Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Dealing with Nerves: The Drama of Public Speaking November 4, 2012

Filed under: One Thousand Gifts Challenge,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 2:34 pm

I will be the first to admit that I’m a nervous person and I worry way more than I should. I feel like over the last few years I’ve been making progress in accepting how out of control I am. It makes me realize just how BIG of a factor God is in my life. I’m learning that trusting him means stopping my worry cycle and really putting aside my anxious thoughts. If I worry all the time then I’m pretty much saying I don’t trust God to come through for me and that the weight of everything is on me. Let’s be honest, worrying very rarely makes things better and improves the outcome of things… but still, it’s so hard. It comes so naturally. I have to be really intentional if I want to derail the worrisome train of thought I have running in  my mind.

With that being said, this Tuesday is really stressing me. I’ve been asked to speak at our church MOPS group about gratitude and what I’ve learned through counting gifts. Anyone who has been following my blog for sometime knows that I’ve read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp three times. You know that I’m on my way to counting 4000 gifts. I don’t do this because I’m a pro at it – I keep doing it because that is how long it’s taken me to get this! And truthfully, I still haven’t and I probably never will. This is one of the reasons why I feel completely unqualified.

My next big hang up is I’m scared of speaking to adults, especially moms. This might seem strange, but moms really scare me. They are like a part of this club that I’m not a member of. I work with kids all the time, but they say stuff like “Just wait until you have kids” and “You’ll understand when you’re a mom”. When I hear things like this it makes me feel like they are so much smarter than me and that I have nothing to say to them. They are on a whole different plain of being, one that I won’t understand until I join the club. It’s difficult for me because I’m so worried that I’ll say something that will elicit the look (the one that says “You don’t even know”) along with a just wait statement. I’m not even talking about something related to mothering, but the whole mom club is a group that I’m just not comfortable with.  I’m totally freaking out!

The thing that really getting to me the most is speaking for 45 minutes. I’ve taught at a conference workshop alongside Jeremy. I’ve team preached on Mother’s Day with two great ladies. I’ve never been responsible for 45 minutes of time all on my own. As I’ve been preparing my thoughts and notes, I’ve been blown away at how the length of time is a game changer for me. I’m used to splitting things up between people. I’m used to trying to keep my part down to a certain amount of time. Now I find myself trying to fill time. I’m used to practicing out loud word for word what I’m planning on saying. With 45 minutes, this tasks seems so much harder than I’m used.

Okay, now that I’ve whined, I’ll bring it home with the good church girl responses – I believe them in my heart… I just wish my stomach would get on board and stop feeling like I could throw up. I know that God is right beside me through all this and that he’ll help me through. I believe that it’s important to do things that feel bigger than yourself so God can show up and blow your mind. Doing something bigger than yourself means you have to rely on God because there is no way you can do it alone. Every time I start to feel like I should breathe into a paper bag, I’m reminded that I’m not doing this by myself. I’m sharing this presentation with God. There is a good chance I might fail… There is a good chance that 25 minutes in I might be starting at the floor trying to make the time stretch. These are very real possibilities. I just don’t want fear to keep me from growing. I don’t want fear to stop me from trying.

Tuesday could be the best day ever and be the next step in my development as a public speaker. Tuesday could go terribly wrong. I might be scarred and need counseling. One thing is true – I will not be alone. No matter what happens when I’m up front, God will be with me. His love won’t change based on how well I do. I just need to trust him. I need to let go of the nerves and just believe that he is good all the time,  no matter what, regardless of my personal performance. This is good news. I just have it keep repeating it to myself!

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6 Responses to “Dealing with Nerves: The Drama of Public Speaking”

  1. Oh Amy, it’ll be fine. These moms aren’t interested in hearing from someone who is perfect and who has all of the answers. They want to know your journey, the one only Amy knows and can share. Who is to say what is bad or good or right or wrong except for you? As for being afraid of “the moms”, I understand. I didn’t enjoy when moms would say those things to me before I had kids either. And I try to not say those things now that I’m a mom. But one this is certain- you may not be a part of our club yet but don’t feel like you have nothing to offer just because you aren’t. These ladies want to learn from you and have asked you to speak. So get up there and just share your heart. And whether it lasts 15 minutes or 44 minutes, you are contributing more than you know :) Good luck!!!

    • Amy Scott Says:

      Thanks, Andrea! I appreciate the encouragement! This just all seems too big for me and it probably is… Good thing God is on my side and I’m not doing it alone.
      I keep reminding myself that this is just my journey I’m sharing – not rocket science. I’m no pro but I’m hoping that my story can encourage others to chase joy and see God in the small everyday things. If they catch that vision it will be worth all the stress and nerves!

    • Amy Scott Says:

      PS – I’m not scared of you! You’ve been a very gracious mom and I’ve been so impressed with your mom skills!

  2. Andrea Says:

    Well, Amy, it is highly unlikely that Mary, the mother of Jesus will be present in the MOPS gathering this Tuesday. And although there will be many wise and wonderful mommies present– Yep, the mother of the Messiah, the human image of the Invisible God will probably not be in attendance. What a relief!
    For me, Mary is scary good at this mommy business. It is true that Mommies are a formidable group. And yet, they need all encouragement they can get. It’s a tough business in be in. Jesus will help you love on them. :)

  3. [...] It was an honor to speak alongside two ladies I deeply admire. I also to got to speak at our local MOPS group. It’s been a year of stretching myself in front of people.  My sister moved home from Kansas [...]


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