Growing up I always had this fear: fear of being branded unintelligent. Having a dad who told me that my short and fat fingers were for the intelligent ones, I always felt like a genius. I probably did not say much or raise my hand in school, but that was reflected in my grades.
In school I never raised my hand to answer a question the teacher asked. Not because I did not know the answer, but because I was silently hoping in my mind that my answer was the best answer. True to my thoughts, my answer was always the best (okay, not all the times). This saw me give myself a standing ovation. I do admit that sometimes I never really had an answer in mind.
I was my own celebrity and fan and I loved it that way. The only time I would raise my hand is when I had a question to ask. That is the only time I never had the fear of appearing stupid. As long as my thirst for the right information was quenched it never mattered.
While not raising my hand in class would seem like a selfish action, it really wasn’t. I do not talk much, but for someone who has known me for a long time would blatantly scream ‘liar’ after reading that. Why? I get comfortable after analysing how someone takes on some things said.
Flash forward to my current life, I still never raise my hand when a question is thrown to everyone. Unless I am picked my answer remains within my mind waiting to be approved. I am still afraid of appearing dumb and even if I am still on the journey of knowing something about everything, I dare not risk raising my hand.
Active participation! My teacher always said. But she never gave tips on how to especially for someone whose fear was stronger than the need to actively participate.
Even with all this, I have never hidden any information from anyone who sought it. I do love attention, hence explaining my inability to speak when everyone else is speaking. But I prefer a one man show, the feeling of content after having answered someone else’s questions.
The bottom line; the people in power scare the shit out of me and that is why I work hard to be powerful in the future. I believe that is the only way I will ever get over the fear of appearing foolish or dim-witted.