#48: When are you better than you think?
(I have an impulse to say I am better than I think at writing — that my own limitations and insecurities about my work obfuscate my ability to see that I’m actually pretty good. Maybe even better than I think. But I know this to be a false, illusory notion. Because secretly, I think I’m really good, which means in truth, I’m probably worse than I think.)
When I am in front of a group of students.
It takes a certain kind of person to be attracted to the kinds of jobs that require regular public speaking, presenting to a crowd, or being the centre of attention. I am suited to this kind of work. I enjoy it. I’m good at it, but there is also a certain degree of self-doubt built-in to jobs like these.
When you’re first starting out in a field that requires mastery of stage presence, then it’s just all self-doubt, all of the time. You come home everyday asking yourself if today was a hit or a train-wreck. On some days, it’s more obvious than not which direction your performance went in, but on many occasions, it’s not quite so clear.
There have been so many lessons, classes, and courses that I’ve taught and walked out of the classroom thinking well that was a fucking disaster only to have a student tell me they really enjoyed the class.
I think in this context, I may sometimes lack perspective. I am very hard on myself, always focused on the things that went wrong — the miscues, the gaffs — and never really giving myself much credit. I could’ve done better, that’s what I tell myself.
So, I guess that’s when I may actually be better than I think.