We fear public speaking because it makes us feel like prey.
The reason so many people fear public speaking is because it triggers a primal instinct. Early men and women felt extremely vulnerable out in an open field — it meant predators could see them and eat them.
So, when we step on stage, by ourselves, and see dozens of eyes starring back at us, we feel like prey.
Fear is something deeply ingrained within our DNA.
Ancient man and woman experienced a significant amount of fear in order to protect themselves from being eaten alive by wild animals or murdered at spear point by neighboring tribes.
The odds of death thousands of years ago were significantly higher, and to better their odds of survival, humans developed something called fear.
Why do you think we are scared of the dark? The Boogeyman? No, because thousands of years ago, we were more vulnerable to be attacked at night.
While in ancient history, fear was a great quality… today, since there aren’t tigers lurking around every street corner, those feelings tend to hinder us more than help us.
In present day, fear actually prevents us from taking advantage of lucrative opportunities in business and life. So, in order to be successful, we have to embrace fear and figure out ways to prevail forward with it — understanding that it will never stop clawing at our minds and our hearts.
But, how does one go about doing this? How do we live and thrive with fear?
The reason early man and woman eventually ventured into the dark or into the open field was because they had to… if they weren’t willing to step outside from the safety of their cave, there was a good chance they were going to starve.
In other words, they had to make the choice between starving to death and dying… or hunting for food at the risk of being eaten alive and dying.
Obviously, most people made the decision to hunt for food at the risk of being eaten alive… if they hadn’t, well we wouldn’t be here today.
In 2017, there is a good chance you don’t have to face every single day with the choice of either starving to death or being eaten alive.
But, you do have to face every single day with the choice to either play it safe and live the life you have always lived, or jump outside your comfort zone and create the life you have always wanted.
We are no longer faced with making decisions between life and death, and because of this, most people allow fear to rule their lives.
I am sure everyone has a different opinion here, but I would venture to say that allowing fear to rule one’s life is equivalent to dying… or at least, not living.
By Cole Schafer.
Cole is the copy chief at Honey Copy, where he helps startups make more money through emails and landing pages that read like poetry and sell like Ogilvy. When he isn’t slinging copy, he is right here on Medium sharing ideas about life, business, marketing and orange juice. Or riding alpacas.