So here's the thing: when you suffer from social anxiety your whole life, it starts to make decisions for you and define who you are without your say. Some ways are super obvious, like when you want to have fun with your friends but the idea of a bar setting makes you cringe. Some are a little less obvious... 

In college I had a literal doctor's note from my psychiatrist to sit out of any assignments that involved a presentation because the stress of even thinking about standing up in front of my peers and speaking was enough to derail my education. Now obviously that was #nextlevel nerves, but none-the-less, not overly surprising. 

What surprised the hell out of me? Now that my anxiety is more or less held at bay, I'm trying to slowly but surely find out who I am underneath it all... AND I LOVE PUBLIC SPEAKING. 

This past week, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at an event called CrazyTalk which was created by a lovely woman (and new friend): Maggie Pajak. I had set the goal that I wanted to take Hello Hopeful public in 2018 and overcome what I'd considered a "fear" for so long and what I ended up finding out was that I no longer had this fear, and that I have stumbled on a new hobby. 

Luckily, the event was recorded by my friend and coworker Tyson Fehr, and so I'm able to share this talk with all of the wonderful people who wanted to be there, but weren't able to make the event: 

Now if only I could go back and tell 2012 Kirstie that in 6 years, not only would she not be afraid of speaking in front of crowds, that she'll like it and actively seek out more opportunities to do it! (If you know of any events that I might be interested in, let me know by contacting me!)