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Today I Got Sweaty

Today I got sweaty.

I was nervous, and my body reacted by sweating profusely. 

I saw a contest pop up on my social media feed this week that I decided to enter. It is an opportunity for me to speak on a stage far outside my comfort zone, and I knew immediately I wanted to enter it. My goal is not to win, but to practice speaking outside of a ministry context and push myself to try something new. I am underqualified for this contest for sure! And if I won I’m not sure what I would do next. But the point is to just practice. I wrote my speech, and feeling good enough about it, I asked a couple friends for their feedback. 

These are friends who have speaking experience. They are smart, kind, encouraging, and also understand what it takes to be a successful speaker. I knew they would be encouraging to me, and also critique my work in a professional way. 

So I read them what I wrote. It was scary. It was vulnerable. Although they know me, they did not know the details of the story I was sharing, so it was new information to share with them. I knew I could trust them, but I still felt nervous. 

My mind was racing with anxious thoughts.

What if they thought what I wrote was bad? What if they didn’t see the value in the story I was telling? What if my message was too generic to be submitted for the contest? What if my story didn’t impact people the way I wanted it to? What if they didn’t pick up on my humor? What if they thought I was a terrible speaker – a lost cause? Conversely, what if they thought I was a great speaker and invited me to share more? 

Choosing to be vulnerable can be scary! Even when the goal is just to do it without being attached to the outcome. 

Our bodies often have a physical response to vulnerability, nervousness, and anxiety. For me, it’s in the form of sweat. Even though my mind knew I was in a safe place, sharing with safe people, my body did not respond that way. Instead, I got sweaty. 

I shared my story with them, and I sweated the whole time. 

I got their feedback. I embraced the vulnerability. 

And I put on more deodorant. 

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