Fake It Till You Make It! Finale.

And then this…

OK Wassim… you got this, you practiced this hundreds, thousands of times in your bedroom, you know this… IT’s NEUROLOGICALLY HARD WIRED IN MY SYSTEM by now. Just turn it on and go…

Take a deep breath and get up… ‘where are your que cards? one of the teachers asks. ‘Miss, I misunderstood the task and thought I am not allowed to have them. So, I didn’t bring any…’

I kidd you not, the look in her eyes told me the fear she had for me… my year 12 English teacher was an amazing woman… she had a heart of gold… she saw in me what others did not. She wasn’t the popular teacher either… she was half Lebanese, half Aboriginal. Young, recently graduated, red curly fuzzy hair, overweight… a woman on a mission to change the world. She had a heart of gold… I don’t know her story… but she felt mine… she saw in me what no one else did! We had an instant connection… she wanted to help me… she always gave me extra attention… I don’t know why… she was sent to me as a guide… a coach… what ever reason God put her in my life… she had an enormous impact on my life… all the other teachers made feel like a worthless hopeless “Lebo” kid who had no future… the trouble maker always getting into fights, the delinquent who was expelled from his previous school and was here only because no other school would take him.

She did not see that… she saw the fighter in me… the one who would not allow my environment to define me…

She looked at me with emotions, fear for my wellbeing… she felt how I felt… it brings me tears writing this and remembering her right now… I could see she wanted to pull me out of that room… she wanted to protect me… I looked at her and she looked at me… I gave her the look that it’s OK… I will do this…

I took a deep breath, fixed my clothes, pulled my pants up, tucked my shirt in…

And I stood in front of the “boys” of course there were a few remarks, some stabs… some smart-arse comments coming from the crowd as I stepped up on that stage.

I looked across; I saw the school captain gleaming in pride of the magnificent speech he had just delivered. My fear, my worst nightmare was here…

Get your shit together Wassim… just do what you practiced… you have been through worse than this.

Deep breath… and GO TIME…

It was like turning a movie on… every word every move, every gesture, just rolled… the neurological anchors, the wiring just took over… I don’t even remember delivering that speech… I remember starting and finish it…

MOST IMPORTANTLY… I remember the eyes glued to me… the awe of my peers… the teachers mesmerised by my speech… my English teacher glowing in happiness… and then the GRAND FINALE…

They love it… they are clapping… what on earth is this… my peers… the bullies… they are clapping… is this real life? Am I dreaming? someone pinch me…  where am I?

Then yes, I am here… they are clapping for me… they are accepting me… I am a good public speaker… they did not clap like this for anyone before me… even the school captain did not get this.

My fear is now happiness… my self doubt is now self belief…

Wait what… I have a lisp… my lips go to the side as I speak like Sylvester Stallone…

None of this matters anymore… I just delivered the BEST speech so far!

I soaked the joy, the recognition, the POSITIVE SIGNIFICANCE I have just received… until now the only significance I was able to achieve was by punching that bully in the face and putting him on his arse after months of torment.

NOW I am getting significance from a positive action… I am a good person… I can do more… I am not a futureless imported Lebo kid in south west Sydney, doomed to be a delinquent for the rest of his life anymore.

So, what does all this have to do with FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT?

Well every second, every action, every single thing I did leading up and delivering that speech was FAKE IN MY HEAD… it was not real… it was lies I was telling my brain… my logical mind had all the evidence to prove I was a delinquent. I am the black sheep in the family. I am the one that always getting into fights…

So why would I now believe any different… I only did this speech to avoid the pain of f**ing up on stage and getting teased more.

BUT now I have the evidence that I am great at public speaking! I am a good presenter. Look all the boys clapped for me… and it was not a fake clap… it was genuine. I felt it, I saw it, they were captivated with what I had to say. I MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And now… my fear of public speaking and being ridiculed became my source of joy and my source of significance. I changed my neurological wiring.

Did this over come all my negative beliefs about my self and my lisp?

The simple answer is NO… till this day 22 years later… I still hate my recorded voice… I hate taking selfies and selfie videos. I have to get someone else to record my videos or take my pics or listen to my recordings and give me feedback. Because when I listen to or watch my self, I still see and hear that lisp, the lips moving to the side… I am still working on this till this day…

However, I receive so much satisfaction from public speaking that I take ANY AND ALL opportunity to speak.

This is ONE of many situations where I faked it till I made it. What can you fake till you make it?

Stay tuned for more insightful thought provocative stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *