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From the September issue of The Writer’s Life

dance-of-angerHarriet Lerner, from The Menninger Foundation and author of The Dance of Anger, shares insights that help her when faced with public speaking. After the “Why am I doing this . . . I will never do this again” stage, messages to herself include, “The nice people who have come to hear me would rather listen to me than be home cleaning the kitchen or figuring their taxes,” and, “All my listeners will be more forgiving of my ignorance and mistakes than they would if I were, say, a brain surgeon or concert violinist.”

One day while standing beside a small boy waiting beside a high-speed roller coaster, she asked him, “How do you get over being afraid?” His reply: “You don’t get over it. You just buy a ticket.” Lerner concludes, “That’s how it works. You buy the ticket and then you show up.”

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