Reiterating from a recent incident, I had a presentation in a conference a few days back. And as much as I love the stage and talking and facing an audience, I in my opinion totally ruined it. Although I have a couple of justifications for why the things happened the way they did, a lot of introspection made me realize it all happened because for some reason self-doubt crept in me.
So usually when I am crisp and clear about my points during presentations, talks and all, someone picked on me in front of the whole audience stating not to beat around the bush and waste time as soon as I got on stage before I even started speaking. Well for firsts, my paper was duly reviewed and shortlisted by a panel with probably something in foresight that found it worthy to be presented or at least I assumed so. Second, no one travels so far, sparing days from a bundled schedule to talk through one’s hat and even if someone does hospitality at your end demands dignity. But since I was not ready to face a situation like this my thoughts got ruffled. As much as the pinpointing made me nervous, there was a bigger latent force that led to what followed as an irresolute voice and presentation. And this force was me already questioning my worth which let him take over my mind. The external and unworthy and undeserving and non-existent sources only affected me because I questioned my worth.
I believe there are no apologies to rudeness and there is no excuse for failures. While I had no command on the first one, I definitely had an unprecedented control over the second. So, I knew I have read well before writing the paper and had worked hard on the presentation, practiced and rehearsed the things even anticipating an applauding audience. And practically when nothing was absolutely flawed in my efforts, there was one thing which kept on making me question them. I could not completely accept that it was a good effort, that it was also okay if I missed on something and it was acceptable if not everyone in the audience agreed. But since I was presenting a review paper and there were other people presenting their own research, I found myself in the middle of questioning if what I got was good enough to compete.
Self-doubt and lack of self-worth took over me and absolutely wrecked my brain to fall victim to that last nail in the coffin. I felt terribly bad after the presentation since so much effort had gone into it but I learned much more from it- First, never undermine yourself and your efforts if you had sincere intentions to start with. Second, take over your subconscious mind. And note this, it is such a powerful tool that it would do magic if you learn to. So start believing, envisioning an applauding audience for real. Picture yourself taking over everyone else, imagine best that your endeavours have to offer. Third, build a shield around you that nothing on a professional front attacks you personally. So no matter who so ever tries to pull you down, you know your worth is so much more than their doubts about you and above all your doubts about yourself. And last but perhaps the most important, the excuses might balm an ailing heart for some time, but healing comes from within and that shall come with acceptance of being flawed. Feel proud of yourself that failure is but the first attempt in learning and it doesn’t matter if you fail or win, what matters is you gave your best shot and made sincere efforts.
So here it is to everyone who has had a similar experience. Here is to failures and flaws that we need to embrace. Here is to efforts that make us worthy and here is to success that is not so far. Cheers!!