Olympic champions are sometimes seen as inhuman, and fearless.
This is perhaps why it surprised me while interviewing Olympic champion Silken Laumann when she shared that she had such a fear of speaking in public that the only reason it ended up happening is because her desire to share the message was simply a little bigger than her fear of speaking in public.
As someone who speaks regularly about fear, and the importance of stepping outside our comfort zones (you can watch my new TEDx talk below on this exact subject), it occurred to me that there was a major lesson here.
I began to study my own experiences with fear and comfort zones, and then began to sift through the experiences of others I had interviewed.
Fear can be debilitating, and in the case of speaking in public, it can sabotage many a promising leadership career.
This is perhaps why I dedicated so much of my time to conquering the fear I had in the public speaking arena to then aim to help others in this same arena.
What I discovered during my study of fear, and comfort zones, was that Laumann wasn’t alone.
Many of the leaders we have had on our show, or spent time with, also only stepped outside of their natural comfort zone to conquer, or at least face, a specific fear, because their desire to achieve something was greater than their fear of facing it; even when that fear was almost to the point of crippling.
I could say the same for myself, as it relates to my decision to eventually jump onto a stand-up comedy stage, to speak in public as a career, and even to face my fear of drowning.
What’s the lesson here?
If you can uncover your why, you can use it to conquer your how, and if you apply this properly, this might literally change your life.
In the interim, you can see more about Fear Crushing and Comfort Zone Expansion in my new TEDx Talk at: