How I overcame my biggest fear

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We all know that handy statistic about the fear of public speaking ranking right up there next to the fear of death, right?

For most of my life, Ive used that demographic as a shield of validation as to why I would never venture too far into the public arena.

It’s a fear that I have experienced time and time again. A mind-blank, throat constricting, flaming-cheeks-wobbly kneed-about to slip into unconsciousness phobia.

And wherever I could – I have chosen to avoid and hide out from this fear.

Being sick as a little kid for show and tell. Keeping my head down in the classroom and refusing to make eye contact, in an effort to avoid participating in discussions. Drinking wine and enduring the odd panic attack, before showing up to tutor social psychology classes at university.

Fumbling excuses, rejecting business opportunities and filming vlogs with the computer screen covered, so that my awkwardness would not get the better of me.

(Bloody terrified then!)

But that all changed this weekend, when I found myself up on stage as a key-note speaker, at the first Empowering Women Conference in Cairns.

And the biggest surprise?

In what may just have been one of the most incredibly surreal experiences of my life, I found that once I got up there and did a slow pan of the expectant, friendly faces in the audience, my nerves all but disappeared.

And today, as I write this, I am changed.

My perspective has shifted. The plane of possibility has widened exponentially and I now feel certain that I can do anything that I put my mind to.

I wanted to share some of this process, for those of you who are curious –

How I overcame my biggest fear:

1. Shift your perspective.

For years I let my fear of public speaking influence and shape many of my actions and decisions.  Early on, I had decided that public speaking was not something that was possible – at least not for me. It was never going to happen.  My fear was far greater than the average persons. Too consuming, to even consider overcoming.

So, the first step was to simply entertain the idea that it might be possible. To consider, ‘What if?’

To seek out examples of slightly shy introverts who had taken the leap. To spend some time entertaining the possibility, instead of being completely opposed to the idea.

2. Walk with your fear

Like most people, I want to grow and evolve.

Knowing that fear has such control over this one area of your life, is not always pleasant.

But I’m not your kick-ass-fear-busting-ninja type of gal, who shamelessly eats fear for breakfast! Is anyone?

Allowing fear to show up every day as you work through your crap?

That I could do.  That’s something we might all be open to.

If we can allow our fear to show up time and time again and be an observer. It begins to loosen its death grip.

It’s still there, but it begins to soften.

Slowly the desire to expand and grow becomes more powerful than our usual response of contraction.

This feels BIG. Huge.

We then become faced with the choice to be conquered by our fear, or to keep walking. Fear becomes a comrade of sorts. Always there, but less sinister.


3. Don’t do it alone

This is an important part of the process and one which is too easily overlooked. For every public speaking opportunity, there is a team of people, behind the scenes.

I did not just jump up on stage on a whim.  I worked my ass off to get there!

I did a 7 week program with the incredible KCBaker – who helps women all over the planet, unleash the brilliance in their voices.

I had some intense EFT sessions with my trainer and friend, Kelly Burch and began taking a personalized blend of bush essences, a month prior to the conference.

I had the help of a support group online and actively enlisted the help of friends, strangers and family members; people who were open to listening to my message, who gave me feedback and most importantly – who believed in, and celebrated me.

The very fact that I was invited by Kristy Vallely, to stand alongside her and a team of speakers, blew my mind.  It was a potent reminder that there are other people out there who believe in you and me. And, they will support you fiercely, if you allow it.

4. Believe in your message. Commit to it.

This is something that we delved into deeply, in KC’s program.

Learning to believe in and commit to your message. Wholeheartedly.

There are no guarantees that you are going to nail it.

But knowing, deep in your bones that your message is an important one….that it has the power to inspire, motivate and induce positive change –  even in one other person – thats where you can tap into a whole new source of power.

5. Prioritise self care

I knew that the intensity of my fear would consume me, if I failed to prioritize my own self care.

In the days leading up to the conference, I put my notes to the side and spent more time turning inward with lots of stillness and meditation.

I focused on nourishing my body with whole foods and gentle exercise.

Yes, this is a prime example of self care becoming more important, not less.

Go within and listen to what your body requires from you. Nurture yourself courageously.


6. Show up authentically

I knew that my message was not going to gel with everyone in the room. That my approach, my personality and my why would attract some, and repel others.

But  as several people mentioned to me in the lead up to this event – people are attracted to authenticity, so you might as well show up as yourself.

Claim your own style of speaking and let it shine through.

Just be you and you can’t go wrong.


As a final tidbit of reassurance – Trust in these words:

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How will this crisis transform you?

Untitled design 10 How will this crisis transform you?

Life coaches ask a lot of questions. Questions that can be provide a fresh perspective. Questions that can be downright uncomfortable.

I have had clients become quite angry with some of the questions I ask.  A few have even quit.

(They usually return and thank me for asking ‘that’ question, but it’s still a human-being moment, for both of us).

Like the time when Lucy talked about how her health was failing due to the stress of running a multi-million dollar company, alone.

Or the client who was let go, from her eight year dream career and insisted that at 34, this was it for her. She should never be able to experience that level of success and personal fulfillment again.

Or me, so caught up in the complacent comfort of a 10 year relationship that I chose to repeatedly gloss over the small gaps in my marriage, until they became fractures.

Some examples of these sticky questions:

How is this situation just perfect for you right now?

How will this crisis transform you?

It doesn’t mean that you have to view crisis as a blessing or believe that you somehow chose to bring this into your life.

It doesn’t mean that you have to ignore the pain that is associated with whatever challenge you are facing.

But, it does help place you firmly back in the seat of conscious creator and caretaker of your one precious life.

And that, can be illuminating.

Because, when we get really quiet and listen – we discover a source of strength and wisdom that we may have previously forgotten to tap into.

When we lose something, or are close to losing something – we are reminded of its value.

And when we are stuck in the deep belly of pain, intent on believing that we can’t possibly sustain this kind of heartache …we are able to catch a glimpse of our essential self, which emanates, a self contained confidence and hope.


This year did not begin for me as I had desired..  My marriage came close (wayyyy too close), to breaking up.

There have been deaths of loved ones, and tragic, life-altering events.  It has taken me a moment to look around and understand that hey, I’m definitely not the only one!

But it’s August now and for the first time this year, I feel incredibly alive. There is an openness in my heart and a crystalline vision of good things to come.

I’m reminded that the very act of transformation or growth is often preceded by a fall of some kind.

Pain, grief and tragedy can be gateways to renewed compassion and presence in our lives. And beauty returns – in it’s own time, often when we least expect.

And as my inner knowing recently pointed out to me, when I was trapped in my own swirling sadness, adamant that I couldn’t possibly endure this, and that I didn’t know how I was going to get through it –

You are doing it. You’re doing it right now. See?

Can I stay here forever?

meditate Can I stay here forever?

You know those moments don’t you?

The times where your inner voice is quiet for a few seconds. Where, for once, you are not in your head. You have moved from automatic pilot to sweeping freedom.

The same patch of grass you walk by every day is no longer sullied turf. Chartreuse pricks your senses in time with the pinging sky.

The light is more than atmosphere.  It casts marvellous patterns whilst protecting an abundance of earthy critters and foliage, that would otherwise be burnt up by midday.

You intuit a synchronicity between nature and people in a way, that just yesterday, you had overlooked.

The faces of strangers are alive with familiarity, and a warmth which you appreciatively return.

Your kid grabs your hand, their delicate love seeping into your blood-steam.

You write for 15 mins and an untethered consciousness of surprise pours out; a slither of authenticity, that still falls short of the beautifully crafted truth of your dreams.

The externals fade into the background as you sing, dance, ice a cake, wash the car, or observe the way your daughters lips purse together, in mimic of the grandfather she never got to kiss.

You don’t understand it all – the clarity in those moments.

Other than they are a measure of everything that matters…the dreams, the connectivity, the love, the alchemy of the human spirit.

And, for all the moments of self-doubt – in this moment, you understand that you were born free and deserving of love and self-acceptance.

You know that this is the experience of being wholeheartedly alive and in the flow.

A glimpse of an irrefutable truth that you crave more of.

Today, tomorrow or whenever that moment comes for you ~

Be there.


36537AFECECB02374C1B7A4B5318F1EA Can I stay here forever?


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