I had a dream. I was standing onstage in front of thousands of people talking, so animatedly and so happily, like there’s no place I’d rather be . After I was done there was a round of applause and I smiled so big I gave myself a double chin… and then I woke up. I remembered I had an actual public speaking competition today and grimaced at the thought of it. I fell back asleep and missed my competition.
It wasn’t always like this. When I was younger I used to get showered with compliments on my flair for speaking while I tried to act like it was no big deal, and it wasn’t, at least at that time. My mom ushered me to competitions where I spoke and spoke and spoke. Now she doesn’t take me to competitions and if she tried I ask her politely to leave me alone. I had a talent and I didn’t do anything with it. It’s not that I had stage fright, on the contrary I’ve always loved the stage. It was a matter of pure laziness. I thought my endowment would stay with me even if I didn’t bother developing it. All I wanted to do was find out who killed Jason Blossom or binge watch Sherlock, again, and I didn’t realize what I had done until I enrolled myself in a competition earlier this year. It was quite tragic. As usual, I didn’t prepare anything – I’ve always been an improviser, but when I went up on stage, I got an unfamiliar feeling of pure fear – is that what they call stage fright? Turns out it was. My powers of improvising had flown out of the window and I stammered through my speech, not able to do what I once prided myself on doing. I couldn’t put my thoughts into words and it frustrated me.
Remember that your greatest talent is so much more powerful than your biggest fear.
This is why my goal now is to improve on my talents. I believe it should be yours too. Each one of us has something we pride ourselves on being able to do and losing it can send us into despair. It can be something simple as making everyone around you laugh. Never stop doing what you love doing due to fear of failure or, in my case, pure laziness.
After my tragic speech, the next contestant came up, one I recognized as stammering through his speech last year. He stood onstage in front of thousands of people talking, so animatedly and so happily, like there’s no place he’d rather be. After he was done, there was a round of applause and he smiled so big he gave himself a double chin.