I loved Mike’s opening post about getting over a fear of heights by going to the top of the Sears Tower. I had the opposite experience—I’d never been afraid of heights until I went skydiving. Oops.

I’m afraid of all sorts of random things that will never happen (remember those old scary TV shows that had people being buried alive?) and some things that will happen that I’ll just have to suck up (not everyone’s going to love this book, for example, and that’s just how it is). And I’m not afraid of some of the things that came up most often on people’s intro posts (like snakes—I had a pet snake in college, RIP). But the fear that feels the most pressing to me right now is one I have to deal with all the time: public speaking.

Whenever I tell people this, they laugh. Which is, in many ways, understandable. I’m a professor, which means I speak in front of my classroom all the time. I can also be kind of a loudmouth, especially when I’m around my friends, and I tend to say what I think, with minimal filters. I can generally hide the quivering mess I am when I have to get in front of a room and have all the eyes focused on me.

With this book, however, comes new opportunities to have to face this fear. I’m going to be attending some conferences where I have to speak to enormous rooms of people, far bigger than I’ve ever been in front of before. Sometimes the people won’t have chosen to be there, which makes it even harder (though I should be used to that by now—right, law students?).

So the fear I’m acknowledging today is one I haven’t yet had to face, but which is coming: I’ve agreed to speak at an event that could have anywhere from 250-500 people in it, many of whom may not be there of their own volition. That means it could be five times the number of people I’ve ever spoken in front of, and that happened precisely once.

Those who’ve come before me on Fearless Fridays have been brave enough to post video; I’m not quite there yet. Even just signing up for this feels like a pretty big deal to me, but once I’ve said I’ll do something I tend to do it, which means this is really going to happen. I’m hoping that saying yes ends up being the scariest part, but I’ll have to check back in later on that one. In the meantime, I’m just going to rely on Rosie the Riveter, always a source of inspiration:


Keep your fingers crossed for me!


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