Public Speaking and Sweat

by Apr 13, 2014Hyperhidrosis2 comments

Sweating is normal when you’re in a stressful situation. But when you have hyperhidrosis, it can be even worse. Sweating through clothing, leaving puddles in your shoes, wiping your hands constantly, and the list goes on. When I was asked to read my winning essay at the Unknown Writers’ Contest reception, I said yes immediately. How could I not read it? I worked so hard on it, and the DWPC was honoring the winners at an event created specifically for the contest. So I came from a place of yes and decided immediately that I was not going to let my hyperhidrosis hold me hostage. I’ve had enough of that, so I’m telling myself another story about my excessive sweating.

Visualize Your Success

The winners were announced two weeks prior to the reception. I had already begun visualizing how the entire writing contest would go. I wrote and rewrote my essay several times, and then I had a friend look at it, too. Once I had the final version written, I read it aloud several times to see if I could hear anything that might be missing. Man, did I cry when I was reading it. Before I clicked the “submit” button of the online form, I prayed over my essay, called my angels to surround me, and declared my intention for my work. There was a definite energy around this piece; I could feel it deep in my bones.

After I submitted it, I had to wait about a month for the results. During that time, I was constantly envisioning the win. I would run through scenarios in my head about receiving a phone call telling me I’d won, what the subject line of the email would say, what the judges’ comments would be, and how I would react. Dr. Wayne Dyer says the last five minutes before you fall asleep are the most crucial because that is when things are being embedded in your subconscious. If you actively work to make those last five minutes positive and life affirming, you are controlling what you embed in your mind. This takes work. When you’re tired you just want to fall asleep, or maybe your brain is on overdrive and you can’t stop the vicious cycle of thoughts that refuse to slow down. I encourage you to take control and choose your thoughts wisely. You become what you believe. So each night when I went to bed, I placed thoughts of winning the contest into my head.

Act as Though It Is

Funny story: I sent my essay to my mom to read, and she forwarded it to some of her friends and told them she was so proud of me and that I had won the contest. I quickly corrected her and explained that when I entered my “life event” on Facebook I had said “Submitted the winning entry to the DWPC Unknown Writers’ Contest” and not “Won the contest.” My mom cracks me up. Sometimes adults don’t understand social media; “the Facebook” can be daunting to them, but at least they are trying and allowing themselves to be vulnerable in the process. I’m glad she didn’t end up making a liar out of herself by sending that email.  😉

Declare Your Intention

Always ask yourself “What is my intention with _____?”. My intention with this essay was to write through my pain, tell the truth, and reclaim parts of myself that had been buried for a long time. I didn’t write this to keep focusing on my divorce. This topic is not going to be my anchor or keep me immobile. It is part of my life story, but it certainly isn’t the whole book. So I felt these feelings, sat with them instead of stuffing them down, and let my tears cleanse me.

I also was conscious of the people I would be mentioning in the essay. It is not my intent to badmouth anyone involved. I am consciously working toward forgiving the people and the events that have transpired. I don’t want a heavy heart. Before I posted this essay on my blog and prior to the reading, I spoke with my former husband (I don’t like the word “ex.”). We had a friendly conversation, and I hope that we both got some healing out of it.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Detach Yourself from Outcomes

I had already won regardless of whether others recognized my efforts. It was never about the contest in the first place. I wrote this because I needed to; it was a supreme act of courage to put my vulnerability on center stage when many others might choose their mask of “I’m fine. Everything’s okay. I’m going to fake it around all you people.” I try to be conscious of the energy I bring to a space, and some days it’s hard to do that. However, I believe in being authentic. So I will not, if I’m having a bad day, fake anything. Instead, I will intend to change my thoughts so that they don’t infiltrate my entire being. I have good days, and I have bad days. I would hope that grace and compassion are extended to me in those bad days.

I am supremely grateful for the outcome that did occur. The time and effort of the DWPC members and judges is most appreciated. They prepared the clubhouse, made food and tea, cleaned up afterward, and sponsored a contest to help others be recognized. Because isn’t that what we all long for? To know that we are seen, that what we have to say matters?

When I arrived for the event, I was pretty early. I wasn’t sure what to expect or if anyone needed to speak with me to give me instructions for how the afternoon would go. After awhile, I had to go back outside and lift my arms up to generate some airflow while the breeze was blowing. I was worried I might stain the new white shirt I was wearing. Thankfully, I didn’t. A shout out to Secret Clinical Strength Waterproof, the best antiperspirant I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried many kinds.

I was originally going to post the video of me reading my essay, but the sound quality isn’t the greatest. But, you can read more about hyperhidrosis and public speaking in the following previous posts where I talk about giving a eulogy and speaking from your soul.

Think you can’t speak in public because of your hyperhidrosis? Think again. I dare you. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

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