Pauline Ong

A little bit about me…

When I was 9, I found myself being a new kid in school again! My dad’s job made it necessary for us as a family to move. City to city. House to house. I lost count how many times I had to make new friends all over again. Each time we moved, I would feel sick in my stomach. I knew what was going on, I would throw tantrums and refuse to go to school. I recalled my mum taking me to school and I desperately wanting to leave with her. Imagine a kid running after her mother. That was me!

One day, as a new kid in class, my teacher thought it would be good idea to pull me out in front of the class to recite a poetry. Because I was a conscientious student, I had been rehearsing it at home, over and over again many times. I was so chuffed I got all my lines correctly.

On the actual day though, it was a completely different story. It quickly deteriorated into a nightmare. I fumbled on my lines and at one point, my mind even went completely blank. All eyes were on me. I had my mouth open, but no words would come. I struggled to remember the poetry. All I could hear was my teacher in the background saying I hadnt been a good student and wasn’t very good at remembering my lines.

That same feeling of shame and embarrassment carried on with me every time I stood in front of a class and at university, when again I had to do presentations.

The thing I envied most about others was their phenomenal confidence, and I hated that I didn’t have it. I felt pathetic inside. I had cold sweaty palms, a trembling voice, shaking knees, a dry mouth, my stomach felt like a washing machine… I remembered my heart was pounding so hard to a point I even thought everyone in class could hear it. I felt dizzy, like being on a high speed roller coaster.

At every presentation at university and there were many, I thought of backing out on the day of the presentation. The only reason why I turned up, was because I did not want to fail and did not want to let my team down, so I forced myself into doing it. I won’t lie, I barely slept the night before. My mind was like a circus with those creepy clowns. Those innocuous presentations took so much out of me I became so physically and emotionally exhausted. I felt ridiculous and I felt so silly for being nervous.

At one of my very first presentations at university, I burst into tears immediately afterwards. I had so much nervous energy I crashed. No one knew exactly what was going on, but in my mind, I thought I had botched the presentation, I’d let my team down and I’d failed again!

Here I am a grown woman, how can I be like this! Surely I can get over this. My GP told me to “just get on with it”. He sent me off with a prescription (which I did not take) and to a counsellor who used painful CBT that just didn’t work, and it took forever. Eventually I got so bored with the sessions I just did not turn up anymore. Then I went to a psychologist and it made things even worse for me. And again, after a couple of sessions of talking endlessly about my shame, guilt and frustrations eventually I got bored, and not show up.

Then one day, out of the blue, my University tutor who noticed my profound uneasiness said to me “Have you tried Hypnotherapy?” I laughed because I couldn’t even pronounced the word properly. I was like “Hypno what?” I didn’t even know what it was! I went home that day intrigued with this thing called Hypnotherapy and I started reading up about it. My first thoughts were someone’s going to make me cluck like a chicken and play with my mind. Of course…Nothing could be further from the truth.

I saw my tutor again later that week and he shared with me his own journey with hypnotherapy and how he had the same struggles with Public Speaking. That same fear was crippling him. I could not believe it because he is such a confident speaker. My eyes lit up and I felt hope for the first time in my life.

A week later, I went to the hypnotherapist and she got to the root cause of the problem quickly, easily and gently and today, I no longer have that same fear about public speaking. In fact sometimes, you can’t even shut me up.
I even joined a Speaking Club which I never thought was possible and I found myself enjoying public speaking.

The overcoming of my own fears with public speaking help me tremendously in my own life and career. I went on to train as a Registered Nurse and I have had the most amazing career and I loved it. I have worked in both Public and Private Hospitals in the areas of Critical Care, worked as a Rural Nurse and have also travelled extensively as a Private Nurse. I got a taste of how the other half lives and the experiences has made me a well-rounded person.

I have since trained as a Hypnotherapist. Fears are just one of the favourite things I just love to help people with. I am here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with you, you are not crazy, what you feel is real and the good news is… like me, you can overcome this! Don’t suffer in silence, let me help you. You can and you will overcome this.