Fairy godmother turned YouTube star

Sarah Ryan, busy mother of two boys, a solicitor and a woman with a passion for raising awareness of topical steroid withdrawal or red skin syndrome, talked to me about her experience in panto and how this has helped her in her work and in her passion project. She shares her thoughts on how she pushed herself right out of her comfort zone to give her a real boost of confidence and a desire to do more!

For someone who admits she used to be afraid of talking to people on the telephone, Sarah has achieved something remarkable in the last month.

She said it was the scariest thing she has ever done. Having seen a poster up for auditions for her local amateur dramatics, she thought she might go along for a laugh and rekindle a passion for singing and acting that she’d enjoyed in her teens. She had no intention of it actually coming to anything! However, once she had been along to find out more, she got enticed into auditioning (and was told it would be in front of one person) and so went back the following week. Not just one person, but 40 people were watching the audition! This put her into complete panic mode. However, she managed to just about keep calm sitting down and waited for her name to be called out. She really didn’t think she would have any chance of getting a part, but she must have done an amazing audition as she was given the part of the Fairy Godmother!

She says now that this has given her confidence in so many ways. Before she did this, she wouldn’t have dreamed of recording a video of herself for YouTube or a Facebook Live. Now there is no stopping her!

To keep this momentum going, Sarah tells me that once the panto was over, she signed up to speak at a networking event in front of a live audience which is pushing her out of her comfort zone again and will be more off the cuff and responding to questions. She really believes that facing the fear is what has given her a real confidence boost. She has also inspired a friend of hers to do a sky-diving course in aid of charity!

I asked Sarah what advice she would give to other women who were scared about speaking up and her advice is:

  • Find someone who can encourage you and keep you accountable - to make sure you do what you say you’re going to do (if you don’t tell anyone, it’s easy to not do it!
  • Take baby steps – start small and get a small boost of confidence, then try something a bit more daring next time. Before you know it you’ll be doing TED talks!
  • Get the technology sorted if you’re doing live videos etc – make sure you have the right kit so you’re not worrying about that. Sarah told me about some teleprompter software which really helped when she did her first video so she wasn’t saying um and ah all the time.
  • Keep up the momentum – once you’ve done your first scary thing, get something else in the diary!

I finished by asking Sarah how it made her feel to have found this new confidence.

“It is an amazing feeling to think ‘Yes, I can do this!’ and it gave me a real buzz and adrenalin rush. I now feel unstoppable!”

So, go and put your wings on and see what YOU can do.

(and if you want to follow what Sarah’s up to, check out her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theredfacedwarriors/)

Joy Burnford