I have tagged 1 blog post with overcoming-fear:

From Icy Windows to Icy Fears: Navigating the Chills of Public Speaking and Global Conflict

A speaker standing bravely on stage, facing a large, intimidating crowd – frowning but determined.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 08:16

As icicles form on the outside of my train window and the landscape wears the fresh cloak of an early winter, I find my mind steering away from the frosty views. I have recently been wrestling with a thought that induces a deep, paralyzing dread in the hearts of many, a particularly dominant fear that haunts our dreams and trails our wakeful hours - the fear of public speaking.

No words seem to capture the sheer terror of having numerous pairs of eyes fastened on you, awaiting your thoughts, your words. Your hands tremble, sweat begins to coat your skin, your heart pounds in your chest as if trying to wrangle free from its confinements. You can almost feel your credibility, your reputation hanging in the balance...yet overcoming this fear is as pressing and as challenging as surviving a bitter Norwegian winter.

These thoughts were stirred up in the chill of the morning as I read through a news article. A world away from freezing Norway, a different kind of chill is descending - not from the cold but from conflict. Those distant from the horror can only read and imagine the growing dread and desperation of trapped civilians, their homes in ashes, their tomorrows uncertain.

Such scenarios of fear and terror, be it standing on a stage or in the midst of conflict, seem worlds apart. Yet they have an unusual similarity - they are both fears that can be overcome; one by sheer determination and strength of character, the other by the collective will of nations to impose peace over war.

The key to mastering fears is understanding the fear itself. To go beyond the surface, to delve deeper into the underbelly of this dreaded feeling is a step towards overcoming it. In public speaking, the fear exists before and during the speech, but dissipates when the ordeal is over. Similar, in an eerie way, to the clamour of conflict - where fear permeates before and during the terror, but would cease when peace prevails.

Striding towards the stage of public speaking, it is essential to take a step back and analyse this fear. Dissect it, familiarise yourself with it, know it inside and out. Only then can you tackle it head on. Use your fear as a weapon, as fuel. Let the fear of messing up propel you to prepare better. Let the fear of stuttering inspire you to practice more. Transform this intimidating negative into a motivational positive.

Just as the turmoil in the Middle East solicits us to introspect, to evaluate the consequences of war over dialogue, similarly the fear of public speaking compels us to seek out our weaknesses and work on them. To grow, to learn and to evolve into better versions of ourselves.

As my train pulls into the station at Oslo, I'm left with the stark realization that fear, be it of public speaking or of a volatile situation, can only be mended by facing it, head on. Beneath the canvas of a gloomy morning, hope stubbornly persists: for there's always spring following the harshest of winters, and there is growth waiting beyond a nerve-wrecking speech. Real strength, I believe, lies in accepting our fears, facing them, and finding a way to brave them, whether on a stage addressing an audience or in a conflict-ridden land searching for peace.

Tags: public speaking overcoming fear conflict resolution

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