Fear of Speaking & Other Tales from the Crypt

What to Do when You are Afraid to Speak in Front of a Group? Or, when Your Boss is Sitting Front Row?

Eric Stone

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You might have heard Jerry Seinfeld’s joke that at funerals, most people would much prefer to be in the coffin rather than giving a speech.

Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Sigmund Freud pointed out something fascinating: he said that it is anxiety that produces repression. Anxiety is a repressive mechanism initiated by the projection of a past trauma or a fear of trauma onto a current situation. When we are scared and there is no actual physical danger present, we are in a state of projection.

When we are afraid to speak publicly, we subconsciously project onto the audience what we believe is “off” or “detestable” about ourselves. We are projecting into the present or the immediate future what we believe is the worst thing that could ever happen or has happened to us earlier in life. Our mind is having a field day with it; hallucination is the correct psychological term here.

Mind and Fear

Strangely enough, the mind is always fear-based at some level. It keeps on scanning for danger and analyzes all situations, people and circumstances, from that perspective. It is very useful to…

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Eric Stone

All great outcomes in life come from a paradigm shift in perspective. Maximize your personal development with emotional awareness, confidence & great skills.