I’m feeling nervous about stepping out and doing something new today – speaking at the TES SEN Conference in London. It’s funny really but you get used to doing the same thing again and again and what seems like a big thing to others is just normal to you until you have to step out of your comfort zone and do something different. For some people speaking in front of lots of people is the most terrifying thing in the world, and I can understand why it’s one of the top stressful things for people. But I wonder what it is that we’re really frightened of? I’ve been going to a speakers club for some time now and am all too familiar with the churning feeling in the pit of my stomach when I’m about to speak. The feeling of tread at people starring at you – not knowing if the words will come out of your mouth or not and if they do will they make any sense?
Nerves are not such a bad thing to have though. They keep us on our toes and remind us we are human and need other people too. I remember early on in our adoption placement with the kids that same feeling of tread and anticipation in my stomach first thing in the morning and when they came home from school. The feelings were about what will happen, how will the children be and more importantly will I be able to cope with it? I guess actually that’s at the heart of all my worries usually is “will I be able to cope?”.
If I fall flat on my face today in front of hundreds of people will it really matter? Well yes I’ll be mortified! But other than that does it matter in the big scheme of things? Of course when I think about parenting my children it’s a different matter. We fail every day on those kind of things but as long as we try our best to repair and to continually show our love for them – does it matter in the scheme of things? Well I think this is where the pressure comes from. When you’re parenting a child who has already experienced inadequate parenting you feel a pressure to ‘get it right’, to make sure you don’t damage them any more then they already are and make things worse for them. The desire to want to get things right is a very overwhelming feeling in itself. If you didn’t care about something, my talk today or my children – then it wouldn’t matter so much to me what the outcome was.
So whatever you might be doing today – maybe something new or something you know inside and out – whether it’s something that matters a great deal or not so much – all you can do is give it a go and remember in the scheme of things there will always be another go to try again.