I’m preparing a talk for the local library, on “Writing Personal Experience Stories People Want to Read.” Last Saturday when everyone else was out, I opened the file and did my first talk-through.
It was… less than stellar.
The outline needs a bit of tweaking, but the points are sound. The illustrations of said points need major fleshing out. Did I expect to pull them out of the air in front of an audience?
Seasoned public speakers are probably nodding and saying that’s why we practice–to see what’s wonky or missing while there’s time to fix it. That’s what I say about a first draft in writing. It’s no big deal. You can’t polish what isn’t written yet.
As I umm-ed and uh-ed through this first attempt, the negative feelings clustered nearer. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, that sinking sense of hopelessness and desperation….
Before, I’d have drawn those feelings close like a comforting blanket and accepted their lies.
This time, God showed me what was happening and reminded me I can choose what to believe. And He helped me choose to believe Him.
In the clarity of deception-free sight, I saw what my trial run really showed me: where to strengthen the material, and where I needed illustrations. It wasn’t proof of inadequacy at all, just a step in the preparation process.
I could have accepted the lies and given up. Instead, I’m relying on the truth that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I can do this. I can fine-tune the outline and locate good examples for each point. Several have already come to mind.
Public speaking is a stretch for me, but I’ve done it before and lived to tell. Recognizing and deflecting the lies is also stretching me, and I’m so encouraged to see progress!