Pause and realize that everyone you admire is afraid of something, but they keep moving forward anyway. Don’t let your fears hold you back.

When I attended my first conference, I marveled at the speakers. I wondered how these people could become so knowledgeable that they knew everything. (Because how could you ever get up on stage if you weren’t an expert not only on your talk topic, but also on every topic that may come up in the questions?) Then, I started talking to conference speakers and I learned that they are not experts on everything. They are regular people with normal fears about being in front of an audience, about sounding dumb, about not knowing all of the answers. The only difference between them and me was that they had made a decision to get up on stage anyway. They didn’t get rid of their fear. They took that first step while still being afraid. Mine was a hard first step too, but I did it – and I achieved my goal of speaking at a conference. Your goal is reachable, too. Recognize your fear and take that first step anyway.

Beth Tucker Long // @e3betht