Everybody has fears in life. I would be willing to bet if you pulled a random person off of the street and asked them what they fear the most in life they would have an answer. Some people fear confrontation. Some fear making decisions. Some people fear having too much responsibility. My fear is public speaking. I am fairly outgoing to a point. I can have a conversation with just about anybody, as long as they are making conversation back. But I have always had a fear of speaking in front of people. I worry that if I mess up I will look like a fool! How do I talk to people about a topic and mess up? What if someone asks me a question and I don’t know the answer? All of these questions go through my mind. Then I get very anxious and feel like I can’t go through it. Until eventually I do!
This past Thanksgiving week I had the pleasure of giving a talk about my profession of Physical Therapy at my Alma Matar Serra Catholic High School! Now it’s been a long time since I set foot in those halls. In fact, It’s been 19 years! Crazy how time flies! I was contacted by the Anatomy teacher to give a talk about my profession to her senior class. It was a talk about the profession of physical therapy, what settings we have, types of injuries we see, what exactly we do, hours, schooling, how to get into school and a typical day in the life of me! Seemed easy enough! I thought about it for about a day and decided that I needed to do this for me! I needed to get out of my own way and try to inspire at least one student. So I got to work in the short amount of time that I had. I made a power point presentation, printed some handouts, took some gadgets I use daily and had some T-shirts to give out for extra credit questions.
The day I gave my talk I practiced it three times at home that morning. I wanted to make sure that I knew what I wanted to say and that I didn’t sound like and idiot! I got to the school about 20 minutes early and met with the Anatomy teacher. She walked me to the room and got me set up before the students got there. It felt weird walking through the halls there. Brought back a lot of memories! Soon enough the students where walking in and I was passing out handouts. Before I knew it my talk was over and I did have about a hand full of students that seemed genuinely interested. It felt great to explain to these kids what I do on a day to day basis and what it takes to be able to do what I do!
If I would have let me fears get the best of me I would have told the teacher no that I wasn’t interested and I was busy. But I decided to get over my fears and get out of my own way. A lot of the time we are the reason we can’t move on to new things in our lives. We are the obstacle that is holding us back. If we can just focus on our goals and move out of our own way we can accomplish so much more. I know this was only a talk to high school students, but at least I was able to overcome my fear and start small. Who knows, I might be speaking at a University some day!