Just Thinking About Talking Made Me Nervous

by Joe
(LA)

When I was a teenage girl I used to be very shy. I found it very difficult to do small talk with people or do any kind of public speaking, even if it was just in front of my classmates. My heart rate would start racing and I remember thinking that my heart was going to burst. I would start sweating, my face would turn bright red and I couldn't stop my voice from shaking. I usually ended up mumbling because I just wanted to finish whatever I was saying.

I became so much frustrated with my shyness and my fear of talking that I couldn't even sleep properly. Of course that affected my health. I started getting sick more frequently.

So one day I just decided that enough is enough. I needed to fix my shyness. I started reading books about it and surfing the Internet to find some solutions.

One thing that works for me is self-talk. I keep telling myself, "It's okay and it's perfectly normal to be a little nervous when speaking in front of a group. It shows that my body is getting ready."

I also know that practice is absolutely essential for overcoming a fear of small talk or public speaking. At first, I practiced over and over in front of the mirror, trying to look myself straight in the eye for the entire time. Then I moved from a mirror to facing real people. My family and friends were a big help. They would pretend to be my audience and I would rehearse short speeches in front of them.

I found that all of my practicing and rehearsing paid off. I gradually started to overcome my feelings of embarrassment and fear whenever I opened my mouth. Now I feel more confident. It all comes down to having faith in yourself.

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