Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself As A Public Speaker
Humiliated, ashamed and most probably feel like a failure?
Imagine you are a comedian, and you are invited to perform at a local venue. After the event, you ask some of the audience members about your performance and they say that “you were average” – how do you think you would feel? Humiliated, ashamed and most probably feel like a failure?
Who wants to be an average right? The feelings of rejection burn us inside, and most people don’t really know how to deal with it properly, they have a tendency to isolate and feel sorry for themselves, which then allows the negativity to permanently register within their sub-conscious mind.
The problem is then further compounded with other negative thoughts that are constantly being filed on to it from other similar unfortunate incidences or perceived blunders.
This eventually gets to a point where if they are asked to perform or speak in a public engagement again, they are petrified and find all possible excuses to not to do it.
It’s just lingering on our sub-conscious mind, waiting to pounce the next time we are put in that situation again.
Studies have shown that just because we don’t think about the incident anymore or have forgotten about it, but it doesn’t really mean that it has gone away; it is just lingering on our sub-conscious mind, waiting to pounce the next time we are put in that situation again. When it does manifest itself again, it shows in the way how we behave and react to being asked to perform and speak in public.
But the reality is if we look at it rationally we will realise that most people’s performance when it comes to speaking in public engagements is generally average, and not everyone can perform like Martin Luther King every time.
It is almost impossible to be above the average all of the time – society has accustomed us in such a way that we feel the need to be on top all of the time which usually means putting others down, in order to be on top and feel better about ourselves when we are comparing.
People have tendencies to inflate their achievements and in how they self-evaluate themselves. Most people think that they are better than others when comparing like for like, for example, research has shown that when driving most people to think that they are better drivers than others on the road even though they have caused an accident.
But there is also the opposite of this effect and we can be extremely self-critical and judgemental about ourselves when we have made the simplest of mistakes and the tendency there is put ourselves down disproportionately.
Just grin and bear it’ and evaluate yourself in a balanced manner
Next time you, if you are in a similar situation, think how you would help a friend – who is going through experiences described above and they turn to you for advice what would you say? Most likely given the situation you would probably say that they are being too hard on themselves and they should relax because their performance was not that bad as they perceive it.
We would strongly advise them to have some self-compassion and show kindness towards them. When we approach it in this way, what we are really saying is that we acknowledge and understand that as human beings we have some flaws and inadequacies that are common with every other human being.
And it’s ok to make mistakes sometimes and it is pointless to be self-critical and judgmental about small inadequacies that are found in everyone.
‘Just grin and bear it’ and evaluate yourself in a balanced manner – most probably you didn’t give yourself enough time to prepare and practice which is usually the case.
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