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How a Speech About Wayne’s World 2 Led to Life Enlightenments

How a Speech About Wayne’s World 2 Led to Life Enlightenments

Fear and Courage are big topics in my household. Fear has been a constant companion in my own life, and I see it now battle itself out in my sons. There are so many fears that surround us, you have the big ones - death, loss of loved ones, financial destitution – and there are so many little fears peppered throughout the day – fear of failure, rejection, saying/doing the wrong thing, being made fun of, public speaking and more. I watch the extreme fear of potentially doing ‘the wrong thing’ often paralyze my son.


He holds himself back from so much of life because of the fears that plague his mind.


I worry about him. I identify with him. I was just like him.


There was so much I wanted to do and experience but I held myself back because of fear. I was silent when I wanted to speak. I was still when I wanted to dance. I said no even when I wanted to say yes. All because of fear.


There have been many life experiences that helped to break me free. Not from the fears, those will never go away. But I learned how to walk beside those fears as opposed to behind them. I learned to use those fears to propel me into walks of life I may not have experienced. I have made it a rule, if I feel fear (and it’s not a safety issue) then I will push myself into it, because I know that is where the growth happens. This rule has expanded my life and I’ve become rich in experience because of it.


One of my first experiences to help teach me this lesson was in my first public speaking class in high school. Public speaking in front of my peers in high school was something I GREATLY feared. These were the very people that caused a good deal of my fear and I now had to put myself out there in front of them?!


I spent days agonizing over that first speech. That lead ball in the stomach was a companion all week. What if they laughed at me? What if they made fun of me? What if I become a big joke? What if they think I’m stupid or boring?


I got up to do my first speech. My hands are shaking. My heart is pumping, I can hear my heart roaring in my ears and I feel sure everyone else can hear it as well. It feels as if there is a lump in the middle of my throat. I walk to the podium light headed.


We were told to pick a movie, talk about the motto and how it relates to life. I chose Wayne’s World 2 – I thought Wayne and Garth were pretty hysterical back then. I’m talking about the movie and things seem to be going smoothly when I get to the part about the motto. I say, “Well, I guess if there was a motto for the movie, it would be – If you hold it, they will come.”


The entire class erupted in laughter.


We’re talking side splitting, hysterical, iconic 80’s movie with the exaggerated manic laughing face kind of laughter. Even the teacher was laughing!


Side note – I was very innocent in high school.


I had no idea what they were laughing at. My cheeks flamed red as I continued with the speech and the laughter rolled on around me. I’m thinking to myself, what is so funny? I don’t get it. What did I do? Is there something on my face? Why is the motto so funny? If you hold it they will come? What’s funny about that?


All of this is going through my head as I was trying to get through the rest of the speech. The class had finally calmed down when the realization slammed into me.


Wait a minute. If you hold it... They will come… OMG…


The OMG came out loud and clear in the middle of my sentence. I couldn’t help it; the understanding had dawned on me and erupted from my mouth. The second wave of laughter from my peers came my way.


The worst had happened. I was a joke. They had laughed AT me. Not once, but twice.


I still walked out that door at the end of the class. I still had lunch with the same people. I went home to my same family. Nothing had really changed. I was still the same person. The fear came, was realized, I went through it and lived. I was ok. I was better than ok, I was stronger and wiser.


I learned through this process. I learned fear is often a liar. I learned not to trust in fear. I learned not to fear mistakes. We discover and grow from them. I learned when you stumble, you just get back up and keep going – you finish your speech, you finish your task, you finish your day and tomorrow is a new beginning. I learned that the opinions of those I feared didn’t have an impact on my real life. I learned that there are enough big things in life to be afraid of, I really needed to start questioning my concerns and beliefs about the little things.


What I thought was a worst-case scenario resulted in a best-case outcome.


Mind blown.


Mind opened.

All views are my own and are not reflective of any organization I am a part of

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