This week I have conquered one of my biggest fears and it has been one hell of a week with three job interviews as well as starting a new job and balancing my current jobs. I am pretty proud of myself for this week and that is not something that I say often so it must have been an exciting week!
I don’t talk about my anxiety/ panic attacks much because well, I hate them. They make me feel weak and I hate that they can occur anywhere and make me feel like I’m outside of my own body. They can occur anywhere (home, work, uni, gym, on the river, in my sleep, these last two are by far the worst) and although I have made incredible progress from where I was two and a half years ago when I barely left my bed and wouldn’t even ask for a coffee in Starbucks, there are still some things that I hate.
While I was at uni, they were pretty understanding and let me get out of a few things to make it easier for me which was great, however it meant that I never had to face some of my greatest fears. In one of my job interviews this week, I had to face one of those fears which was giving a presentation. Even a year ago, that would have sent me running and I would have declined the invite to a second interview however now I’m doing this adulting lark, I decided I would have to do it. Besides, this was something I really wanted.
The brief was to create a presentation about what I would do if a handbag company came to me asking about a website, what questions would I ask them, how would I get all the teams to progress with the project etc. Given the fact I can’t remember the last time I gave a presentation without it ending in a panic attack, this was extremely scary and I had to present it to three people from the company I was interviewing with. Even walking to the interview, part of me wanted to run away from it completely. It got even worse as I was sat in the interview room nervously waiting for everyone else to take their seats. My heart was beating so fast but somehow I actually remembered that I needed to keep breathing and not do that stupid thing where I take a deep breath and hold it in when I get scared.
Anyway, somehow I managed to get through the presentation with a few minor stutters over words and answer their questions relatively confidently. This was such a relief. As I left the office, I wanted to just run with excitement as I could barely believe what I had accomplished. It felt like when I’m in a kayak and I go down a rapid I’m terrified of but somehow manage to come down it still in my boat. My heart was racing, I was still breathing almost normally, I wasn’t even shaking. A presentation may not sound like a big deal but it was for me. Massive. My best friend also told me how proud he was of me which meant so much (forever trying to make people proud).
I am so happy that I went for it and pushed myself, I didn’t even really tell anybody who knows what a big deal it would be to do about it before I went so nobody even had to talk me in to it. I made the decision to go myself. I did it myself. I found out that presentations are no longer a limit and I am so pleased with myself for that. It has even inspired me to get back to the gym and pray I don’t get any panic attacks but I’ve also gotten a personal trainer just to keep my motivation up and teach me to keep breathing normally and help me deal with my muscle problems because exercise can be quite dangerous if you don’t breathe properly!
Hope you have had a successful week too and that you have also conquered some demons!
Stay strong especially to my panic disorder fighters out there!