The Woman Rocks

“The process of putting yourself out there, the process of getting scared, the process of being uncomfortable. The uncertainty of it all is what makes it valuable—it’s what makes us realize who we are.” You may think this quote was by a keynote speaker expressing why they go on stage or agree to speak in public, but not so.

On November 4th, Emily Harrington became the first woman to free-climb Yosemite’s El Capitan in under one day. (4-6 days is normal.) It was her fourth attempt to scale the peak via the Golden Gate Route which is 3,000 feet straight up. But well into the climb, Harrington fell and received a nasty gash on her forehead. Still, she persevered.

We’ve witnessed stage fright keep more speakers off the stage than anything else. Presenting in front of others is frightening and difficult. But if you look back over your life experience, you likely have overcome something equal to the fear of public speaking. Leverage that sense memory and the rush of success when you accomplished your goal. By building your skill set one tool at a time, getting back up when you fall, and placing your intention above your fear, you too will achieve your goal, no matter how lofty. Thank you, Emily for being such a brave role model!


  1. Linda Waldon says:

    I remember the first time I taught a webinar using GoToMeeting many years ago, it was sooooo frightening because, unlike Zoom (which I have been using for several years!), you couldn’t see the audience. So, I was speaking into a black abyss! That connection with your audience is so important. But, I did my first webinar, and another one, and another one after that. And, eventually, I was comfortable speaking into an abyss, and receiving my feedback cues with the Chat Box. My two favorite mottos are, “Fake It Til You Make It” and “Just Do It!” Do what scares you most and you will grow the most!

    • Deborah Shames says:

      You exemplify our favorite clients, who realize that if they “just do it” they’ve conquered half the battle. And you’re also right that once you do what scares you most, you will grow the most– and I would add, feel good about yourself. Thanks for writing!

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