C'est Vrai That If You Aren't Scared, You Aren't Growing / by Dana Wood

If I'm being absolutely honest, and I'd really like to be - here in this itty bitty career blog - I actually detest pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

I'm a Scorpio; we're a "fixed" sign and generally no fans of change. 

So as I twisted myself into a pretzel with anxiety over the last 10 days prepping for my oral exam for my Docent-training class for the Dali Museum, I can't begin to count the number of times I asked myself: 

"Remind me why I signed-on for this again?"

Had I known that we're not allowed to bring a single, solitary note card into the galleries with us - and that we would also be tasked with addressing our classmates for 15 solid minutes, also sans notes, before graduating - I'm 100 percent positive that I never would have applied for this stellar program. 

Never in a billion, trillion years.

And yet...

I've done a fair amount of public speaking in my life. As a Beauty Director at a Conde Nast magazine, you're often asked to address the National Sales Team about your "vision" for your pages, or sit on Important Industry Panels, or pop up on TV for a 10-second sound-bite that took several days out of your life to study for. 

But here's the thing: Despite all the agita, the sleepless nights, the endless seeking of reassurance from the hubby, the tot, the cats, I secretly love public speaking.

When it goes well, I feel borderline-euphoric afterward. A human cartwheel. 

It's just the run-up that makes me want to hurl. Hurl and hide. Somewhere. Anywhere. 

Without question, I haven't worked as hard in the past year as I did gearing-up for that oral exam. I logged many, many hours writing my script, editing my script, rehearsing my script, videotaping my script, and just generally flipping-out about my script. 

And then you step up on that stage, in front of all your fellow classmates - the very same people who've also spent the last seven months learning every bit as much about Salvador Dali as you have - and that dog-eared script is nowhere near you. 

You're terrified.

You do it anyway.

And when it's over, you know that the ONLY way to move the needle on success is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. For your work - for your life - fear is the way forward.  




With every fiber of my being, I believe this.

With every fiber of my being, I believe this.