From Stage Fright to Flaunting My Fire

I have a secret...  I have battled stage fright for the last 3 years.
Yes me.  
The lady that modeled for over 13 years.  
The photographer that inspires people to #FlauntYourFire
Shocker! I know. I know. 

If you had asked me a year ago about competing in fitness competitions I would have laughed. How do I Know?  When I was photographing an OCB Competitor backstage a year ago, I was asked if I was competing in the women's show.  And.... well... I laughed.  Not me LOL! Awkward me?  ZERO rhythm having me?  I don't have the muscles for that. Oh HELLL NO I'm not going on stage!  These are the things I told myself in my head when I politely replied "no". 

It really hit me as I edited photographs from that job...  the real issue wasn't fear of being on a stage in a bikini.  It was my self-talk. When did I go from being confident enough to be photographed for magazines to being afraid to stand in a crowd?  When did I start to minimize who I am to make others feel more secure? 
How do I even begin to find my inner-fire again?

The best way to get over my fears is to face them head-on.
I was so nervous about getting on stage.  Posing practice was comical at best.  There were times I literally walked like an angry bird in my stripper heels.  My fitness family at Natural Bodyz were my lifesavers.  The process of making the performance in this video come together was so much more than teaching me poses and rhythm.  

The real transformation was them helping me feel confident again. Reminding me of my power... Encouraging me to stand out and be proud of who I am...  Honoring my value of being on a plant-based diet.... Saying no to me dumbing myself down and hiding behind my camera...

When the day of my show finally came around so much could have triggered my fears of stepping on that stage.   Yet,  I strangely found myself focused.  I began to realize that just being there.... in showing up and doing my best... I had already won.  The hardest part was over.  A million things ran through my mind yet my best friend didn't even notice because I was so focused & determined.  I found peace and strength in those moments backstage. I felt myself changing.  Something in me... in my core... I would never be the same.

After prejudging, it was time for my solo performance.  This was the part that terrified me the most.  As the music started earlier than I expected, I decided not to rush out on the stage to catch up.... I decided to take a deep breath and just have fun with it.  I worked so hard...  I sacrificed so much...  I had to be in the moment.  I had to show them what I've got!   If not for me, I had to do it for my friends, my fitness family, the plant-based diet community, and for you!   My stage fright was forgotten.  A new me was born.

📸  by Carlos Dobbin II

How do you flaunt your fire and overcome your fears? 


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