Day123 — Prep for the Big Day

I’m questioning my readiness, must practice!

December 5th, 2016

Woke up. Jog. Video editing. Breakfast. Then a 1-on-1 meeting with Ang, the preceptor of Leap of Faith. Meeting with Ang this morning was such an ideal way to start my day. She is so positive, bundled up with good energy. She has helped me a lot this semester, whether that be through her class or through our 1-on-1's.

She asks poignant questions, sees the good in people, and helps them shine. I told her about my plans for Thailand and next semester, returning to Chautauqua. She was super encouraging. And she said that I was more than welcome to attend her class as a “keynote listener.” That’s awesome. This means a lot. I feel good when I am around Ang, speaking about life, it’s great energy.

In the afternoon, I discovered that I only had 31 FailUp cards…. What?! This makes no sense. I thought we ordered 70….How could this be? Again, it makes no sense. So I walked to FedEx to report the problem along with my confusion. The employee who worked with us yesterday was incredibly generous. He shared my confusion and offered to reprint the order at no additional charge. Wow! So awesome, what service. THANK YOU. He really saved me some stress. PLUS, I was able to keep my 31 cards, so now I have 100. This makes me happy.

Next on the agenda = haircut. Done. Next on the agenda = practice the summit. All of us Watson scholars gathered in Meadows room and the MCs (Misa & MK) explained the format of the event. We then went one-by-one, in order, pitching our ventures. I was close to last, maybe 11th out of 14, or something like that. I dislike this position, because I wait in fear. Listening to others pitch before me, they get it out of the way. All I can do is wait. Adding time usually contributes to my nerves.

It was my time. I started with hello everyasdoiasj. What? In the moment, I wanted to say hello everybody, but stumbled. Whereas in my pitch, I was supposed to say hello, my name is ____. Gosh, I was already messing this up. The nerves were getting me. I tried again and got passed the hello. It was going. But then, at one part, I blanked. I forgot what I wanted to say. I then looked at the slide and was reminded. I continued. Later in the pitch, I tripped up again. And finally, I finished. Gosh, that was painful. Why did this happen? I thought I was doing well with my pitches. I thought I had this internalized. But the fear got to me. It made it hard to think with clarity.

At the end, I got some feedback from Mohit who had some questions about what I was sharing about failure, and how that impacted the solution of FailUp. Maybe the story could be more logical in tying my personal experiences to the unique solution that is FailUp. We discussed. I explained. By this point, it was too hard to make drastic shifts. I needed to go with what I had.

Ate dinner, then met with Theresa so we could practice our pitches. We went to the academic hall where we could pitch away from others. We listened to one another. Provided feedback. Shared ideas. And contributed to the final design and execution. This session was extremely helpful. It helped ground me. She had slept little over the past few days because of her anxiety, so she was ready to head to bed. I stayed up. I needed some more practice. I ran through the pitch 5–10 more times and was feeling more comfortable. I decided to stop because my throat was starting to hurt. If it wasn’t for my throat, I would likely still be practicing.

It’s now midnight. And I feel mixed. Mixed because I know tomorrow is not a guarantee. There’s possibility for this not to go well. But there’s also possibility for this to go well, for this to go great. I just don’t know which one. The future is naturally unpredictable.

What is funny about this is that I am fearful of failure. Afraid of messing up. Of it not going well. And this is exactly the service I aim to provide. Helping people face their fear of failure. Why am I afraid? Because failure does hurt. But according to me, failure is neither good nor bad. It’s just feedback. All that I can do now is practice my pitch and practice self-acceptance. With these practices, I’ll do great regardless of what goes down. Alright, the pep talk is over. Night!

3 Things I’m Grateful for

  • Ang, for all the reasons I explained above. An incredible mentor and teacher for Watson students.
  • The employee at FedEx (I forgot his name, how could I have done that!). He’s super nice.
  • Theresa for working with me on this pitch, that was helpful & fun!

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