If there is one thing I have realized since coming to Bryn Mawr its that I have a serious case of reoccurring self-doubt.
It manifested itself when I first applied to college. Everyone has the same questions- Did I join enough clubs? Did I play the right sports? Will I get in? Am I good enough? Then once we actually receive a letter and send in our deposit we’re stuck with the worst question of all- Did I choose the right school? Thankfully I’m passed that hurdle and I know for a fact that I did make the right choice. However, that doesn’t stop the terrible feeling from sneaking up in daily life. In the classroom, on the soccer field, even discussing the answer for yesterday’s daily training room crossword puzzle I am bombarded with what if’s, but’s, and maybe not’s.
Tomorrow I will be traveling to Princeton to present my theory on culture translation through K-Pop at their East Asian Popular Culture Conference. I applied to be a speaker in January, found out my paper was accepted in February, researched a ton in March, and reserved April to freak out about this whole ordeal. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier about this whole situation. I mean the fact that there is a conference dedicated to my favorite topic and that they want me to speak at it is awesome. But then the what if’s began pouring in. It didn’t help that my practice runs haven’t been going well and last night was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
After a terrible dress rehearsal las I slumped in my rolly chair in a Dalton classroom banging my head against the desk. I gave up, I was down for the count, on the verge of a melt down. “Its terrible I know it. You know it. They’ll know it.” I even started to think about not going. I mean would it really make a difference?
I looked out to my “audience” (a.k.a Karina a.k.a the only person willing to listen to my K-Pop conundrum) for a response. “Its not bad…its not great but its not bad.” For the next 30 minutes she poked and prodded my presentation pushing me to the brink of tears in a back in forth conversation of its terrible’s and work through it’s. Finally out of all of that nonsense the most important thing she said was “this is about convincing that one person in the audience that your theory matters and your topic is relevant. Just remember Lindsey, life is a stage, you have to sell it”, and it clicked.
I was selling the product but I wasn’t buying it. I got caught up in trying to translate my theory into a stuffy presentation that I forgot about what my theory was about in the first place. And if there is one thing I do know its K-Pop. So, after decoding my presentation and returning it to its former glory my confidence was restored!
As cheesy as it is, it is true that you can do anything you want to. But, you have to convince yourself before you can convince others. From summer jobs to a K-Pop conference sometimes you just need to believe in yourself. All it takes is a bit of encouragement (or a high five from Terry haha) to realize how irrelevant that nagging little voice in your head really is.
To be continued…
TL;DR- self-doubt sucks and its inevitable but calm down and just believe in yourself a little bit and you will make it through…dance parties and high fives help too.