This morning, I faced a fear. My company was invited as a guest on the Tom Martino show since we are members of his network of trusted companies. We needed to send one representative to sit in on the 3-hour radio talk show to say a few words about our company and to listen in and comment on questions from callers, whether they pertained to our field or not.
Our general manager (my uncle) and the owner (my mother) decided I would be a good candidate for this task. I was flattered…but I was also mortified. What would I say? What if they asked questions and I didn’t know how to answer them? What if I didn’t say anything at all? Would they think I was stupid? Incompetent? Oh no, what if they figured out that I’m basically just winging everything?!
Needless to say, as the day loomed closer and closer, I got more and more nervous. But I knew that I needed to do this.
I’m always telling people to get out of their comfort zone, to face their challenges head on, that we are capable of anything we put our minds to. And then this morning, while I was getting ready for work, I was listening to this youtube video by a young artist that I respect. It was geared toward artists, but I realized that it can be applied in any area of our lives. It was about the Imposter Effect or Imposter Syndrome. You know, that feeling that everyone is going to find out that:
And I realized that I feel this way in many areas of my life. At work, as an artist, as a writer, even sometimes as a blogger even though I’m writing about my actual life. I realized that if I feel this way, maybe other people do too.
Why were my words worth less, just because I’d had less experience talking into a microphone? I’m an adult, damn it. I may not always feel like one, but I am. And my opinions and thoughts are worth just as much as anyone else’s.
While I was driving, I pepped myself up. My husband messaged me with encouragement. I walked in there like I knew exactly what I was doing, and everyone just assumed that I did. Because I DID. I sat behind the computer they set me up at, and I said hello to everyone, and I talked, and I even made them laugh! This is a feat for me, considering my favorite jokes are incredibly lame.
I didn’t talk a whole lot, but that was because I had determined that I wasn’t going to weigh in just to talk. I spoke when I had something valuable to offer to the conversation, and within a half hour I was truly relaxed and enjoying myself.
Sometimes, we place too little value on what we know, and what we have to contribute. We are all in very different places in our lives, but just know that who you are, and what you know, are valuable. Your words, your work, your art, your talent, your skill, they are not worth less.