I confess I am a little scared. In fact, a lot scared. At the beginning of July, I am presenting an academic paper at the Association of Event Management Education conference in Sheffield and I have never done this before. I have never had to present my academic research before and certainly not to this kind of audience! I am speaking on the same stage as some of the greats of event management academia – Glenn Bowdin, Joe Goldblatt, Dr Elling Hamso…. – and I am a little scared!
If I think about it rationally, I know that my research is good, that the subject is interesting and that I am a confident presenter so it will all be fine. I also recognise that it is good to push the boundaries sometimes and push myself to be better and aim higher. But then the imposter syndrome looms….I fear that one day they will find out that it’s just me and inside, I am about 14 years old, not a grown up at all, and certainly not anyone who has answers.
I think this is because I have never thought of myself being on that stage, being up there with those academics and event managers, but I am arrogant enough to believe that I am good enough to be there and that they are actually my peers. Sometimes, we are so focussed on our work, that we don’t step away from it to see how much we have achieved. So, I am using my presentation at the AEME conference to take that step away, recognise that actually I am a grown up now and have every right to be proud of what I have achieved.
I am not sharing this for a pat on the back and an ego boost. I am sharing this because I know I am not alone in feeling like this, torn between being chuffed to bits and a little petrified of taking that step onto that stage to be seen in that light. I am sharing this because it is good to be a little scared and to push one’s own boundaries. So wish me luck!
Claire Eason Bassett, Managing Director, Mackerel Sky