I know how uncomfortable I am with standing in front of people and talking. This fact was confirmed yesterday when at a friend’s house. Someone suggested that we play a game called ‘Impressions’ where we imitate how we see each other; all the children readily agreed and eagerly jostled for their turn to take centre stage and do their acting bit.
It was fun to watch them as they all exaggerated the behaviour of us all, but when my turn came I was without an ounce of confidence. The same thing happens when I play charades – even with a small intimate group of people. I find myself floundering and immediately unable to think clearly. I am sure, in that moment, that I sound and look stupid so I feel myself becoming jelly-like in my actions. I’m standing there, smile nervously placed on my face just wanting my turn to be over. Scared that if I refuse to take my turn that more attention will be focused on me than currently is. I’m already convinced that if there is any positive response to my act within an act it will only be because of the sympathy vote. I know I am dying on my feet.
Let me contrast this dread with an earlier incident. I still don’t believe it was really the same person: me.
This time ... I spoke without hesitation on a subject I believed in and I did not shake or worry what the listeners thought of me; there were many more people present on this occasion – most of them I didn’t even know at all well.
I know that this time, when I was talking in front of people that it was the belief that made the difference. Believing made it possible for me to eliminate any desire to waiver or back out early of the interaction.
In the first situation I was acting as somebody I was not, and I was totally unsure if my impression would be shared or received with charity. In the second case I had no doubt about my position. I was strong and had a firm foundation. Nothing could shake me, not even my usual ever-present self doubt – it had been silenced by my belief.