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1 month ago · · Stress,
At this stage of career, when I am 46, I feel like an imposter. The primary reason is my lack of confidence when it comes to conveying my thoughts.
Why do I lack confidence?
Sometimes I feel that I do not know the material or I am not doing a good job of articulating it. It could be the fear of people judging me or finding information about me that could lead them to believe that I am stupid or do not know my stuff.
Sometimes if I have to speak for a long time, I get anxious about it. The reason I get anxious could be again tied to the first point - the more I speak the more I get exposed, the more opportunities people get to find flows in my delivery or in me.
Why do I feel that I am not good at articulation?
I speak better english and have a strong command on grammar than most people who have migrated to America. I do not need to feel bad about a mistake or two.
I feel shallow and someone who lacks depth. Why?
Some people can speak on a topic and can investigate it from multiple dimensions. I lack that ability?
How can you grow the ability to investigate a topic from multiple perspectives?
- First I need to have a good knowledge of the topic
- Second I need a structural way to think about it - ability to use different lenses
- Third I am afraid of silences, and therefore rush through a topic and instead of pausing and adding more meat to it, I pass the baton to others. Maybe, I need to speak slowly and while talking I need to draw connections to various ideas and thoughts. If I speak slowly, my mind can think about how this idea / thought relates to other things or how I can expand upon it.
People judging - fear of being judged as stupid
Are people really judging me or am I making it up. Most of the time, people are not there to judge other people but to share information, make connections, and feel bonding - the human connection. To speak is to connect to build the human bond. Even if someone is judging, I should not be worried about it because I have no control on it. Infact the worry makes it worse. It creates performance anxiety.
I will get anxious and sweat in front of everyone and they will know how underconfident I am.
I sweat because I get anxious about my performance - it's the fear of bad performance. The fear of bad performance is rooted in people judgement, knowledge of topic, and delivery. If I stop worrying about the future or things that could happen and focus on the past, I will not get into this situation.
Why do I create negative scenarios in my head?
This probably comes from my past experiences where I have sweated in stressful situations. But if a percentage is calculated, those situations are less than 1%. 99% of the time, I have done a phenomenal job. People call me on their A team. I need to focus on the 99% successes that I had and continue on that path. I need to have a growth mindset where I can channel my energies in the positive direction.