Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.
I’m a phony. Every time I accomplish something, I feel like it’s just a matter of time until someone calls me out on it. I stand in front of the audience and the first thing I wonder is can they tell I have no idea what I’m doing? In the back of my head there is always a voice telling me that I didn’t do it right, or that someone can tell that I wasn’t 100% sure how to do it, or that I simply did everything completely wrong. The guy in the corner just put his hand under his chin. Does that mean I said something wrong? I have no idea why, but this voice follows me everywhere, no matter how well I do on a project, interview, test, presentation, etc. Did she mean to write an A on this? I’m pretty sure she meant to erase the line on the right side and add an extra one on the top.
I have no idea what is wrong with me. Self-criticism always finds a way to flood my mind. The thing is I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone. I think that this is a normal feeling. Even the most confident people, feel phony. In order to simmer down the negativity, I have created a reminder list. I go through it before I hand in an assignment, or give a presentation. It includes the following steps:
1) Breathe. When your heart begins to race, stop and breathe until it slows down to a regular pace. It is impossible to feel confident when you can barely catch your breath.
2) Remind yourself that you do know what you’re doing. You did the work, right? So flaunt it.
3) Everyone messes up. We’re human, it’s in our nature. Being human is what makes you who you are. If anything, showing how human you are makes you more relatable and attractive to others.
The point is, you’re not the first person whose face gets red when they give a presentation – and neither am I. There’s a whole lot more in the world to be afraid of.