So today there was a workshop in one of our courses, which usually means some introduktion to new material followed by some group assignment and lastly a presentation of the group's work with applying the new material. I usually dread the group presentations because of the fact that I will have to stand in front of the whole class explaining how we worked with a subject i hardly understand myself. There are just so many things that seems to provoke anxiety. Firstly, I have to speak in front of an audience, which means that I'm drawing attention to myself. Secondly, the time factor means that there isn't enough time for putting together, let alone rehearsing, the presentation, which is also frightening; in part because of the danger of a complete blackout, and in part because I have to contribute to the teaching, thereby setting up expectation that what I say isn't complete rubbish. Thirdly, putting my incompetence on display in front of my professional relations (class mates) is a really unpleasant feeling for me as well.
I feel I'm being thrown out there, among people I don't know and having to cooperate with them, putting on display how much I suck at this, and working towards a common goal of getting crucified at a presentation - all the while a mild/moderate feeling of dread and anxiety is molesting your inner space, putting a knot in your stomach, a lump in your throat and making you want to slip quietly out of the door to catch your breath and never to return. How open to learn new concepts and creative will you be, how focused, and how effective and effecient will you be at anything with this approach to the situation?
I LONG for feeling engaged, energized, enthused, fascinated, inspired - to be able to look at some assignment/research subject/concept/theory with joy and positive expectations of having my horizon expanded, instead of the usual and completely automatic anxiety response that clouds everything and imbues it with a sense of heaviness and dread and creating unsurmountable barriers that I cannot even bear to look at.
I LONG for something to dedicate my life to, something that is BIGGER than my automated responses and the inner turmoil they create, something that makes my anxiety condition seem petty and insignificant in comparison.