There are moments when I – and I am sure you do too – feel like I know nothing; like I am a fraud in my job, in my life and it makes my mouth dry and my heart pound. I imagine you know exactly what I mean.
And then there are (less frequent) moments when I know that I know my stuff. I know that I am in control, and I can absolutely do what it is that I’m doing. I’m sure you’ve felt that too.
Last week I had been asked to do a lunch time ‘Facebook live’; a live video in a big Facebook group where I’m about to become the expert coach on a course to help people manage anxiety. These people have paid good money and the video was to introduce myself to them and anyone who was thinking of signing up.
I’d had the imposter moment – I am not good on video and don’t come across as the calm professional I imagine most people expect they will see in that scenario. I am very much me. But then I had a word with myself, reminded me that I do the talking part to people every day, many times a day, and talking through a few scenarios and one technique with the lady who runs the group was hardly going to be difficult.
But (and there is always a ‘but’ in these stories, isn’t there?), I decided to attempt to sound more knowledgeable than I usually do…
(It’s called a physiological sigh, by the way – it’s brilliant because it gets rid of the physical symptoms of stress in your body in seconds and is a physical thing – no reliance on your mind here. What you do is breathe in – a full breath. Hold it a second, and now breath in a little bit more so your lungs are really full….and now slowly exhale.)
I should have stuck to that, as I’ve found most people don’t care why something works, just that it does, but I decided to explain what happens in your lungs. And what I should have said was that when you are stressed the air sacks in your lungs – the alveoli – collapse, and the double breath in reinflates them and quickly removes the excess CO2 really efficiently, which allows you to feel more relaxed in seconds.
What I actually said was that the double breath in changes the aioli in our lungs… (And yes, aioli is a sort of garlic mayonnaise that is great for dipping chips in and livening up a salad but nothing to do with breathing…)
Luckily, or possibly not as I could have got away with it, the person I was doing this live session with is a nurse and managed to correct me quickly.
And I really don’t know if the moral here should be not to try to sound knowledgeable, to be A LOT more knowledgeable and learn these things backwards, or just not to do live videos at lunchtime when your hungry has woken up. I’ll leave it to you to work out… :o)