I walked through that door scared and with uncertainty. I watched those eyes looking piercingly at me. I felt the butterflies in my tummy; I felt the weakness on my knees. My feet couldn’t carry me anymore; my confidence seemed to fail me.
Oh what a horrific moment in my life. I have never felt so scared and afraid in my life. I had never known that my courage could grow faint. I had never imagined myself drowning in fear.
My heart pounded heavily within me. I thought those around me could hear my heartbeat. I looked for where to get support, but I was all alone. My palms dripped because I sweated profusely.
It felt like the whole world was falling on me. That’s when it dawned on me that I was bound to face my challenges alone. I struggled with a smile to hide my true feelings; I tried so hard to build my confidence, but all that to no avial. When I looked up, I saw a panel seated right in front of me, my fears were reignited. They became all visible and my feet staggered on the ground. How I wished this moment never came. “All these wouldn’t help, it wouldn’t change the fact that you have to do your presentations” I told myself. At a pulse, a statement which I’ve always made came to mind…”what will be, will be.”
Hail no! This is not working… this doesn’t work in every situation. I greeted my jury and requested for a minute. Being kind enough, my request was granted. I took a second to make a quick prayer, took a deep breath which was so relieving and sipped on a bottle of water.
AHHHH! I am revived I said to myself. I am here to prove my worth and my hard work. I had worked too hard to be here and I am not planning on getting disappointed. Then I turned back to my Panel and did my presentation. The jury listened carefully to me and my audience nodded in affirmation. This made me feel so positive energy run through my body. This made me feel more confident.
All of this happened to me in my third year at the university when I had to present my report in partial fulfillment for the award of a Higher National Diploma (HND).
I really don’t understand what happened because it was not my first time addressing an audience. I had always been bold and fearless, but this experience made me realize everyone had a vulnerable moment in life.
At the end of that session, the members of the jury made their remarks. What stroke me most was what the president of the jury said. He looked at me straight into my eye and said these words
“When you walked through that door, I could see you at conflict with yourself. You were full of fear and anxiety. You lacked self-confidence, and didn’t believe you could do it. In the course of your presentation, you became more confident, and livelier - that I admired so much about you. I’d like to advice you and all students seated here today. In all you do in life, always remember there is a first time to everything. Those of us seated here today were once like you. We also walked through that door and that was our first time. So never be intimidated by a crowd or a jury. They all have had first-time experiences at one point in life or another.”
Those words sank deep into my heart. I felt wisdom in those words which still ring in my in my mind till today. Those words help me overcome my fears all the times. Each time I feel timid or intimidated, I tell myself that there is a first time to everything.
Everyday we have to face each day; we really do not know what each day hold for us, we cannot even tell if it will be bright or bleak. We just keep hoping for the best and we still have to make a plan for each day. Many of us fear unforeseen circumstances; we are not certain about which doors we will have to walk through the next moment. The mistake many of us make is the fact that in our plans for the day, for forget to add a “Miscellaneous” which will handle the unforeseen circumstance. No matter what the day holds for you, have this basic principle in mind… there is a first time to everything. Even walking into that day, was your first time.
To those in various positions of life, where ever you have been placed to serve people, please treat every human being with respect. Give them the reassurance they need to face the day. Before you sat on that seat, you also once walked through that door for a first time. Also remember that you too will need to walk through other doors for a first time and will be expecting a respectful treatment. In life you get what you give.
I have shared this basic life principle because it has helped me a lot, and still helps me till today.
No matter what you have to do or the places you have to go always have in mind “THERE IS A FIRST TIME TO EVERYTHING”