How to Overcome 2 of the World's Greatest Fears

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It's a scary thought for many. More scary apparently than death, loneliness, our eight legged friends, and more fear inducing than creepy clowns.

What is this greatest fear I speak of that tops death and spending life and old age alone? Two words. Public Speaking.

I Get It

As an ex-public speaking phobic I get it. As an ex-spider phobic I get it even more.

Unfortunately because back then I didn't know it was possible to change and overcome my fears I never pitted them head-to-head to see which came out tops for me because I felt equally terrified of both each time the fear became real.

How Do You Get Rid of It

Things came to a head first with the spiders when my then partner got a contract working abroad which meant my live-in arachnid catcher would no longer be around to save me.

Me & Betsy the Tarantula

I decided I had to take action. The picture below was the result.

Me with 'Betsy' the Tarantula

I remember the night my fear of spiders was resolved. My partner couldn't believe I was suddenly cool and OK with them, however in typical sods law fashion this was the one night our house wasn't overrun with spiders, so I grabbed a spotlight and marched him out to the garden shed to go look for them.

I NEVER went anywhere near the shed before that night

The look on his face was priceless because you could barely get me to go in the garden, never mind the old shed!

So Scared I lost My Voice

My neurology shut down at the thought of pubic speaking

I remember the day where I realised my fear of public speaking had gotten out of control. My then boss Glenn Rickett's asked me to report back on my research and ground trip to Cyprus for the International Distributors Conference I was organising.

Many of the guys in the sales team were friends however terror still gripped my heart at the thought of going to the meeting and speaking to them all as a group. A few minutes before the meeting my phone rang. It was Rashmi from Accounts. I answered and realised I'd lost my voice.

Glenn walked past and heard me. I genuinely couldn't speak and thought I'd suddenly come down with some mysterious bug or virus. He asked for my notes and said he would present back to the guys on my behalf.

It was time to own up to the extent of the fear

I was sat at my desk and wistfully looked at the clock. Another 10 minutes and the meeting would be over. My phone rang. I answered it. My voice as fine.

It was in that moment I realised the fear was so great I literally lost my voice. Up until that point I had spent the previous 20-something years telling myself I was just very shy, which is also true because I am also an off-the-chart introvert. It was time to own up to the extent of the fear. I didn't know what to do about it back then because this was in the 80's and I knew nothing of personal development. It simply left me knowing I had a bit problem which would potentially limit both my life and career.

That Was Then. This is Now.

Marilyn Devonish Speaking at Kensington Olympia, London

This is one of my favourite Keynote Speaker photos. An aerial shot taken while I was speaking as one of the Media Experts for Psychologies Magazine at Kensington Olympia. It is me on stage. Someone who could barely speak to their own family or look another adult in the eyes.

I overcame my fear of public speaking in October 2000. You've not been able to shut me up since. My 700+ Facebook live videos will attest to that!

It is Possible

When I tell people it is possible to overcome even the most seemingly insurmountable of fears, I say that not because I read it in a book, watched a documentary, or heard about the friend of a friend who did it, I say that because I have done it. And not just me, countless numbers of clients over the past 19 years I've been in therapeutic practice have done it too.

How Do You Do It?

With the spiders I went on a friendly spider program. When I realised it included hypnosis my expectations of success were slim to zero because I was still in business mode back then and knew nothing of the therapy world and cared even less.

With the public speaking the thing that cracked it for me was a Breakthrough Session, and from there I attended a Presentation Skills Workshop to refine my skills. You can read more about the Breakthrough Sessions in action here in the piece I did for The Metro Newspaper:

Limiting Beliefs

One of the things at the heart of the fear of public speaking for me was what you would call limiting beliefs; "I'm not good enough, not worthy enough, not capable." With those running as filters I can see why getting up to speak in public and potentially make a fool of myself would be a no-no. If I wasn't good and worth enough why on earth would anyone else want to listen? The limiting beliefs are further compounded by the fears.

My Fear Busting Checklist

Number I say would say is join me for my new 1-day Fearless Public Speaking Video Webinar Workshop! It all takes place online which means you can join us from anywhere in the world so long as you have an internet connection, which if you're reading this Blog, that's a "yes."

Outside of that some of my suggestions include:

  • Identify any limiting beliefs and resolve them. I used the NLP, Hypnosis and Timeline Therapy Breakthrough combo, and there are also a ton of other modalities out there nowadays.
  • Get to the heart of what the fear and anxiety is all about, what you would call in therapeutic terms the 'root cause.'
  • Change your focus. When you have a fear you tend to lead with it: "I hope I don't get nervous." Unfortunately that kind of thinking put the very thing you want to avoid centre stage. Instead focus on what you do want.
  • Next level your game and learn about the fundamentals of communication and how to connect with an audience.

From TED Talk Invite & Petrified to Award Winning Global Speaker

I shared these tips and strategies with one of my wonderful clients, Erika Brodnock who had been invited to do a TED Talk and was petrified. She attended my PhotoReading Workshop which really does take things to a whole other level, and also did some Breakthrough Coaching Sessions with me alongside joining my Magic Program.

Below is what she had to say:

Erika Brodnock Award Winning Speaker, TranceFormationsTM client
Erika Brodnock, Karisma Kidz, Award Winning Speaker
"I remember attending the PhotoReading Course with Marilyn Devonish and being worried about a pending TEDx talk I was scheduled to deliver in just over a months’ time... I was petrified.. I didn't see myself as a speaker, and while I knew I had a powerful story to share I wasn't sure how to deliver it and had racked up a few negative experiences around public speaking in the past!
When I heard about The Magic Programme I jumped at the chance to participate. I knew it was for me as I needed a little magic in my life.. If only to make it through the TEDx talk.
I worked through my speaking angst with a combination of Breakthrough Coaching Sessions with Marilyn and Matrix Reimprinting and went on to deliver a talk that has now been watched and shared by over 1000 people. That, however was just the beginning . . . Since then I have been asked to speak at several events. From meetups to the BBC and each and every time I have delivered beyond my wildest expectations and to high acclaim...
Simply MAGIC!
If you're thinking about enrolling on the Magic Programme and wondering if it’s the right thing to do... Take a look at the clip below and click the sign up button. It's certainly worth every penny."

Erika Brodnock
Karisma Kidz

You can read further testimonials here however there isn't much there considering I've got a Word document running to several thousand pages of testimonials:

Join Me for Another Ground Breaking Training

The Presenting with Confidence, and Effective Communication Skills are Workshops I've been designing and running for Corporate clients since 2003. Following the very successful roll out of my Online Video Webinar Workshops, one of the next to launch is Fearless Public Speaking.

My Workshops both on and offline are always rated excellent.

My Workshops both on and offline are always rated excellent

It's a full 1-Day Workshop and because it all takes place online it means you can join us from anywhere on the world.

What Does the Fearless Workshop Cover?

During this interactive Workshop I will be sharing the techniques and approaches which have worked for me and my clients.

  • How to go from terrified of public speaking to loving it.
  • The 4-Step Process to help you structure any talk, presentation, or pitch deck.
  • How to calm your nerves and anxiety.
  • The biggest unconscious saboteurs and how to overcome them.
  • How to harness your physical and mental energy so it works for rather than against you.
  • Easy ways to deal with open forums and live audience questions.
  • Intro to a System that helps you focus and remember what you want to say.
  • Entrepreneur tips on pitching and presenting to Angel Investors.

To book your place at the pre-launch price go to:

Outside of the launch offers go to:

Book a Free 20-Minute Consultation

If you have specific questions or queries you can book a free 20-Minute Consultation with Marilyn Devonish. Go to:

As my software wiped out my social media likes a few months ago, do feel free to both like and share this Blog, and if you know someone who could benefit from freeing themselves from what can be a debilitating and life and career limiting fear and phobia, send them them link.

Marilyn Devonish, The NeuroSuccess Coach

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