Sunday, 27 March 2011

You have arrived...

I must say that occasionally I get the attack of nerves. I nod, smile and pray that they don't ask me any questions. This kind of behaviour doesn't help when you are self employed.

Last Wednesday was a case in point, I met an university lecturer from years back, who then had a reputation of being 'fierce'. I, as the meek flower I can be steered clear of this man throughout my 3 years at Uni. Plus he didn't really do the subjects I was interested in so that helped too. Yet the creeping fear returned on Wednesday even though he was very charming and interested in what I was doing. I stuttered my way through the whole conversation and turned a nice shade of scarlet to match.

It was only afterwards, when I had opened a window and could feel the nice spring breeze, that my colleague said that I had no need to feel nervous any more as I had now 'arrived'. I have to say that I had never really thought of arriving anywhere! Yet I know he is right and that I am now a professional (albeit a young one) and that I must get some perspective and believe in what I am saying professionally (as I know it is correct).

Does anyone else feel this sometimes? It would be nice to know how other people combat this type of thing.


  1. Congratulations on having arrived! I must say I've never really thought of it in those terms either but you're right we're professionals, albeit still relatively new - our opinions are as valid as anyone else's - and often, in the case of organisations where the staff have all worked there for years, then sometimes even more valuable in terms of bringing in new ideas and new optimism.

    I am also subject to the same nerves you describe - the blushing usually leading to even more self consciousness and increased nerves. And I always think of wonderful conversations I could have had with people, once I get home! I don't know that there's any easy solution, but I am finding myself much more able to talk confidently about what I do, and that even if the blushing still occurs, usually it goes away if I tell myself internally to calm down and smile lots. Smiling definitely helps with the confidence - I guess because it projects confident even when you don't feel it!

  2. I agree, deep breath and smile. I thought I was the only one, but everyone I've talked to about this, more mature, and young, agrees that the grown up world of work is a combination of knowing what you're talking about, and feeling like you're bluffing the rest!

  3. Thank you both for reassuring replies! It is good that all can discuss this.

    Most of the time I feel okay. I also found it much easier here to take on the project. Maybe I am starting to fit into the role of a freelancer at last. I think before I lacked the confidence to see things through because hardly any business training.

    I also think that when someone from your past or a different social set appears in your present or out of context, it can (depending on the person) take a while to adjust.


  4. I really admire you for setting up as a freelancer - even if you don't think you always project confidence you must have inner confidence to do that. I'm glad it's all working out for you.

    Re. different social set/person from past/out of context - yes, I know what you mean here. I think there's a control thing going on in terms of feeling in control giving you confidence so surprises = lack of control.

    Yes, definitely agree about the bluffing too. Though I've found it a lot harder to bluff when it comes to technical/IT stuff!