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Speak out with confidence

What’s the most common fear people have?

You might be forgiven for thinking it’s something like spiders …. or snakes … or maybe even flying. After all, these things can cause us actual harm in the wrong scenario. There’s a natural caution that we SHOULD have.

But actually, the answer lies in something much less deadly.

The most common fear I encounter in the therapy room is the fear of speaking in front of other people.

Not necessarily public speaking to large audiences (although that can definitely set many knees quaking!) - I’m talking about the fear of speaking up in small groups. This most often affects people in the workplace. You can imagine the situation easily - a work meeting where you are required to give your opinion or contribute information, or a presentation that you must give to colleagues or potential new clients. Being in the presence of senior management may also contribute to the anxiety.

This fear of speaking up, and having all eyes on you, is incredibly common. My clients report physical symptoms including shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, a rush of colour to the face, brain fog, stammering and sometimes a complete inability to get any words out. They dread the moment their name is called to give an opinion, and state that they can feel the other people in the group staring at them, and know that they are thinking they are useless at their job.

Is that really true though? I mean, what would you be thinking if you noticed someone struggling with their words? I bet you’d probably feel a rush of empathy for them rather than any disparaging thoughts. And yet our minds leap to the worst case scenario. We imagine that our audience will think we are an idiot, when in reality they’ve probably all stumbled over their words at some point. We may see colleagues who we perceive as good at speaking, and believe they have never had an issue with it -  that they are just born confident and ready to take centre stage.

But here’s the secret; confidence comes from action. 

Now I know nobody likes to hear this - but it’s true! The more we do something, the easier it gets. And the more we have a successful outcome, the more we rewire our brains to recognise that this is something we CAN do. It shifts our belief system from “I can’t” to “I can and I will!”

The good news is, this can all be achieved in hypnosis. By engaging the imagination in the right way, it’s entirely possible to allow a client to experience a situation where they have to speak to a group from start to finish, with everything going perfectly. This allows the unconscious to recognise the scenario and register it as completely harmless. So the next time the client has to speak publicly, the unconscious understands what is happening and the fear response is not triggered.

Is speaking up holding you back at work? Drop me a line to book your free Discovery Call and let me help you on your way to speaking success.


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