Lacking Confidence

I have a problem which I identified recently. I knew I had this problem for quite a long time, but somehow, I was never able to identify it till now. And anyone else who suffers from similar situations will sympathize with me for sure.

Our school has a system of roll numbers, like most schools. Whenever there’s a speaking test, we are called according to our roll numbers, and then we are tested. Let me tell you about yesterday, when we were evaluated in speaking French. I’ll narrate in the form of yesterday’s diary entry.

Dear Diary,

Today we had our French speaking test of ten marks. I am roll number five. The first three roll numbers went smoothly, one of them spoke excellent french, and the other two didn’t. Then came roll number four, who is just before me. Then a curious thing started happening to me.  It happens to me every  time that I speak or perform in front of an audience. And it happened then, as I was waiting for my test. It started with my knees shaking and becoming unsteady. The words that the teacher spoke next, were like a dagger to me. “Aliyah, its your turn now. Come and read out a paragraph from your textbook.” And that moment, I was really like . . . . . “Oh my god, how will I speak now? What if I make a mistake?” And then it became worse. As I stood up from my chair, my hands stuck to my sides, and I took wobbly steps towards the front of the class. I asked the teacher if I could read out just to her, and not to the whole class. I was afraid of being distracted by the faces who were all staring intently at me. I was very conscious of that fact. But the teacher didn’t allow me. “You have to read out to the whole class, so that they are able to hear you clearly,” she said. And that was it. As I picked up my textbook, and turned the pages, I was even more alarmed to find my hands trembling wildly. I’m sure that I spoke in a very inaudible voice. During my Social Science presentation, I spoke well, as the teacher said, but I wasn’t assertive and persuasive enough. And I could hardly be heard, my teacher told me. Then its my habit, to always walk with my hands stuck to my sides. I’m too shy by nature, and very antisocial, and timid and unconfident too. I don’t talk to people much, and I’m always scared. Also, I’m worried that this creates a negative impression on the people I interact with.

I hope I can overcome this problem soon, before its too late. I know that I, and I alone, can solve this problem of mine.


One thought on “Lacking Confidence

  1. Dear Aliyah,

    You are not alone in feeling scared before reading or singing in public. Most of us have an attack of nerves before speaking in public. In fact, that day in class for your French Lessons, if you would have closely watched your friends who were Roll No. 1 or 2, they would have been equally shaky and nervous as you were.

    Very few have the courage to admit they are scared.And that is why even fewer people can ever grow out of their fear. But you are bold. You are able to analyse what is happening to you, write about it, and strive to improve. Well let me tell you, I am much much older than you, and have to speak extensively in public, but I still feel nervous before appearances.

    Over time, I have found a few tricks to help me overcome my nervousness. The first one is practice. I prepare and practice delivering my reading lessons, or speeches, or poems, before an audience many times, and suddenly I find a confidence in me, which was not present earlier. Second, I try and make out what will the listener gain from what I am going to say. This allows me to remove focus from myself and place the focus on the audience. This is similar to what you wrote in another blog, about focusing on what the reader will gain from reading the blog!!

    And finally before any event, I look at myself in the mirror and tell my image, ” yeah yeah you can do it”. This helps a lot too. And I keep pepping me up till the event by talking to myself.

    The part about talking to people is easy. First I would talk to my family members, as if they were members of public, and then I would practice talking MORE to friends. Its easy once I didnt have to make an effort anymore. I have genuine questions to ask them, and got so involved that I forgot all my shyness.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s