In a letter a German friend of mine who now lives in Canada recently wrote to me, he said:
"I ask God for my birthday to confront me with all my fears so that I may challenge, heal, conquer .... them. There have been very many and probably there are still some left in my deep subconscious or even unconscious - it is said that fear is the absence of unconditional love - and so over the years many fears came up. Then last year one that I had forgotten showed up, namely getting in front of people and speaking publicly. So in October last year I signed up in our local spiritual church to speak..."
That is a very good strategy, one that I have been practising to some degree. As they say, the only thing to fear is fear itself. Robin S. Sharma says this in his book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari:
"Identify the things that are holding you back. Are you scared of speaking or do you have trouble in your relationships? Do you lack a positive attitude or do you need more energy? Make a written inventory of your weaknesses. Satisfied people are far more thoughtful than others. Take the time to reflect on what it is that might be keeping you from the life you really want and know deep down you can have. Once you have identified what your weaknesses are, the next step is to face them head on and attack your fears."
He goes on to give some examples. Interestingly, the first one is: "If you fear public speaking, sign up to give twenty speeches."
I'll write to my friend to tell him that while he has made the right move, he still needs to given nineteen more speeches!