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Standing-up to those inner fears

Monday, 02nd of February 2015

I’ve stretched my comfort zone on more than a number of occasions. For example, I did a skydive over beautiful Cape Town in 2013 and walked the Camino – a Spanish pilgrim route, in April 2014. However the scariest thing I have ever done to date is stand up comedy.

Ever heard yourself say “yes” to someone only to find yourself asking yourself, “what possessed me?”

That’s exactly what happened to me shortly after I agreed to do a stand-up comedy routine for charity. Yes, that’s right. Stand-up comedy. On a stage. In front of a paying audience. For charity.

I enjoyed writing the material and knocking it into shape with my mentor from Funny Women. I enjoyed the rehearsals and learning about timing and delivery. I thought I’d be just fine – after all, I’m very used to speaking in front of large audiences at conferences.

But on the day itself, I was scared out of my wits. So terrified in fact that I was crying my eyes out, almost cemented to my kitchen floor just hours before I was due on stage.

Of course I wanted to back out but I knew I couldn’t. As well as letting the charity and the audience down, I would have failed myself too.

So off I went and boy was I rewarded. I learned so much that night. I had so much support from friends, colleagues and family. I raised over £500 for charity and it didn’t stop there. I went on to perform my routine at The Orange Tree theatre in Richmond, and in the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank.

Am I tempted to switch career and join the comedy circuit? NO - absolutely not! But it was a great opportunity to stretch myself and to grow.

So what are you thinking about doing that feels uncomfortable? Get off the couch, stretch your muscles, feel the pain, then enjoy the exhilaration!

Yes, even the muscles in our head enjoy having some fun – so give it a go.

The stand-up certainly gave me the opportunity to shine my light – literally. Click here if you’d like to see me in action.

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