Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It Does Not Come Naturally

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

Two days have passed where I start writing, when suddenly I stop and delete everything back. So all I see again is the blank screen. The topics that come to mind seem great when I start, but what seemed so awesome suddenly morphs into something boring. And ofkos this happens when I don’t have the right points.

I have had numerous times where people say that I am a good talker. That I am good at talking in public, I can say whatever comes to mind and can convince people about the things that I talk about. But people don’t know the process of what is happening behind the scenes of this so-called confidence. I think it’s just a facade. You see me as this confidence person, talking as if she’s been doing this public speaking for a lifetime, but no no no my friends. Behind that entire persona, I am but a nervous-hands shaking-heart pumping-like-crazy kind of person. JUST like everyone else.

Ha ha ha. Fooled you ey?

I think that talking in public isn’t really a skill. Is it? I dunno. Sometimes these words escape my understanding. It might be a skill, it might be plain talent, and it might actually be just tons of experience.

No one, I repeat, NO ONE fails to feel the anxiety before a speech. NO ONE can run away from that pain in the stomach, that feeling of having butterflies flying around and around in ur tummy. I assure you that the shaking hands, the decrease of temperature in ur finger tips and the shaky shaky voice that comes out of you is absolutely NORMAL. Hahaha. Don’t worry, that’s what everyone goes thru.

2002 - First time public speaking
 I remember my first public speech at Uni. I think I was tricked into giving that particular speech. Somehow my name came up (name given by the lecturers) to compete in the Student Representative Council. I assure you that I was NOT the social type back then. Come on, I just came out of a private Islamic School, where everyone knew everyone and we were all in our own social bubble, biah solehah and all. Even speaking to the opposite gender was scandalous. Ofkos we were not exposed to talking in public in front of strangers. (Yeah, that was school life).

So publically speaking like that was something so new to me. I remember reluctantly writing the speech and asking my dad to check it, and double check again with my lecturer. Ofkos, not being exposed to such things make you feel so insecure with yourself. You don’t know how things run at uni, you don’t know how the crowd is, how they will react to what comes out of your mouth.

BUT, I remember just going thru with it. To heck with what people will say, to heck with how they will judge me. I remember thinking “As long as what I say comes from the heart, that I really mean it, then I am sure it will convey that way”. I also remember thinking “If I get too nervous, then all I’ll be doing is read the text”. Hahhha.

THAT was the starting point of my public speaking “career”. That’s how I started, that is what led me to be actively involved with the Student Representative Council at my Uni. That little push, that small window of opportunity that I grabbed. I thank Allah everyday for this. The experiences I went thru somewhat developed who I am today.

I must admit that being good conversing in English had its advantages. Knowing and really having the confidence talking in English will surely make ur confidence soar! It’s like having this special super power that other people don’t have. So you put yourself on a higher pedestal than the others. So I guess knowledge and other talents/skills can also boost ur faith in yourself.

So my advice, try to look in the mirror and literally look at urself. From top to bottom. Think (or better yet, list out) of all the hidden talents and skills that you have. You produce this list NOT for boasting. NOT for being riak with the special things you have that others might not have. So please amend your niat. This list is just for YOUR viewing. For the building of YOUR own self confidence. Im sure when you get this one particular thing that others don’t know you have, it will always ring in your head when suddenly the hard task of handling a difficult crowd comes your way. In ur head, you will always have this “I am better at …………… than you! So take that!”. Haha.

So find that one super power. It can be the fact that you can speak and converse in Arabic (I think very highly of guys who can speak Arabic. I admire them so much and I find that it is a huge atomic trait that cannot be compared to any type of PhD. Ehemmm. Hahha). Or it can be any hidden talents you’ve never told anyone. It can be your special drawing skills, your huge vocabulary, your huge library of books at home. It can even be your talent in hacking, our talent in handling babies. Whatever you can think of. You don’t even have to tell anyone about it. Make use of that super power to keep boosting urself to try something new.

I think I should mention the fact that your academic qualifications DOES NOT determine how confident you are. It doesn’t give any advantage if you don’t know how to handle people. Someone might have a PhD in astrophysics or biochemical engineering. BUT if during the whole time studying, all that person did was sit in their own cave of a lab, not mixing with others, then they will also not have a good relationship with people. So I ask, what is the use?

Personally, I think that this confidence issue is all based on experience. Especially addressing the public, talking in public. The more you are exposed to people, the more you learn how to handle them, what to say, what questions to ask.

HOW on earth are u supposed to learn this if you have never had the courage to step into this strange world? You have to literally jump into the community to understand them. Which is why I stress that it is all based on experience. There is nothing waiting for you at the other end other than advantages for your own self.

But take note, not everything along this long winding road of life is as smoothly as it you want it to be. Ofkos there will be the experience of handling really difficult people. Ofkos there will be times you feel like you’ve had enough of people. Ofkos there will be tears and tears and more tears (girls la). But you know what, finding out that “you have to accept that you cannot fulfill everyone’s hope, you cannot satisfy everyone” has to be done the HARD way. You have to literally go thru the hardships before actually understanding what it means. So don’t give up when the time comes.

Confidence, ofkos it is something that needs work on. But good news for my gal pals, there was a guy once who told me that he finds confident girls sexy. Hahhaha.

Oh come on, wouldn’t you like to seen as sexy bcos of your confidence rather than sexy becos of how you dress?

And for guys, as a gal, ofkos I will say that confident guys grab better attention than those who just sit on the sidelines. We see you first compared to the others. And we admire you for it.

So my brothers and sisters, what on earth are you waiting for? JUMP. And make sure the jump counts. Jump high vertically and far horizontally!

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