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Growing up I was terrified of public speaking.  I remember fainting in front of a group in elementary school during a presentation.  Even today I can see the people towering above me, wide-eyed with concern, as I awakened from my unconscious state on the floor.  It’s an unwelcome and haunting memory!

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Over the years, my anxiety decreased as I learned to manage my feelings when speaking in groups.  I found that if I felt passionate about the content, I could overcome my overwhelmingly negative psychological response.  My desire to talk about my subject matter somehow became more prominent than my fear.

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Fast forward to my presentation in New Orleans!  I had little time to prepare, but I did have a short outline of what I wanted to talk about.  Focusing on my black-and-white ensemble instead of ruminating about what I was going to say was a meditative intervention.  Surprisingly, I found it to be exhilarating and fun.

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So what does this mean?  Over the months, I plan to put together a presentation around the subject matter of “Aging With Passion.”  I have no idea where I go from here, but there is power in “beginning.”  With the right hat and the intention of overcoming fear, anything is possible.

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Photos By Daniel at Alamo Placita Park

Vintage black straw hat adorned with white ribbon and black feather – Buffalo Exchange, black and white wrap dress – Santa Fe consignment shop, white patent leather pumps with black and gold trim and jewelry – estate sales.

Linking up with Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb.

28 Comments

  1. I love your blog! Thank you so much for your posts; I am 65 and love to view those lovely ladies, like yourself, who know how to put outfits together and dress appropriately. Keep up the passion!

  2. Beautiful Judith! I can so relate to overcoming shyness as it has been with me my whole life. Love your black and white outfit!!!

  3. Every time you lift my spirits, thank you. I too have overcome my fear of public speaking and now find it invigorating! Love following you and look forward to hearing you speak in the future!

  4. You are dancing like no one is watching! You are such an inspiration, Judith. My hat collection is growing slowly, but surely.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I have terrible public speaking stage fright but I know what you mean about being passionate about what you’re speaking about and having that help overcome the nerves. LOVE your outfit! Keep shining! and looking forward to hearing more about your adventures and aging with passion. XOXO

  6. Smashing as Always!! I look forward to all of your photos and clothing compositions with great anticipation, Every Week. You are one of the highlights of my on-line life.

    Although I absolutely adore dancing,
    I was always afraid to be the ice-breaker…. SOMEbody has to begin to dance first…. One time, a very outgoing fellow I was dating said to me ‘ALL of these people want to dance. What do you care if they are watching you or not, because you are probably never going to see them again! So Lets DANCE!’ That was the end of my ice-breaker fears. While public speaking has more consequence, I tried to treat it similarly, and remind myself that I do have something to say, and I’ve been asked to speak, so others think I’m worth listening to as well. Besides, by tomorrow, they probably won’t even remember, so Go Say What I Want to Say!

  7. Hi Judith! I so enjoy your postings (via email) and vicariously soak up your style! As for putting together a presentation/talk on Aging With Passion, here’s a thought… The Wainwright House (https://www.wainwright.org/index.htm) is a wonderful holistic center just north of New York City, on Long Island Sound. They often sponsor talks, workshops, and events related to life in general. Your talk would likely mesh with their mission, and perhaps one of the events they sponsor would be a good venue for your message.

    I mention the above because The Wainwright House is where I recently completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training, and I have some familiarity with their programs, as well as with members of their board. When you get to the point of having a talk, and if you are interested, I’d eagerly help make the introductions!

    Cheers, Laurie

  8. Judith, you look beautiful as always. Glad your anxiety for speaking has decreased. If you remember, you told me to start slowly if I wanted to wear a hat! Now I feel incomplete without one.
    I hope to participate in Hat Attack, issues with my website and working like crazy to build inventory for a show in October.
    You are a beauty.
    Merle

  9. I can relate to that fear, believe it or not! As an actress , there’s always a script and character. It’s not the real you, and it’s easy to be on stage then. But speaking as “myself” has always been terrifying. I spoke about voiceover a year or so ago and, right up to the moment I started, I was feeling sick with apprehension. But as you say, when you’re talking about something you’re passionate about, it makes a world of difference!!!

    I’m ecstatic to hear about your “beginning”!!!! There’s no question that as you follow your heart/passion/intuition, magical things happen. You are a glorious, shining example of that Truth. XOXOXO

  10. Hello Judith, as an English reader of your blog (and great admirer of your hats and pizzazz), I wonder if you happen to know what the English equivalent of a US ‘consignment shop’ and of an ‘estate sale’ would be? If I could find anything half as stylish in the UK I’d be delighted.

  11. You are such an inspiration. I’m utterly terrified of public speaking – I used to have to do it frequently in my former life.
    With the right hat and a passion for the subject you will conquer the world! xxx

  12. Judith you continue to inspire us all not just with your always wonderful style but with your words of wisdom.I do hope your plans for your presentation come to fruition as the topic “Ageing with Passion” is so often overlooked and would resonate with so many.

  13. That pose in the first photo is the best I’ve seen in ages, you look wonderful in that chic monochrome outfit.
    That’s a wonderful achievement, overcoming your public speaking anxiety. It’s a tough one! x

  14. This sounds like a fantastic beginning – and that’s the perfect hat for it! I am always nervous when public speaking but it’s good to have an outline/plan and then once I get going everything’s fine.

  15. Somehow I missed commenting on this post, and how could I not say something about the ravishing black and white ensemble? I love the photos of you, looking like a 20’s flapper, charleston-ing the night (day?) away.

    I won my school’s public speaking contest when I was in Grade 5, but for some reason after that, I was terrified to get up and speak in front of people again for quite a long time. I’ve been able to get over that fear, and it does help when you are passionate about the subject. I want to hear what you come up with for your “aging with passion” talk.

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