The Fear

“It’ll be fine”,
they say.
You hear the words,
but they cannot calm
your pounding heart.

And yes,
you have done this before.
But they cannot feel
the crippling terror
taking hold of your mind.

Freezing your every cell,
until your wilted brain
ceases to produce
any of the words you need.

You ramble sounds
in the wrong order.
You try hopelessly
to string sentences together.

But you’re usually so articulate?

You notice their blank expressions.
And in that moment,
you forget everything you’ve learned,
everything that you are,
everything you could share with them.

It is easy for you to speak
with conviction,
when you believe in the stories
you are telling.

But how can you share this tale?
When you don’t believe the words
that are coming from your own mouth?

The lack of authenticity
stirs something deep within your core.
A visceral reaction
born from insincerity.
Your greatest foe.

And what you really want to tell them,
is to run from this place.
Follow your heart.
Follow your dream.
Don’t get trapped here.

But they look at you,
waiting for you to speak.
Waiting for you to inspire.
Willing you not to embarrass them,
not to embarrass their company.
You are an ambassador.

And so you stumble your way through
fifteen minutes of personal torture.

How can you explain to them,
you feel so hopelessly insecure.
Sitting in your socks
that don’t go with your trainers.
You wonder if they noticed your socks.

You look at your paper,
trying to remember
the words you were supposed to say.
Trying to return
to your carefully constructed plan.

The words will not come.
They stare blankly,
someone steps in to rescue you.

And all at once
it is over.
You step away,
and for the remainder of the day,
you sit with your failure.

You are the biggest loser
that ever walked into this space.
The biggest loser
that ever tried to be somebody.

And then you remember:

“Everybody is a genius. 

But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,

it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

You are the fish.
And this is the tree.
You have dipped one toe
into the ocean.

Now you just need to learn to swim.

 

 

no face woman © 2017

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