From Fear to Flourish: My Unlikely Journey to Public Speaking

xinyi @ don't be strangers
2 min readNov 12, 2023
Photo by: @ Boss Vision Conference 2023

At the beginning of the year, like many of us, I found myself reflecting on the past and setting goals for the future. One of those goals, perhaps more audacious than the others, was to secure a public speaking gig. Now, let me be clear — I have an intimate relationship with stage fright. Yet, nestled within the discomfort of fear, I held a belief: growth awaited me on the other side.

It wasn’t long after I set this goal that fate, in the form of an empowering community, presented an opportunity. Dallas Girl Gang announced a call for speakers for their upcoming event, the Boss Vision Con — a women’s empowerment conference designed for business owners. Seizing the moment, I hesitantly applied, not expecting much, but merely viewing it as a chance to practice the art of applying for such opportunities.

Months passed, and I had almost forgotten about my impromptu application when, unexpectedly, an email from Amanda, the founder of Dallas Girl Gang, popped up in my inbox. To my disbelief, this was her third attempt to reach me. I scrambled to respond, feeling a tinge of embarrassment for having missed her first two messages. However, the excitement soon eclipsed any embarrassment when I learned that I was selected to speak on the Community and Connection panel.

The intriguing part? I didn’t feel nervous at all. Perhaps it was the prospect of engaging in a conversation with four other incredible women or the realization that I wasn’t alone in my journey. Either way, the nerves that usually accompanied public speaking were notably absent. As the event unfolded, I discovered the best part of this unexpected opportunity — free access to the entire conference. I had the privilege of connecting with a myriad of amazing women, each with a unique story to tell. The lessons learned and insights gained were invaluable.

Reflecting on this experience, I find myself eagerly anticipating the next chance to step onto the stage. Perhaps next time, I’ll even muster the courage to go solo. The Boss Vision Con wasn’t just an event; it was a catalyst for personal growth and a testament to the power of taking chances.

So, what’s the lesson learned from my journey? Always try your luck. Even when the odds seem against you and self-doubt creeps in, take that leap. You never know where it might lead, what connections you might forge, and what untapped potential lies within you. After all, the most remarkable experiences often await us on the other side of fear.

Are you also into personal development? Don’t be a stranger!



xinyi @ don't be strangers

musings of a creative chimera + nowhere girl🌙🐉 ✨ illustrator, videographer, whatev-er. 📍 somewhere between knowing & searching (host of @dontbestrangers pod)