Not too long ago I had to present at a work conference. I was amongst two other colleagues, all of us providing information on our area of expertise. I was pleasantly surprised I was asked to participate, but somewhat nervous at the same time. Although I was completely confident in my knowledge of the subject matter, I hadn’t presented to a large work group in over five years. I guess that was one of the things I didn’t miss about working in the corporate arena, even though it had always been something at which I excelled.
Anyway, my nerves were a wreck that entire morning. I actually couldn’t sleep much the day before, had bouts of regret the morning of about having been assigned as a presenter, and sat there minutes before my presentation having no idea what I would say once my turn came around. I mean I drew a complete blank! It actually was scary and comical at the same time because I knew I would have to just either figure it out in a split second or appear as an idiot in front of people who would judge me from this moment on, regardless of everything I’d already accomplished. To make matters worse, a high-level executive showed up and sat front row in the audience, unbeknownst to any of us already shaking in our boots up front. This appeared to be a recipe for disaster!!!
Well here I am seconds before being handed the microphone. I’m listening as I hear my manager finish the last of his presentation with such eloquence, as I looked at him hopeful the fear wasn’t evident in my face. I stood, reached out my hand to grab the mic, took to the podium and prayed for the best.
At the very moment I faced the audience I felt as if I’d become someone other than the person who was just seconds away from having a complete meltdown. I’m certain my natural survival instincts kicked-in and took over from there. I felt as though I’d morphed into a totally different person and that person performed exceptionally well, no nerves in sight. I was articulate, engaging, and even humorous, which is easily my strongest coping mechanism. Ultimately, I impressed the audience, including my manager and the senior executive, who I heard playfully laughing a few times. My work there was done!
I say all of this as a reminder, and one I have to constantly tell myself. God will not give us more than we can handle. We must approach our assignments with confidence in Him and ourselves, believing we have been equipped to handle what’s been given us. Every time I come out of a situation I entered with doubt, I do so victorious; however, I allow that initial doubt to creep up time and time again feeding into an unhealthy period of unnecessary stress. Pray for me as I remain a work in progress.
It’s important to periodically take inventory of your strengths, as they’re constantly evolving. As daily challenges teach us how to handle what comes in the moment, we have to realize how much they also build our intellect, courage, and confidence to face more tough tasks down the road.
©2019 CSNelson, dontforgetthehalf