Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bouncing back after a bad experience

On June 6th the Washington Post published a brief story by Charlene Jehle about what once happened to her at a high school sports banquet. She had coached volleyball at Catholic University, and was to be the after-dinner speaker.

A parent was clearing plates as Charlene was being introduced, and accidentally toppled the whole stack, which dumped loads of chicken bones and potato salad onto her hair and clothes. Their coach tried frantically to clean her up. What was her reaction?

“I walked to the podium with a changed attitude. Nothing I could say or do at that point would be more embarrassing than what had just transpired in front of the entire audience. It was a turning point. I gave the best speech of my life and forever lost the fear of public speaking. Amazing what a little chicken and potato salad can do.” 

Her reaction illustrates that fear is based on perception and not reality. It reminded me of an old Zen saying that at this point nothing really is left to you but to have a good laugh at yourself.

1 comment:

michael platania said...

What a wonderful story, and a powerful example of how fear can be overcome in an instant!