Fear of Public Speaking

QA165 QUESTION: I want to ask about my anxiety of speaking in public and what suggestions you have for what I can do about it.

ANSWER: This anxiety is a direct result of a great fear of your feelings. Some of these feelings are very beautiful. They are coming to the surface now. You are beginning to meet them. The more you meet them and face them and come to terms with them, the more this shyness will vanish. This is the process.

I venture to say that you would not even have asked this question or only with great difficulties could you have brought yourself to even ask this question here, if you would not have made a great breakthrough recently. Isn’t that true? {Yes}

Now, if you continue in that way and you courageously meet your feelings – work them through, let them happen to you, let yourself be moved by them – you will see that you will truly be liberated from that vise that holds you together. It makes you unable to move out into the world and express what you have to give, and receive what the world has to give you.

 

QA171 QUESTION: I want to ask about my very intense fears of speaking up in this group; I feel it now and have felt it for four years. I force myself to ask questions practically every time but I have to push through seemingly a steel wall to get to you. I feel it’s partly me versus the group as a totality, and partly it’s something that’s very deep and very strong. And I want to see what it is.

ANSWER: This is the remnants of the problem that you have begun to dissolve in a most wonderful way. But, of course, there still exist these remnants. It is, number one, the illusion that the world is against you, that people are your enemy, that people are out to get you, that people are apt to ridicule you, and that you have to do something quite superhuman in order to prevent this dreadful fate. This, of course, is illusion.

This illusion brings about the strength of the idealized self-image, which you know about and have worked on considerably with a great deal of success. The fear and the anxiety that burden you – especially when you are in the presence of a group with whom you have no personal contact, or part of whom you have no personal contact with – then this fear is much greater.

If you are only with people you know and with whom you already know a certain acceptance exists, the anxiety is less. But with strangers, the whole full force of the misconception is still burdening you there.

Your recognition of this will help you further as you have already done in the past, where you just observe these elements and begin to make room that you are in error, that you may be in error, that these people are not out to ridicule you or find fault with you.

Perhaps every one of them has similar anxieties and concerns, not always necessarily in the same intensity. But the more you continue to see this, the freer you will be and the more you will be concerned to act in accordance with and for the sake of what is, rather than what appearance you give.

In this case, the sole concern will soon be, “Here I have a question. What is the answer? What is the truth of this question I am concerned with? I do not wish to convey any other impression to others but what I actually am, and there’s nothing wrong with what I actually am, so I do not have to put up an appearance of being something better.”

This is the only reason, my friend, and soon this will lessen and lessen, as you have seen already in many other areas, that the fear lessens and the joy and the love feelings for yourself and others increase.

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