My two greatest fears in life have always been public speaking and heights. Attending the adult college courses offered at Granite State College has boosted my confidence and willingness to not only try new things but to face my biggest fears. Last week I faced my fear of heights when I agreed to participate in a team bonding experience at work. I zipped through the treetops of the White Mountains while white knuckling the apparatus which I put all my faith into keeping me alive! At every start of a new zip line I felt my apprehension and anxiety begin to grow but as soon as I committed to jumping from the perch of the trees it was gone and I relished in the beauty and adrenaline rush of the moment. This feeling was so reminiscent of my reluctance to return to school and attain my adult college degree. I spent twenty years sitting with the apprehension and anxiety of trying to get my degree. Once I finally committed and “took the leap” to start back to school there was no looking back, I have delighted in every moment of this journey.
Now it is time for me to face my second fear, that of public speaking. I have already dipped my toe into this scary pool of anxiety when I elected to take a public speaking course offered at Granite State College last year. I gave three or four speeches, with no visual presentations such as a Powerpoint or pictures slides. Although this was extremely unnerving at least it was in front of my classmates which I had formed relationships with and felt safe in their presence. I have now agreed to speak publicly for Granite State College at two upcoming events. The first of these events is this weekend where I will be reading a prepared script at the induction of the 2010 Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society recipients and their families.
This weekend will be a great warm up for me in preparation for the speech I need to write and recite at the graduation commencement ceremony on June 13th. I am feeling a great amount of anxiety at the thought of giving this speech in front of my friends, family, classmates, professors and hundreds of strangers, but I know I can do it. I have not only gained the necessary skills from GSC to be able to speak in front of this large audience, I have gained the confidence in myself to do so.
Wish me luck!