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Overcoming My Fear on the Road to Happiness

06/25/2010 11:47 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I have a love-hate relationship with being in the public eye. In high school, I loved drama, but that wasn't me really on stage -- it was a character that I was playing. Then I did some modeling -- again in the public, eye, but it was more about dressing up and being a persona that fit the style of the clothes. My undergraduate education was oddly in communications -- film and TV, but mostly behind the camera. Then an MBA -- definitely behind the scenes. Yes, a few public speaking events here and there, but always on an impersonal topic, never showing my raw essence up there.

Ask yourself, what is the scariest thing that you could do? For me, it's revealing what's most important me, to a large group of people. Not only did I not seek out these opportunities, I ran from them!

Now cut to the past few years when I was bitten with the dream to rediscover my passions, my fulfillment and my happiness. Then I discovered that in order to make that dream come true, I needed to share the tools that I had come to respect with others, others in my family, in my community and even around the globe. Hmmmm -- that involves talking -- not just any talking -- the scariest kind... talking about my innermost desires for my life, this next generation and humanity as a whole. What am I getting myself into?

So I did what was unimaginable to me a few short years ago -- I produced a documentary, wrote a book and founded a non-profit, called Project Happiness. And still, despite the successes and my growing confidence, the scariest thing for me was to talk about it. Well, you know the saying: what you resist persists -- I took a few public speaking classes, read some books, and STILL that was not enough. Yet this crazy dream of spreading these tools for greater happiness all across the globe was forcing me to come forward -- what to do??

Last week I was on vacation with my family and over the internet received an interesting email. A friend of my son's was asking people to vote for a show that, if chosen, would be on OWN: Oprah's new cable network. I saw the video , liked it and voted. That was when my son peeked over my shoulder to take a look. Out of his mouth came words that I dreaded to hear: "Mom, you HAVE to do this." Busted from my cocoon -- Nooooooooooo!

Yet a part of me knew that he was right -- I did have to put myself forward and share my dreams for a World Happiness (R)Evolution. Otherwise...

  1. I'd feel that I let myself down -- I'd have regrets... not at all pretty
  2. I'd be letting down the people who are now, and will be in the future, helped by Project Happiness

But what if I didn't know my lines or fumbled, aaaah the embarrassment, and all that in front of potentially millions of people?! Could it be any more challenging? Nope... don't think so. This was it. I was in front of the camera for the audition -- it was now or never... public eye here I come.

OK -- so here is the result. It's not perfect: I fidget in my chair and there were some edits that were, trust me, very necessary. But it's done and I'm showing it.

Could it be better? Sure. But there's a part of me that's happy that I made it this far and, believe it or not, the world didn't end! Next time will be easier. I'll even share the video with you -- > Randy's Video -- be gentle, dear reader, and if you like it, do vote... That will force me to get lots of practice. This was MY lesson in overcoming my fear on the path to happiness. What fears is your path leading you past?

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