3 Ways Public Speaking Can Help You Overcome Pain and Setbacks
A lot of people choose to bury their negative life experiences, but in reality the exact opposite can be the game-changer that takes a person from where they are to where they want to be.
I’ve taught, mentored, and counseled thousands of people across the globe who suffer with mental health issues for almost a decade and I’ve even written books on the topic. One thing I’ve noticed time and again are the common attributes among those who successfully move beyond their challenging issues.
Whether we’re working, spending time with our families, or going out to eat, some people filter their everyday situations only through the lens of their past negative experiences, even if doing so isn’t realistic or beneficial.
I’ve noticed people who are willing to talk about their situations heal faster. They talk not for the purpose of complaining, but with the intention of genuinely helping others fight and win their own battles. These people live better, more meaningful lives.
Here are the three ways public speaking helps trauma survivors live better lives:
1. It serves as a release valve.
How many of us have blown up a balloon at a birthday party, only to over-inflate it and have it blow up in our faces?
I know I’ve done it and you may have, too. But unlike a balloon, when something blows up in our lives because we don’t have a handle on it the damage can be catastrophic, even irreparable.
In our book REDEPLOYED, me and Chad Robichaux talk about how to identify the release valves in your life. Release valves are important because they allow you to let out just a little bit of pressure at a time, thus keeping the container (or yourself) stable. This prevents an explosion.
When we share our knowledge and experiences with others it can be life-changing for them, while simultaneously allowing us to “let off some steam.” The benefit is almost always mutual.
2. It provides us with a redeeming perspective.
The first time I ever spoke publicly about my own tragic war experiences was only seven months after my injury. I never intended to talk about it. My original mentor invited me to his event. He invited me up on stage (unbeknownst to me) half-way through his speech to “tell the audience about myself” (there were THREE THOUSAND people in the audience that night!).
I was clueless, but rolled with the punch.
After speaking for only three minutes, a young lady approached me and told me about the abuse she had suffered and how depressed and suicidal she had been. But then she told me she believed if I could survive my own tragedy, she could survive hers too.
My life had given her hope and I didn’t even realize it. Learning how my painful experiences gave her hope for her own situation provided me with an incredible sense of purpose for why I had experienced my own pain.
Sharing my experiences with others has allowed me to redeem my most painful life experiences. It has been the #1 key to my recovery. Since others continually ask me how they can do the same, I created an online course for how they can do just that. Click here if you’d like to learn more.
3. It educates us.
Talking about our experiences forces us to think on a deeper level about our lives and allows us to learn lessons we couldn’t previously understand.
We confine ourselves within a small box when we only dwell on our own experiences and do so with the limited knowledge we have about life.
When we speak about our experiences, we have both a desire to be heard and a desire to connect with others. Since nobody wants to be perceived as a complainer, we often seek to figure out what the underlying lesson is in our experience so others can take away something of value from what we say. Sometimes we learn the most by forcing ourselves to be the teacher.
Question: If you could speak on any topic, what would it be? Why? Leave a comment below!