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How do you react when you feel intimidated?

He said: “I was able to catch a glimpse of other applicants’ curriculum vitae. I became intimidated and felt timid because their qualifications in comparison…

He said: “I was able to catch a glimpse of other applicants’ curriculum vitae. I became intimidated and felt timid because their qualifications in comparison to mine were superb.” He went on to say: “I submitted my application but on a negative note with no expectation of a good feedback from the agency because during the oral interview, I couldn’t express myself very well or give good responses to their questions.” His experience got me thinking, what is the plight of others who at some point get intimidated by others and should intimidation affect their ability to be productive? To find answers to these posers, Life extra spoke to a cross section of people:
Precious Musa is a final year student of Mass Communication, Nasarawa State University, Keffi. She feels intimidation affects the output of an individual. Speaking from her personal experience, she said: “What intimidates me is meeting people, who I know are more intelligent than myself, it makes me feel small or lesser than them. When I was in secondary school, I represented my school in an Olympic competition. On arrival at the location for the competition, I met students from private schools who were better than me. The fact that they were from a private school was even more intimidating, as they were well groomed and obviously from rich homes. This really affected my output in that game because I started to doubt my ability, I lost confidence. My own form of intimidation affects me positively and negatively, initially I may feel downcast but in the long run I will strive to meet up or even do better.”
Cleopatra Ufuoma, a 300 level student of the University of Port Harcourt, says she does not easily get intimidated, though as a human being she falls prey to intimidation from time to time: “I am not easily intimidated because I believe strongly in myself and I know my capabilities. There was a time we had to defend this assignment in school, in presence of fellow students, my lecturer and other lecturers; in short the hall was filled with people. Before my presentation, there was this student who went on before me, she was seen by both lecturers and students as a bookworm. From her entrance on stage to her performance there was consistent cheering and hailing from students and lecturers who kept nodding in agreement with her presentation. This ordinarily would have gotten me intimidated but instead, I got myself together and made up my mind to do my very best and not in any way think of her presentation and performance. When I made that decision, it boosted me and made my presentation good and it was acknowledged by the lecturers.”
Cleopatra advises that even if one feels intimidated, one shouldn’t allow that affect one’s performance but rather boost it and make us better in whatever we have to do.
Nwabueze Ngozi, a mother of two, thinks that intimidation can have a strong effect on individuals: “Your friend was affected negatively by other people’s curriculum vitae, but that shouldn’t have been the case. We all know that in Nigeria, getting a job most times is determined first by your qualifications. But he should have thought of what input he could have had on his interviewees if he had performed well or even better than those who had the best of qualifications, as the case may be.”
Drawing from personal experience, she said: “When I was about getting married, I had issues with my friends. They felt my husband was not good enough for me because at the time he was a low salary earner, some of them had rich suitors crawling around them, who of course were of their taste.
I remember attending one of their weddings, it was like I was in heaven on earth; the wedding was so colourful and expensive, but I did not allow it get to me, although at some point I got intimidated, instead I chose to stick with my husband and work with him to make the best out of him. Today as you can see, the situation is different. My point exactly is that no matter how you feel intimidated, you can choose to work positively or negatively with it.”
Ayo Mebude also says she has learnt not to be intimidated and has chosen to use such occasions as a booster to make herself better. She recalled her experience as an intern in a newspaper organization: “My first month in the organisation was crazy for me, I felt so useless. This was as a result of my performance at the time. I and other interns were instructed to always make sure that our stories were at least 1000 words. My colleagues quickly caught up with the style but I on the other hand, could not. I had to improve myself by developing my writing skills and also learning how to make use of good words to make up my story. So, I as an individual, see intimidation as what shouldn’t affect my performance but instead make me better in life.”
Intimidation can actually make you look timid, frightened or even lose self-confidence, but the ultimate decision to allow it affect you positively or negatively, lies with you and you alone.
Charles R. Swindoll, a preacher, author and educator says: “With vision there is no room to be frightened, no reason for intimidation. It’s time to march forward! Let’s be confident and positive.”

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