Every. single. time.

Here’s a little peek into the mess of insecurity that is my shy-introvert-who-sometimes-talks-a-lot brain. This is what happens to my feelings after I talk in public — in a meeting, in a formal talk, facilitating a dialogue or a workshop, giving an interview, even asking a complicated question — pretty much every single time.

 

the six emotional stages the author goes through after public speaking (Euphoria, optimism, regret, despair, perspective and optimism) which are explained in full in the text below

I Spoke in Public! Here are my feelings.

 

  1. First, there’s euphoria.  This is a release of tension, fueled by relief that (at least most of)  the bad things I imagined could happen, didn’t.
  2. That’s followed by optimism. I’m focused on next time, building on what worked. In this stage I am starting to think about what went less well, and I’m still in a forward-thinking place.
  3. Then, regret creeps in.  My mind touches on, or returns to, something I wish I’d done a little differently.  This is sometimes a super concrete thing based on tangible feedback I got in the moment.  It’s sometimes a realization that something I said could be taken in a way that was different than I meant it.  It is sometimes a vague feeling that maybe I talked too much, or too little, or interrupted someone, or let a tangent go on too long.
  4. That inevitably sends me into a trough of despair. I start second-guessing everything about it. Things that initially went well are particular targets. I doubt any positive feedback I received.
  5. Then, I get a grip and start developing some perspective.  It usually helps a lot to remind myself that I am not the center of anyone’s experience, even in a workshop I designed, and that I should stop making it all about me. I also start thinking critically about the choices I made that I am worried about.  Some, I realize, made sense. Some, I realize, need work.
  6. And that brings me back to an optimistic place where I can start planning for the next step.

I co-facilitated a dialogue last week and I learned SO MUCH doing it.  And one of the things I learned was this – that this is what I experience and do.  As I was headed into that pit of despair, I had a thought out of nowhere, “it’s okay, give it a few days and you’ll have worked through this. This stage doesn’t last.”  That really helped.  So I thought I would put this out in the world, in case my tangled mass of insecurities might be helpful to you all out there too.

 

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