I believe that it’s good to step out of your comfort zone every now and then. I’m preparing to do that very thing this evening. I will be attending my very first Open Mic Night with other writers, agents, editors, and publishers.
You may not know this about me, but I hate crowds. They make me extremely nervous. I usually conduct whatever business I have and then run for the hills to get away from all of those people. Tonight, however, I volunteered to stand up before a good sized crowd and read my work into a microphone for all to hear. I write stories. Stories are meant to be read and heard.
I’m excited about this adventure because it means that I’m growing as a person. By facing this fear, I serve two purposes. I want to share my words with these people, and there’s no better way than to read one of my stories to them. I also want to build more confidence as a public speaker, and there’s no better way than just to do it.
I give occasional speeches and presentations through my job. The man who hired me asked me for my greatest weakness during my employment interview. I told him that I was terrified of public speaking. His response was, “Ah, we’ll take that right out of you.” He sure tried.
I’m much more comfortable addressing large groups than before he forced to do it on a regular basis. However, I’m still not completely confident yet. I may never reach the point where I don’t feel light headed when I look out at a bunch of strangers, but I no longer let that fear control me. I am the master, not my fears.
I do many things that make me uncomfortable. I always feel stronger once I’m finished, and the little boost to my self-esteem is usually well worth my effort. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone so many times that you can’t even see the boundary lines anymore.