Perk # 87: Cancer Gave Me The Courage To Step Outside My Comfort Zone

According to the Wall Street Journal, public speaking is the number one fear of people in North America.  Death is number two.  In other words, if you were going to a funeral, you would rather be the one in the box than the person giving the eulogy.   In January, when Paula Tessier, (Provincial Coordinator for the CBCF), invited me to be guest speaker at this year’s Provincial Annual Retreat, I wasn’t sure that I would have the nerve to do it. While I had experience with public speaking, my skills had gotten a little rusty in my time away from work, and the thought of giving a speech to a group of 200 people ranked right up there with bungee cord jumping and running with the bulls.

In perk # 83, I spoke of cancer being my new cause with my goal being to spread the word about the benefits of facing cancer with a positive attitude.  What better place to promote my cause than with a captive audience of women in various stages of their breast cancer journey.  But I wasn’t sure if I would be able to re-confront my old fear.  When I was a child, my father taught me these words: “Do what you fear and your fear will disappear.”  I reasoned that if I could face cancer head on, then I could certainly take on this challenge.  And so I did it!  Not only did I give my speech, but….if I do say so myself, judging from the feedback I got afterwards….I ROCKED IT!  And Dad was right, now that I have done it, the thought of speaking in public again doesn’t scare me as much.  In fact, I have even accepted another speaking engagement for July and I look forward to others as well.

Kudos to Paula and her committee for organizing an excellent retreat.  I learned lots of valuable information, and made some new friends along the way.

Me with my new friends, Susan (left) and Judy (right)


Tip:  Do what you fear and your fear will disappear!


10 thoughts on “Perk # 87: Cancer Gave Me The Courage To Step Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. Well done Florence! Public speaking is one of those things that you just have to go ahead & do your best. Most people are usually impressed with the courage it took to get up there & if your message was worthwhile it’s a bonus.

  2. Yay!!! Congratulations on conquering that fear and giving the speech!! You are inspiring every day with your positive approach to cancer. So proud of you!

  3. I love you cuz, just wanted you to know that. I admire your strength and beauty, you are just so amazing, and truly an inspiration to those around you. You’re my hero. Xoxoxo

  4. It was great to finally meet you in person after all that Molly had told me of your bravery, spirit and this blog. Thank you for giving the speech and continue to be your best brave self as will I.

  5. Hi Florence I really enjoyed you when you spoke at the retreat. You made me have an light bulb moment when you defined why you see your self as a survivor. I have struggled with that word as I am only at the beginning stages and think of myself as a cancer thriver. Now I understand why that word means so much to so many. Thanks for inspiring me and giving me some of your strength that night.
    I started a blog myself just recently and wanted to share it with you.

  6. Thanks for this post, Florence.

    I would like to inform your readers about simple online tool that can help them to estimate a risk of developing breast cancer..

    Breast Cancer Online Risk Tool is designed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, to estimate a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

    Inform yourself about your risk – Breast Cancer Online Risk Tool

    All the best,

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