We hear all the time about pushing the boundaries out and coming out of your comfort zone, and this is exactly what happened at the Silverback Security Academy last weekend on Friday 4th December 2020.
When I spoke to the course provider Carl Dakin QGM CSyP and Emeritus Prof Patrick Smith they convinced me that I should come and do a session at one of their residential classes. I said yes and then decided on a topic to present about, two problems here, one I just blurted out the first thing I thought I could write a topic on, which was fire safety in high rise buildings and two I had ever done anything like this before. It isn't like people were sitting there to listen to me talk on their own accord, they had paid a course fee to be there and this added the pressure on. Why was the pressure on, basically when you are paying for a course you are expecting a certain level of quality of information and the next part imposter syndrome.
Imposter Syndrome is quite common and is basically when you doubt your ability and your knowledge no matter how long you have been in a job or level of education to make any positive contribution. And at this point I was having a healthy dose of that leading up to the day.
After bashing the keyboard wondering where the paperclip was for help (if you know you know) and trying to perfect my PowerPoint skills to not look so amateurish it was on the way. I had now come to the realisation that I wasn't going to do a long talk on fire in fact, after to moaning to Carl again he suggested I do what I know best, manned guarding as it was very relevant. But I decided not to let Prof Patrick down I decided to do a blend of security contract management and fire risk in high rise buildings.
On the day
The time had come where I had committed to the cause and time had run out for escape and it was now or now. If anybody knows Carl then never was never an option after you have give him your word you will do it. I thought ok my slot if at 1730hrs so there will be other speakers before me and I can warm myself up into it, or so I thought.
After driving through the shire to Missenden Abbey and suddenly realising my car is not made for off-road adventures, it also dawned on me that there were two other people from my company there on the course... more pressure. What if I was absolutely dire and I just bored the 12 or so paying participants to death! What if I wasn't as good as the other presenters, what if what if what if..... So I rock up, mask on in the reception area due to Covid compliance asking the receptionist where I had to go and what room I was staying in, I made my way to the room after moving my car to another car park as the fair was going to be set up where I had left it, I get a call....
Carl: Where are you bud?
Me: Just in my room setting my stuff down
Carl: Ok, come down we start at 1730
I ventured down to the large conference room and it was full of people or the cohort I should say, with Carl standing near the table on one end and me standing there with a gig stick across the other, looking. Then it dawned on me, there were no other speakers, it was me, me and the two cohorts from the certificate class and the diploma class, oh and the people on Zoom... Just all staring at me (all socially distanced). I decided to leave for a coffee and a quick chat with Carl.
Then it started, Carl made the introductions and made me sound like I knew what I was talking about and the first slide came on then off we went.
After what seemed like 2 mins, 30minutes had past and there no rotten tomatoes being thrown at me, no booing or heckling, just people listening and nodding to my delivery and taking in what was being said. The imposter syndrome had past, and now I was in a real flow and the cohort were asking questions, so much so the time flew and we finished around 1915, just in time for dinner.
So the take away from my experience is:
Don't let your uncomfortableness stop you from doing something
You know more than you think
Not everybody is out to get you and people are wanting to learn
Imposter Syndrome is just you telling yourself you can't do it
It is never as bad as you think
Less thinking, more doing, and have the experience
After all the stressing this is some of the feedback I got: