Please don’t clap, it triggers my ego


I'm a weird mix between confident and insecure.

I wasn't in the popular crowd at school, grew up with friends who were mostly much more attractive than me and have much more intelligent siblings, so I learned how to take second/third or last place. I've tended to be more wing woman than the regular object of anyone's affection and I'm still surprised if a guy prefers me over my friends. While I've never been outstandingly good at anything in particular, I've always been tall, slender and kind of pretty. I'm good at most sports, fiercely competitive, style conscious and a bit of a show off (dancing on tables is kind of my thing).

The combination of the above means I'm not your average extrovert or introvert but I hate the worrying feeling of hubris that I regularly have to shake off. I don't want ego to take control. It took me years to realise that my natural height and build offers more than just the male part in my girls' school's annual plays. When I was about seven years old, my aunt told me that wearing trainers all the time would make my feet flat - apparently this is a bad thing - and I haven't stopped wearing heels since. So it's near on impossible not to notice when I walk into a room, and I had to learn to be comfortable with that. Learning what clothes look good on me has boosted my confidence in this and now I get worried when people don't comment on what I wear.

Like a lot of us, public speaking doesn't come easily. I personally worry about the level of my voice, the tone, the filler words and how I'm standing. But I do love a platform! I get energised when people nod and smile, affirming whatever it is I've remembered to say. I feel encouraged and appreciated. But I'm aware, as I stand tall on the stage with my best Valentino forward, that the other thing that is increasing is my ego. I start to feel that I'm amazing, regardless of what I'm saying, and there's a part of me that worries about that creeping sense of self-importance.

But how do you keep that balance between confidence and arrogance??

Answers on a postcard please...

Photo by Sam Burriss on Unsplash

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