Being found out

Today’s post was going to be about facing the fear of Very Important People.

This morning I had an appointment to interview a very senior executive at a large company that happens to be my main source of income. So I had a strong stake in getting it right.

As I sat waiting for the interview to begin, my stomach felt tense and my hands were, of course, slightly clammy. I rehearsed in my head, trying to imagine success but inevitably, imagining the opposite. I wasn’t afraid of dropping an f-bomb, burping, or anything else truly cringeworthy. I was more afraid of being found out for what (I fear) I really am – not that smart, not the best one for the job, and frankly not that interested in my subject.

I am prepared, I told myself. I just have to ask questions; he has to come up with answers. It is only 30 minutes. How bad could it be? Yet, fear.

Tick tock, tick tock. The longer I waited, the more I wanted to get started already. As intimidated as I was, the interview had to be better than the angst preceding it. I became eager to do the thing that made me nervous so that I could stop being nervous about it.

Which makes me wonder – what else am I afraid of (and avoiding) that might be less painful than the fear I allow to preclude it? Hmmm…

Unfortunately, the guy never showed. So today’s bravery was kind of a bust.

I guess the bravest thing I did today was to expose my lack of confidence (see patheticness, above). I (and I’m probably not alone here) have gotten used to feigning self-assurance so that people will trust/hire/like me. Dropping that façade, even for a moment, makes me feel quite vulnerable.

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