Is your fear of public speaking actually a fear of rejection?
It may surprise you to know that a fear of public speaking is right up there as one of the biggest fears among people.
I even read somewhere that the fear of speaking in public is greater than the fear of dying!
A guy in his late 20’s came to see me recently wanting to overcome his fears when it came to speaking in public.
His fear was less about presentations and more about meeting people for the first time. He was in a brand new job so this fear was proving a real sticking point for him. Not only was it affecting his confidence at work, it was getting in the way of his opportunity to make new friends.
When we started to explore what the fear was about he described how he would be consumed with anxiety and worry about what people would think of him. Especially those he was meeting for the first time.
Ironically he was a quietly confident guy and easy to chat to, but when it came to meeting someone for the first time, something would kick in and all rational thinking would go out of the window.
Have you experienced that? When your mind goes blank and you can’t think of anything to say? And how the more you feel under pressure to find something to say, the more anxious you become?
Lots of people have a fear of public speaking because they have experienced times in the past where its not gone well. One man described to me how he had told the class at school a joke and no one laughed. For over 30 years he held onto a fear of humiliation.
What both of these clients were surprised to discover however, was that at the heart of their fear was the fear of rejection.
How does a fear of public speaking = a fear of rejection?
If you think about it wanting to be liked and accepted by people is a powerful instinct that influences you in many ways.
Go back through human history to the days when you operated and survived being part of a tribe. If you were rejected by your fellow tribe members, and cast out into the wilderness, you would most likely die.
So being accepted by the people around you was a matter of life and death. In fact, we have evolved to feel and fear emotional rejection as if it is physical pain, such as a knot in your stomach or tightness across your chest.
Whether your fear of public speaking is a deep down fear of rejection or something similar, feel the fear and do it anyway doesn’t always work! Not when you are dealing with a conditioned primal response in the brain.
The good news!
Your mind is a repository of archived files all containing everything you have ever experienced and the emotions you felt at the time.
When it comes to doing anything such as a presentation, a business pitch or hosting a webinar for example, your mind simply goes to those files and finds the file containing the information of how you did it last time. Which is why if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got!
A lot (in-fact the vast majority!) of those files are old out of date files of times you did things when you didn’t know anything different. Times when you were a child.
When you have a good clear out and throw away those old files using modalities such as hypnotherapy, NLP and EFT Tapping you will no longer find yourself triggering those old emotional responses.
At the same time, you can create new files. In much the same way as you download a new operating system on an Apple Mac or i pad, you can create a new operating system to have you speaking in public with confidence and ease.
Want to know more?
To find out how you can transform your fear of public speaking and experience what it is like to feel relaxed, calm, confident and grounded when it comes to speaking in public, book a free consultation today.