• Whitley N. Green

SPEAK- TF-UP: The Fear of Public Speaking...Privately

Speak-TF-up| noun| the act of voicing ones feelings or thoughts as it relates to a woman’s core values & beliefs despite the fear of rejection, abandonment, or judgement

Research has marked public speaking as one of the top 5 fears people have. It interest me to understand the fears that could possibly hide behind this phenomena that so many people, no matter the ethnicity, gender, or occupation experience. One could only question; is it the crowd size? Is it because they don’t know who is watching? It’s documented that people do all sorts of things to remedy their anxiety like; to imagine everyone is naked or looks silly, focus on a point right above the audience’s heads to avoid direct eye contact yet to still appear connected, or attempt to insert small self deprecating jokes for comedic relief. In these suggestions, I began to notice a thread but resisted the urge to make any conclusions without further investigation.

I began to reflect on my own experiences of public speaking. Initially I limited my reflection to times when I spoke to groups that sized 12 or more people. I had to admit that I did not associate the typical public speaking fears that the average person experienced with the groups that I had frequent in the past. There has always been something about speaking to a larger group of people that barely “knows” me, that made me nervous but not fearful. I tend to feel confident in the information I am bringing forth and a bit detached if they “get it” or not. Plus if they hate me the average person wouldn’t communicate this to a stranger so I never worried myself with getting my feelings hurt. Maybe it’s my love for performance?

I decided to take a different approach and simply recall moments that I experienced emotions similar to the research group as it related to public speaking. I was surprised by the many memories that flooded my consciousness. I still get chills.


“Hey, it really hurt me when you didn’t show up when you told me you would.”

“I was angry with you after you did that. I felt like you didn’t care.”

“I don’t think this is a good idea.”

“I know your intentions are good but I think you could have handled that better.”

“ I guess I just expected more from you.”

“Was I asking for too much?”

“ Hey, I know you are joking, but I don’t think she is receiving it that way. I think it really hurts her feelings when you bring it up.”

“ I know we are all excited, and I can really see that we want to move in the right direction, but I don’t think we are being realistic. Can we focus on making this practical?”

Shheeesshh.. talk about a grand speech. These are just a few of the moments that my insides shuttered at the mere thought of the words seeping from lips. Times that the number was dialed but the phone remain frozen in my hand. Often these words played ping pong in my mind, creating more fear the longer I analyzed their validity. I mean they were just as true, just as real, and just as grounded in my own experience as any well researched presentation I prepared in the past. I was confused by the power these small statements had to stop me in my tracks and think again. And again...and again. It wasn’t fair that something so real to me, was so hard to share. It was downright blasphemous that I’d made bold declarations in crowds filled with hundreds of unknown and well known faces, yet when I needed to express myself to one person...ONE, I felt the most afraid.

Rationalizing a person’s love and care for me created more anxiety and frustration. I was angry with myself for having to bring such negativity to their lives. “There is no way they’ll love me now.” “They’ll think I’m judging them or over exaggerating.” “Maybe I can add in what a disgraceful person I’ve been and it will lessen the blow.” Then I would be furious imagining my annoyance as they agreed to my self imposed word slander thinking, “this is about how I feel about what you did, pick your own time to truff your issues with me!”

Exhausted. More afraid. Confused. And yet still silent.

Once seen as a petty fear I can now empathize with the complex emotions that riddle the consciousness of a person with the task of public speaking. Voicing your inner world to strangers or loved ones is a risk of being seen, yet possibly not being accepted. We imagine the other person is naked or looks ridiculous because that’s the experience our planned vulnerability creates for us. We desire to level the playing field, to have a win- win, so we belittle ourselves in the process. We are choosing to expose ourselves, with the hope of still being accepted, yet recognizing the possibility that the audience may not agree. That is scary as h*ll! Anyways...

“You are enough.”

That’s it.

That’s the speech.

June has been #SpeakTFUp Month. It’s been an interesting exploration to observe the ways in which I have silenced myself for the sake of being accepted or being viewed as cool and non confrontational. I hope you continue to find my narratives of use in your own experience and I appreciate your love and support.

Check out my NEW YouTube Channel Video: “5 Things You Risk WhenYou Don’t Speak TF Up!”

“The life you want is on the other side of the awareness you accept & the decision you make as a result.”

Follow me @The.feminine.arts.academy on Instagram or @artsfeminine on Twitter and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/artsfeminine/ to keep up with the latest Femininity and Self Love tips and news.

Peace. Love. & Soul- Glow Grease.

#DANCEForYou #WonderingWhitley #Boundaries #SelfLove #Healing #Expectations #Standards#Creating #DivineMother #Lifestyle #SelfAwareness #Beauty #Goddess #SpeakTFUp#Accountability #SelfAwareness #SelfMastery #Insecure #HBO #Femininity

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