Monday, November 25, 2013

Does Your Passion Ever Make You Nervous?

Okay, we’re all friends here, right? We can talk. I mean, if you can’t trust the online friends that you’ve never met before, who can you trust?!

Does your passion ever make you nervous? I’m going to assume that we all have something we are passionate about. For a lot of us, it is dentistry. For some, it is a hobby or anavocation that brings us joy. Do any of you experience that really odd, almost seductive, combination of feeling really passionate about what you are doing and the adrenaline rush of nerves coming at you at the same time? I’ll confess: I do! I’ve experienced this feeling with many of the things that I have been passionate about in my life.

First, it was nursing. I loved being a nurse. I gave it my all. I was reliable, quick on my feet, intelligent, compassionate and… nervous. By the end of an 8- or 10- hour shift, I was exhausted from the exhilaration that comes from my passion and the constant rush of adrenaline that was fueled by my nerves. As a dentist, I faced those same sensations. I couldn’t wait to get to the office and face the challenges that each day brought to me. At the same time, I was swimming in a sea of nerve-induced adrenaline. But if you were to ask those around me in those moments if I looked nervous, they would tell you absolutely not! I do not wear my nerves for anyone to see.

So, is it just me? As my passion for social media grows and I find myself in front of audiences of dental professionals talking about incorporating social media into their marketing strategy, I get so pumped! I get so excited about creating or modifying my PowerPoint presentations. I tweak and enhance each project. I practice in front of my imaginary audience. A few days before a presentation, I even start to dream about my talk because it is so ingrained in my brain. By the time I am ready for my presentation, I own it.

And yet, I still get nervous on the day of the presentation. Even though I was an amazing nurse, and even though I could prep a three-unit bridge with my eyes closed, and even though I could give my presentation standing on my head, I still get nervous.

Over the years, I have come to embrace my adrenaline rushes as positive influences on the outcome of my passion. I think that being a little nervous keeps me on my best game. Being a little nervous prevents me from becoming complacent and stagnant. When I am nervous, I want to overcome that sensation by doing my very best.

Perhaps some of the nerves are tied in to a fear of failure, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Right? Maybe being on the edge of glory versus failure keeps us focused and forward moving. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Now it’s your turn. Confess. Does your passion ever make you nervous?

Claudia Anderson, DDS

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