Last week, I had to give a presentation about rapid cancer diagnosis services at a conference.
As you may know, I managed to overcome my severe generalised anxiety about 10 years ago. But the thought of standing in front of hundreds of people presenting my work still triggers a hefty fear response.
Whenever I thought of it, my stomach knotted and an icy steel hand attempted to crush my throat.
For two weeks, I woke up at 3 am, endless thoughts whirling in my mind like deck-chairs in a hurricane.
What if I go blank and embarrass myself? Will more qualified people question my methods and I won’t have the answers? Will the audience discover that I don’t really know what I’m doing? And what if I burp? Or fall off the podium?
All hope for a restful night’s sleep was wrecked by my unproductive rumination. And my days grew darker as the incessant worries fed my apprehension. Mutating a simple 10-minute presentation into a confidence-eating, mood-killing monstrosity, out to destroy me.
Just because, sometimes, I forget my own advice.Read more