When you go wrong about something and you feel the spotlight is on you because you blabbered about it in the past, it’s very painful to change your mind even when a significant part of your wealth is at stake.
In a survey, people were asked about their greatest fear. Can you guess what was the number one fear for most people? It wasn’t fear of death.
Fear of public speaking topped the list. Death was second. My guess is that the third one on the list would be a combination i.e. ‘dying while public speaking’. Jokes apart, the act of standing up in front of a crowd and saying something meaningful, for most people, is terrifying.
I remember my first experience. The moment I stood up on the stage, my legs started shaking uncontrollably. Within few seconds my throat went dry as the desert and I was sweating like a pig. I could barely utter a single syllable. I behaved like a deer who suddenly finds itself in front of a hungry and ferocious lion.
The underlying cause of this fear is our intense urge to not look like a stupid. A man would do everything to avoid being in embarrassing situations. This tendency comes from the basic human need to belong to a group, to fit in and not stand out like an odd man out. Social proof is an important behavioural bias which explains why we behave irrationally.
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