Thank you, Bob

Sandy, Executive Assistant for General Telephone Company’s west side branch manager based in Beaverton, OR told Session 9 of the Leadership Development Lab™(LDL):

“After a lifetime of living with the fear of speaking in front of a group, I wanted a change. The very thought of getting up in front of a group paralyzed me. Truth be told, I wouldn’t speak up, wouldn’t raise my hand to ask a question, or make a suggestion in any group setting. My growth, both career and personal, was stymied. I knew I needed Turbo’s training and the freedom that confidence of speaking before a group could bring. I was so paralyzed by my fear that I couldn’t call the Turbo office to sign up for the LDL. I was so afraid, that I asked Bob Black, a coworker, to sign me up. I had to ask someone else to take that first step for me. I knew that after the company paid for the program, I would have to attend.

“At Session 1, I sat in the back row. When Larry asked for a row of us to come up front for a short introduction, I thought, “I can’t do this!” Somehow the supportive energy in the room got me out of my chair. When I sat back down, I thought, “I did it, that wasn’t so bad!” I drove home with mixed emotions. I was excited that I had succeeded in facing my fears and still fearful about Session 2, next week’s assignment.

“Soon I was sitting in the front row, and at Session 4, I was voted a winner of the Most Improvement Award.

“I can still get a little nervous before I raise my hand, but that doesn’t keep me from asking questions and making suggestions. This has been amazingly freeing for me!

“The lesson I learned from this experience is that my anxiety about speaking before a group was rooted in needless fear. The longer I wait to face my fears, the larger they grow. They become magnified beyond all reality.

“The action I call you to take is to exercise the courage to overcome your fears, meet your challenges, all your fears, head-on. Don’t allow your fear to paralyze your ability to act.

“The benefit you will gain is control of your life, instead of being life’s victim.”

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers the fear.”

– Nelson Mandela

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