Post-traumatic presenting


I gave a presentation at work today followed by a Q and A. I did my self-coaching work beforehand so I could feel confident and prepared, but I noticed during the first question, my brain went berserk with thoughts like ‘you don’t know what to say,’ ‘you don’t sound like you know what you’re talking about it,’ and all these other well-worn, crappy thoughts. I was pretty aware, and I tried to direct my mind to less crappy thoughts. When it was finished, I found myself looking for validation, but when people said I did great, I thought ‘they’re just being nice’ or ‘they don’t really know.’ Then I didn’t get any reaction from a few people my brain respects, and I made it mean all kinds of nonsense about how I must be right, I really did do a bad job. I totally found evidence for my crappy thought and ignored the positive evidence. I have so many judgments about my ability to speak clearly and persuasively (it means I’m not selling myself well, I’m not impressive, I’m limited in how successful I can be, blah, blah, blah), and I’ve always thought that me not speaking persuasively is a fact. When a thought like that comes up, do I try to remember it’s not a fact or do I just try to not make it mean so much? Maybe whatever I can believe… I’m not resistant to feeling insecure when I’m doing new things or taking a risk, but this feels like indulging in self-judgment/inadequacy. I want to stop it.