Sunday, 14 December 2008

Doing Something Scary

Someone wiser (and much braver!) than I am once said that you should do one thing every day which scares you. And with that in mind, it happened that yesterday evening I managed to 'volunteer' to do the third reading at my College's alumni carol concert.

Now, I can talk easily with any number of people at a party or conference (or just about anywhere) but if you put me in front of a room of people and ask me to speak 'to' rather than 'with', I suddenly lose my tongue.

I was tempted to say 'no'; it would have been easy to summon excuses. My eyesight is not great (I had to ask them to print the reading in a larger font). We were driving for an hour and a half to get there, with the consequent risk of being late. A simple 'no, thanks' would have sufficed for everybody.

But although I could have justified myriad reasons not to, I felt honoured to have been asked - I wanted to do it, I just would have preferred to do it without the stage fright! In the end I decided it would almost undoubtedly be good for me - something less scary than giving a presentation (after all, I only had to read the words, Luke had already written them) but still practising similar skills and feeling the same sick nervousness. Besides, I do like a challenge.

It was an excellent service; it always is. The New College Choir gave an outstanding performance as always. I admit I wasn't fully listening to the first few carols, although the beautiful music did something to soothe my nerves. I hope no-one could see the way my heart was pounding in my chest as I stepped up to read - but even if they could, I did it. I might even be tempted to do it again in future.


C. Beth said...

Good for you! Especially considering I've heard public speaking is commonly the biggest fear people have (supposedly a bigger fear than death.) So it's a big one to overcome. :)

Your offer to give the nuts to someone in the US if you win is very, very sweet and makes me hope you win just so such a nice thing can happen. I'll randomly choose the winner later today!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I just wish I knew how many times I have to do it before I stop getting scared! If someone could say, e.g. "ten more times and you'll be ok", then I could find ten more opportunities ASAP and get the fear out of the way.

As for the nuts - someone will be happy one way or another! :) I'll have to think of a giveaway to do, it's a lovely idea.

Schafner said...

Hey, great post!

I wanted to let you know that I just received your comment on my "Inspiration is Underrated" post.

Thanks so much for your comment. I feel bad for not responding more promptly.

Have a great day!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Well I wasn't expecting a reply since all I was really saying was "I agree" - a conversation like that could go on for a loooong time!! :)

Johanna said...

Carols at oxford sound lovely and it would be extra special to be part of the service - sounds like a good fear to face (if there is such thing as a good fear!)

Rachel Cotterill said...

Thanks Johanna, they always have a beautiful service and a lovely choir, so I was very glad to be there :)

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