The Fear of Public Speaking and What It Really Boiled Down To

Self-love and self-approval instead of self-judgment. (Follow the link to find tools to get you there!)- www.theorganicsister.comI realized recently that I don’t get scared speaking anymore. Not when I’m interviewing someone big or important, nor when I’m teaching my essential oil workshops.

I used to get out of my mind scared: butterflies, tightness, heart racing, the constant urge to pee my pants (no joke), and crazy thoughts of all kind of madness that could ensue, which usually involved images of people with pitchforks.

But without all those emotions and thoughts getting in the way I’ve found I actually have a strength and passion for teaching, presenting, and speaking. (If you had asked me that five years ago I would swallowed my tongue just thinking about it.)

I’ve spoken to some pretty amazing people in my life, people I admire or had a mild crush on – Steven Tyler (!!), Ricki Lake, Dr. Peter Gray – all with various amounts of nerves and confidence leading up to the moment. Interestingly enough, in all those situations I was never nervous IN the situation, always before when I was still in my own head about it (or after when I climbed back in there).

Part of this shift just came down to doing the work to no longer see myself as “not good enough” and holding others as “better than me”. It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to, I feel at ease because I know I’m talking to a reflection of myself, another beautiful soul, a manifestation of something wonderful. The same as me, each person.

I assume good intent now, where before I assumed judgment preluding rejection. I now assume I’m talking to a friend, because truly, beneath it all, I am.

I wrote this on Facebook the other day:

It’s a big fucking Aha moment to realize that whether people love and approve of you actually comes down to a) whether they love and approve of themselves, and b) whether YOU love and approve of YOURSELF.

If you haven’t experienced that shift in perspective, try it on for size. Start loving yourself, start approving of what you do (and/or doing what you actually approve of), start telling the BS fear-mongering stories in your mind that you are, indeed, quite good enough and quite deserving. Start paying more attention to your thoughts than what you perceive to be someone else’s.

Watch how all your relationships change, starting with the one you have with yourself.

And I think that pretty much sums it up. When I chose to love and approve of myself, my relationship with myself and what I loved and did obviously changed. But it also gave way to so much more ease and fun to be discovered in my relationships with others.

Try it on for size:

Take a pause from caring about what the drama is saying (whether it’s the drama in our minds or the drama in our lives). Start focusing more on how well you’re loving and accepting yourself in each (easy or challenging) moment. Watch how it gradually changes every relationship you have.

My tools to do this consisted of the same ones I’m always harping on ;), the ones I love and share freely:

  • Essential oils that impact emotions, triggers and stress: Namely for me, it was bergamot for self-love and wild orange to release patterns of scarcity (fear of not enough-ness).
  • Digging Deep and the tools talked about within to overcome core beliefs, resistance, and fears. (This one can actually help you find the oils that will support you too by showing you those underlying needs/triggers.)

It boils down to this: Find your triggers. Find your tools. Use them consistently. Constantly. Watch your life evolve.

Rethinking Everything (And Being On Stage)

The Rethinking Everything Conference was amazing. This was our 3rd “unschooling” conference, but this one was so much more than unschooling. It’s that whole-life unschooling thing we were talking about, applying these principles to every area of your life.

There were workshops, talks and discussions on everything from parenting and education to health, work, sustainable housing, travel, barefooting and more. There were funshops for shaving cream sculptures, taking apart electronics, gaming, wand making, Lego, copeira, fencing, salsa dancing and hooping. We even took part in a documentary!

But the best part of any conference is the community. For five days we took over the conference center; we created our own village in the middle of Fort Worth. And we thrived in the atmosphere of love, acceptance, authenticity and cooperation. It was amazing and difficult to leave.

I can’t even begin to describe to you what we took away from the weekend: so many self-realizations, new friendships and amazing levels of awareness. Our minds and hearts expanded so many times that we were practically vibratingat the end of each day. It’s something you must experience to understand, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Instead I’m going to share just one small moment of the weekend. Three short minutes in which I pushed myself to do something completely outside my comfort zone.

26. Be on stage.

I have a really hard time under a spot light. Whether it’s calling into a radio show or being called on in class, I always feel the same jittering, stomach-flopping, heart-racing nerves threatening to twist me up. And I am ready to get over that.

Yeah, I freaking did it. I hooped on stage. And I learned a few things about myself too.

  1. When I’m nervous I have to pee. Like 17 times. In an hour.
  2. I take things way too seriously.
  3. I’m incredibly hard on myself.

I worked myself up until I was positively jittering. Which of course means I dropped my hoop twice (one of them hitting my own child in the head). And then I forgot at least half of what I wanted to actually do. And then I proceeded to tear myself down afterward.

But if you’re going to push yourself to do something new and challenging that scares the piss out of you, there is no better crowd than that loving, accepting one I mentioned above. While I was busy watching my taped performance, criticizing myself and feeling like crap, no less than 5 people walked up to tell me how amazing it was. And over the next two days I heard the same from a dozen more. I had somehow amazed and inspired them, adults and kids. It didn’t mattered that I had dropped the hoop or forgotten my moves or shook from nerves. I had still had fun and inspired others to do the same.

Okay, so are you ready to see it? Promise not to laugh? Alright, here goes….5 months of hooping and a really fun song (I Don’t Mind by Imagine Dragons) and this is what you get:

First Hooping “Performance” from Tara Wagner on Vimeo.

No, I’m not satisfied. And I won’t be until I can get up there and not feel nervous. I’m going to keep doing this; pushing myself. Because even when it doesn’t, it still feels so amazing. I may not hoop next time, but you will see me up there again.