The nerves, The Critic and Camomile Tea
The louder that voice got, the lower my confidence felt, the more vulnerable I felt and I wanted to go home. How can I talk about confidence and resilience when I'm not feeling either at the moment?!!
I have worked hard over the years, to get to a place where 'my own skin' and me have learned to become friends. But two days beforehand, worthy, confident and enough, came in a unfamiliar package that had not been addressed to me.
On Wednesday I was a student to a trainer called Sarah who ran a workshop on business success. She was compelling, self-assured, funny and commanding; every person in the group hung on her every word.
So today I walked into my group with an idea of someone that was more favourable than me. I judged myself in the absence of what she had, resulting in what I believed to be a shambles of a group session. I forgot how to spell many simple words, lost my train of thought many times and found myself constantly watching the clock for the end, and my opportunity to escape.
Finally 2.45pm came, it was time for the group to check out and it would finally be over. The voices blurred in and out of the sound of my heart rate increasing in anticipation of the end in sight.
And then something pulled me out of my blur.
“Catherine, thank you for today, I really enjoy this group when you do it, you really listen and every time I come here, I leave feeling better about myself”.
Maybe you already have the right package, just not in the wrapping you're expecting it in.
But sometimes, what makes ‘it’ work and allows you to be successful, seen and truly appreciated, are all the things that you do naturally and effortlessly.
What you can learn from the 'others'
It can be easy to compare yourself to someone that you admire, think you should be like, or simply different to you. Instead, ask yourself what can you learn from them, whilst remembering you are not them.
Sarah used her natural personality to her full potential. That is what people were drawn to. In my group I can be unpolished, soft spoken, and quirky. How interesting to learn that in their eyes, this translated to sincere, down to earth and thoughtful.
Notice the rules that you tell yourself: To be good at ‘X’ I must be ‘Y’. Says who??
Consider that everything you have achieved has been because of, not in spite of, who you are.
Perfectly Imperfectly Packaged
When you’re feeling down on yourself, it’s easy to focus on what you feel you didn’t do. For two hours, I mostly remember my poor spelling, my heart racing and forgetfulness. Give yourself time to reflect, or you might miss those natural strengths that inspired change, provoked thought, enthused emotions, and stimulated creativity. All the things that you do so effortlessly, it can be easy to forget they are even there.
Maybe you already have everything you need to be successful, happy and content. Maybe you have simply been looking for it in the wrong place.