Tag Archive: believe


Glossophobia? (Part 4)

Throughout my years in school, I have experienced numerous interesting anxiety/stage fright stories. Looking back to my junior year in high school, I was chosen to be a drum major for the band. A drum major, in a nut shell, is responsible for conducting the band during performances. One day during rehearsal, my band director had to leave class for a few minutes and asked me to conduct the Star Spangled Banner. This was my time to shine. For my first time conducting the band, I wanted to make a spectacular first impression. As I made my way toward the podium, I could feel my heart beat begin to thump in my chest. The butterflies were taking flight in my stomach as I stepped up to the wooden podium. My arms felt like they weighed 50lbs each as I lifted them up to start the song.  During these few moments, I was experiencing the phenomenon known as “stage fright” or anxiety.

Merriam Webster defines anxiety as, “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill.” See, the definition of anxiety is anxiety’s problem. Our mind becomes uneasy because it senses an impending or anticipated ill. The fact is, that impending or anticipated ill has the potential to be an AMAZING experience. The problem is that our brain tends to seek out the worst possibilities that could happen, which in return cause us to feel apprehension. While in my communications class over the summer, my professor explained to us the process of stage fright and how we can cope with stage fright. I listed his advice below:

The process of stage fright:

  1. It starts with a mental thought known as fight VS flight.
  2. Adrenaline is pumped into the blood stream.
  3. Our heart rate increases and then because of that, we need more oxygen so our respirations increases.
  4. Digestive system is suspended so that…our blood concentrates in the large muscles in arms and legs. Our arms and legs may shake and we may feel butterflies in our stomach.
  5. Finally, our temperature increases so we may sweat a bit as well as feel cold, sweaty palms.

How do we cope with stage fright?

  1. Self-fulfilling prophecy (Positive Thinking) – If the mind can make you feel anxious, it also has the ability to put our thoughts and bodies at ease.
  2. Animate arms and legs. This encourages blood flow throughout the body.
  3. Great posture (chest out, shoulders back, chin up). Be confident in yourself.
  4. Practice, practice, practice! “Winners practice until they get it right; champions practice until they cannot get it wrong.” – Anonymous

In the end, the most important piece of advice for you to overcome glossophobia is to have courage in yourself. Believe in yourself! As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or
think you can’t – you are right.” I always say, you are what you think, and if your mind can cause you to feel uneasy about public speaking, it can also give you the confidence to prevail
over glossophobia. To wrap up my Glossophobia Series, I want to leave you with a Simple Truth’s video about courage entitled, “Courage doesn’t always roar.”

LINK: http://www.movieofcourage.com/

In the comments below, share a story or experience where you had to find the courage to overcome a fear such as public speaking or stage fright.

<< Glossophobia? (Part 3)

Conducting Potential

Have you ever looked at people through the glass of their potential?  As leaders we have the opportunity to come alongside of people, hold up the mirror and say, “Look at what you’re capable of.”  Think about it, not many things are as exciting as finding out what could be.  A boyscout tying his first square knot eying a pioneering project, or a team in a huddle realizing they could win the game.  The joy of getting the kid with the good arm on your team in dodge ball!  Gym class aside, people can’t accomplish something if they don’t believe they can, and it is amazing what people can do when they start believing in themselves.

Benjamin Zander, Conductor BPO

As a leader it is your job to unlock the potential of your followers.  The wildly successful conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Benjamin Zander, said that after 20 years of conducting, he had an epiphany that changed his life.  He said, “I realized that conductors do not make a sound.”  What Zander meant was that a conductor is incapable of performing anything by themselves, it is in fact the musicians who produce the music.  This revelation puts a would-be leader in a predicament!  Most leaders love to accomplish things on their own, and are very capable and not in need of help from someone else.  Although Zander is an accomplished pianist and musician himself, his performance pales in comparison to what the full Philharmonic can produce.  (I shudder to think what his singing would be like.)  I think this is true of most leaders, they are capable of great things on their own, but if they can unlock the potential of others they can achieve truly great things.  “Real power is in making others powerful.” ~ Benjamin Zander
For more of Zander check out this great TED talk about music and passion.

So how do you unlock someone’s potential?  Here are some thoughts:

  1. Spend time with people and learn to care about them.  We have a shortage of people who really care.  You have to know people to know their potential, and that takes time.
  2. Be encouraging, raise their vision.  The more someone’s vision is raised, the more potential is unlocked.  Find me a person with a change-the-world vision, and they will most likely be using a lot of their potential, especially if they are successful.
  3. Believe in people before they believe in you.  Often times leadership is a one way street.  People don’t catch the vision, don’t care or see why any of this is important.  Be patient, earn respect and believe in people.  They’ll come around.
  4. Give people opportunities to find their potential.  I’m amazed at how many leaders believe that they are the only ones capable of accomplishing a task.  Be able to delegate responsibilities away so that hidden potentials can be found.  Maybe that student would make a great graphic designer, or engineer, or both…who’ll know till they try?  Also, try new things!
  5. Become a master teacher.  So you’ve found someone with potential, now what?  The qualities of a great teacher go hand in hand with the qualities of a great leader.  If you are able to pick up on someone’s hidden potential and then teach them to use it, be ready for an exciting ride!

Do you have a success story about how you helped someone reach thier potential?  Share it in the comments below!

“Leadership is a choice to deal with people in a way that will communicate to them their worth and potential so clearly they will come to see it in themselves.” ~ Stephen Covey