I really have to start writing in the morning. So much comes up during tapping and meditation, and I really want to flesh out those things. Instead, I get caught up in the day, and in the evening or at night, I feel really far removed from that space. However, this morning I decided to tap on my fear of public speaking. The really interesting part of the session was that the question of when my fear of public speaking first began kept being asked. According to the tapping facilitator, some embarrassing or even traumatic event is at the root of fear of speaking in public. All that came to mind for me were the times I bombed speaking in public. I remembered the sweating palms, pounding heartbeat, my voice cracking, and going completely blank because my nerves got the best of me. I also recalled moments when things didn’t go bad, and I got through it, even though I was really nervous. I tried to figure out the difference between moments when I’ve been so nervous that I froze and forgot what I was supposed to say and moments when I finished speaking despite being nervous. The only difference was I was either tipsy and bordering on drunk (as a spoken word artist) or was reading something I had previously written. I have tried to hide in both situations—either behind alcohol or my words. This is an indication of my fear and is consistent with my preferred stress response to go into flight mode. That much is clear.
While the fear was confirmed, the exact moment or event that spawned my fear of public speaking still evades me. However, this one moment keeps coming to mind. I can see myself in my mind standing on stage at my elementary talent show. I see the little red dress. I remember the song I wrote, the instrumental I wrote the song to, and me singing lyrics that were way too mature for my age, now that I think about it. I had to have been in the 3rd or 4th grade. Anyway, I don’t remember anything traumatic or embarrassing happening. I performed my song, and it was over. I’m sure I was nervous, but I can’t actually connect to that moment enough to really recall how I felt. The only thing I remember is that I didn’t win the talent show. I remember thinking I should have won just based on the originality alone, but that’s it. But for some reason, that memory kept coming up, but I didn’t feel any kind of emotional charge. I wonder if that moment had no impact on me, or if it did impact me, and I’ve just detached from it. I don’t know. I don’t want to make up an issue that isn’t there, but I also want to explore it because if there is something there, I want it to surface so that I can address it.
Public speaking is something I desperately want to get comfortable with. I want to be good at it because I actually have a lot to express and share, and as long as I’m paralyzed or heavily compromised by my fear, I’ll never do what I want to do. This tapping exercise isn’t a multi-day series, but I’m going to make it one. I’m going to tap on this for the next few days and see if I have any breakthroughs. I’m actually very intrigued to see what surfaces and what new awareness I gain from it. And ultimately, let go of my fear.