One of the secrets of success is not letting what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. Today I am known most for my public speaking. But when I first started speaking, I wasn’t effective. I remember being really fearful. Then when I got the chance to speak at an event as a senior in college, I was terrible. People who knew me then described my speaking style as “stiff.” But I kept at it. I began to study effective communicators and spoke to small audiences at every opportunity. It took me seven years to become comfortable while speaking. Only then could I develop and hone my communication style.
In time I got chances to speak to larger audiences. The first time I spoke to over a thousand people was at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio, in the 1970s. In the 1980s, I spoke to an audience of more than 10,000 for the first time during a youth rally at the University of Illinois. In the 1990s, I spoke to 68,000 people at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. And in the 2000s, I’ve spoken live in events that were simulcast to even larger audiences.
I don’t tell you this to brag. I say it because when I was afraid during that first speaking engagement, I had no idea where it would lead me. But I didn’t let my fear rule me. Instead, I accepted it as the price I would have to pay for personal progress.
Shakespeare said, “He is not worthy of the honeycomb that shuns the hive because the bees have stings.” Don’t let your fear keep you from taking small steps in your development. You never know where they might lead.
John Maxwell — The Difference Maker
PUT FEAR ASIDE AND TAKE A SMALL STEP
TO FURTHER DEVELOP YOURSELF.