“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.” – Maya Angelou
Any minute now they would find out.
I scanned the large conference room. The twenty-six project team members around the table discussed data analysis. Their voices were muffled by the thick fog of my anxiety.
My own throat tried to choke me, and my chest refused to expand. Sweat trickled down my side.
Breathe, just breathe. It’s going to be okay.
My eyes met my boss’s and he smiled at me across the room. I quickly looked down at my notes. My cheeks were burning.
I knew what was coming.
It would be my turn next to showcase my part of the project. I had been working on it for months. Starting early, staying late, slaving away every waking hour, perfecting every detail.
But I couldn’t hide any longer. Couldn’t pretend any more. I would be exposed.
In a few minutes they would discover that my efforts weren’t up to scratch. That I wasn’t good enough.
They would listen to my presentation and their faces would darken with disappointment. They would whisper to each other in dismay and ask me questions I couldn’t answer.
And then, someone would stand up, point at me and say, “You have no clue what you are talking about, do you? You are nothing but a fraud. A pathetic excuse for a scientist. You know nothing.”
Any minute now.
I clutched the edge of the table. Tears stung in my eyes and I swallowed hard. My intestines were churning.
I had to get away.
Leaping to my feet, I mumbled an excuse. I stumbled out of the room, heart racing,