Fear

When I was in college I studied pretty hard and got pretty good grades.  I once astonished a roommate by telling him that before every important test, I convinced myself I could afford to fail it.  I would say that what I was afraid of wasn't that bad.  Only then could I relax and tell myself, "I can do better than failure."

On Monday I'll be in another state, at an important meeting.  I'll be the point man for about half of the meeting.  I cannot convince myself that I can afford to fail.  This isn't just a grade.  The stakes are too high.

When I wrote "I can do better than failure" above, I tried to keep writing:  'if I study, I might do better.'  Or 'I have nothing to lose by studying.'  But I didn't write those things because they didn't make sense.  "If", what, or if not then what?  "Nothing to lose by studying", as opposed to what?  What did I think my alternatives were?  Freeze in terror?  Run away?  Keep thinking about the consequences until I could visualize a tolerable outcome after failure?  Keep thinking about my options until I came up with something other than studying that would make the outcome more tolerable?  It's strange how the mind works.

Basically I studied, every time.  And I'm prepared for Monday.  I can make this presentation - not without looking nervous, but I can make it.  Wish me luck.