Monday, 25 February 2013

Getting out of my comfort zone...

As I just said on my Facebook page: What is it about contacting the medical profession that scares me so much? Is it because I'm "just a mum"...? Obviously if I'm going to write a book about UK families' experiences of the early months of their child's eating disorder, which would include presentation at their GPs' surgery, then I am going to need to talk to the medical profession in order to take an informed viewpoint. So why does it scare me?

Apart from being "just a mum" and having no medical knowledge except all the masses of stuff I've learned over the past three-and-a-half years - from when my son, Ben, developed his eating disorder up to the present day - I think one reason is because, as a copywriter, I tend to write in quite simple language.

And academics, especially clinicians, tend to have a language all of their own which makes the mum-in-the-street like me feel... well... a bit ordinary and ignorant.

In other words, my writing / speaking style is "primary school" and theirs is "post-graduate".

Or maybe it's because I've always been scared that professionals won't take me seriously.

I am just me. Absurdly, in my head, I am still the girl at school who messed around, rebelled and walked out of important exams. The girl that was labelled "arrogant" for speaking up in class. The girl that was sent to stand in the corner on her very first day at school, aged 4, for contradicting the teacher. And the young woman who was once told by her bullying boss that she would "never be anything but a secretary".

And, more recently, the mum who had to battle with the medical profession to get her concerns about her son addressed.

So why, I absurdly say to myself, would anyone in authority take "me" seriously?

It was the same when I first went freelance, when I dragged my portfolio around all the advertising agencies in my city. There is something in me that makes me doubt my abilities, the ever-present feeling that "I am not good enough" when compared to the "real professionals" out there.

In other words, I am a fake. And one day everyone will realise this.

Which, of course, is ridiculous.

But my lack of confidence, low self-esteem and inherent shyness means that I do find it really hard to push myself out of my comfort zone and get out there.

Feeling this way really annoys me, especially when I look at devil-may-care people around me who don't give a toss what people think.

Or maybe they do.

Maybe, like me, they hide it quite well.

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