Fear of public speaking has its roots in the fear of being scrutinized by others. Sweaty palms, racing hearts and upset stomachs are the mind’s way of urging us to run and hide. We humans are deeply wired with an understanding that scrutiny might result in being ostracized by others. Social acceptance is very important to us, since we aren’t equipped to survive alone.
In this week’s episode, we’re sharing an excerpt from psychologist Shawn T. Smith’s audiobook The User’s Guide to the Human Mind: Why Our Brains Make Us Unhappy, Anxious, and Neurotic and What We Can Do about It. Shawn shares insights into the pros and cons of arguing with your mind, as seen through the lens of public speaking anxiety. You’ll learn the biology behind the fear of public speaking, as well as how to challenge and disrupt irrational thoughts.
The experience of a thousand generations who preceded us have shaped our brains to be reactive to certain threats. High on the list are things like abandonment. What could be worse for a human than to be left defenseless and alone?