speaking in front of a group with focused determination.
Until now. I wasn’t over-the-top nervous at first, because it was booked so far in advance. When I thought about it, I thought, oh! Plenty of time! Breathed a sigh of relief, and stopped thinking about it. Suddenly though, the day loomed large. I was feeling distressed. I tried Bach’s Rescue Remedy gum that I found in my desk drawer, left over from when I took my daughter to Florida last year (don’t ask). It helped a little, but I was still feeling so very nervous.
I confided in my friend Stephanie about my angst. She said, “Just tell yourself: ‘This is going to be fun!'”
Could it really be that easy? I had nothing to lose, right? So I tried it. Every time the ‘OMG! OMG!’ thought popped into my head, I stopped, took a breath, and replaced it with ‘This is going to be so much fun!’
And you know what? It was!