2 Famous Fear-Be-Gone Moments

October 14, 2012
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A look at two famous big-breaks, and the nervous people who stepped up to make them happen.

I often hear people say things like, “Oh I could never do that.  I’d be too nervous.”  Or “I am too scared that I’d embarrass myself.”  I decided to do a little research to see how two people, now well known for their success in two fields, felt during that first, big, risky moment.  One was noticeably nervous, one was being actively mocked, but both of them simply stepped up and did it!  Have a look, and then dare yourself to step onto your own grand (even if scary) stage.

1. Ellen Degeneres’ first network TV appearance, on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, in 1986.   She was the first female comic to get the famous wave-over-to-the-sofa from the iconic late-night host.  She’s super funny, and her nervous arm movements and few word-trip-ups are endearing and inspiring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIAAI3j_vsY

2. Susan Boyle looked so out of place on this stage.  The audience was snickering.  The senses of doubt and of an expectation of her utter failure seemed palpable in the auditorium, but she gave the director a thumbs-up to start the music, and then belted it out with grandeur, finally walking off the stage to a standing O.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk&feature=related

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Nathaniel is CEO of AidChild.org. He holds a Master's Degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University where he was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and winner of the 2010 Harvard HDP Marshal Award. He also holds a PhD in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego where he was the Dammeyer Fellow in Global Education Leadership, and a Cordes Fellow at Opportunity Collaboration. Nathaniel is author of "We Are Not Mahogany: Three stories about the male African life." Prior to his move to Uganda in 2000, Nathaniel was Deputy Director of the Office of the Governor of Arizona, and Director of Education at Leadership, Inc.

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