This morning, USA Today ran a story on professionals with a fear of flying, who must travel that way on their jobs nonetheless.
And, if you’ve read the article, you already know I’m the one prominently featured in the piece as one of those who deals with this fear on an ongoing basis.
I’ve never discussed it publicly before. However, it’s something many of my friends know about; I’m remembering the time in particular when fellow speakers Scott Friedman and Jerome Joseph couldn’t believe I would decide to take a bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur rather than a short flight with them, just because there were thunderstorms in the area.
There IS something, though, that is very positive about my fear of flying. It has certainly helped me understand why someone would be fearful of speaking…or success…or just about anything else.
When I asked famed actress Meryl Streep to define what “success” meant to her, the answer was profound. “Success is constantly evolving,” she said. “It’s confronting your fears and moving through them.” She didn’t say it was winning Oscars ® or earning millions. It’s being able to face what scares you…and do it anyway.
I know it sounds strange that the trip TO the speech creates more anxiety for me than getting up on the platform and actually giving the presentation; but, it’s true. I deal with it every single time…and have for many years.
However, I guess that coming out with this now is just my way of hoping that if I can display it’s possible for me to deal with a basic fear that is a component of my everyday life…I know that somewhere within you is that ability, too.
Confront your fear…and move through it. It’s part of the recipe for success.