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You’re lying awake at night worrying about an upcoming event, not because you’re not qualified or that you don’t know your stuff, but because being visible and speaking up in English terrifies you. The honest truth is that you don’t feel comfortable speaking up in your native language and you’re not particularly comfortable around large groups of people. It’s just who you are, so the thought of attending the event, socialising, engaging in small talk and contributing to the event fills you with fear.

Your attempts to bring this to the attention to those around you in the vague hope that someone will say something to either get you off the hook, or magically erase the fear are waved aside with comments like ‘you’ll be fine’. No one seems to fully understand the extent of the stress you’re facing. What makes it worse is that you know with your logical mind that it’s not rational to feel like this. You’re an intelligent person, you’re highly educated and you’re experienced in your field. This isn’t your first job, you’re not a junior member of staff anymore yet, you still feel like a child on their first day at school.

In the past you managed to block out the anxiety by keeping busy; so busy that you didn’t have time to attend these events. It was a good plan while it lasted but what you didn’t envision with your master plan is that by keeping yourself in the shadows, you kept your work in the shadows as well. When you look around, you see your colleagues getting recognition for their work, you see them starting to get promoted and praised for their work, while you sit on the sidelines hoping someone will take notice of your work… but not too much. Because as soon as someone does take the time to recognise what it is you’re doing, you feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights and you freeze. Chastising yourself once they’ve gone with thoughts of what you could have said, could have done, how it could have been different this time.

Recently it’s started getting worse. Perhaps it’s because you know that you have to do something about it. You know you have to start speaking up about your work, you have to start promoting yourself and your work.

Even reading this causes you pulse rate to increase. Just thinking about what you’d need to do to speak up about your work, or comment on someone else’s work causes that gripping sensation in your stomach.

That’s why you’ve started having difficulty falling asleep and why you wake a 3am with the same thoughts in your mind. It’s why you’ve googled ways to reduce stress and why you’re trying breathing techniques to calm yourself down in the middle of the night.

Why am I writing this here? I show you that I know how you’re feeling and to tell you that you’re not alone. To help you see that I do understand the significance of what it means when you say that you really hate those events.

I’m writing this to let you know that I get it, I feel you and more importantly I can help.

I help introverts overcome their fear of speaking up at work in English by helping them understand what exactly is going on for them and supporting them to find solutions that work for them.

That means fortnightly or monthly sessions where we focus on you and your fears and together work out a plan that’s comfortable for you to move forward and overcome your fears. So that you can break free of this fear and start getting the recognition you not only desire but deserve.

Please don’t suffer with this alone any longer, it’s not worth it.

Get in contact, I can help.

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