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How Donald Trump helped me overcome my performance anxiety

by Dalila Abdelkhalek 2 years ago in celebrities
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A story about the importance of believing in yourself

Fun fact: This was my yearbook quote in 2016

For years I struggled with academical performance anxiety. I’m not talking about feeling nervous before a test or the occasional doubt one might have about their own capabilities. I’m talking about skipping class because I’m worried I’ll get a question I won’t be able to answer, sleeping over 14 hours a day just to avoid thinking and then crying for hours because I feel stuck in a position I’m not qualified for.

You’d think that getting into medical school would make one feel like they are capable of graduating and becoming a good doctor, right? Spoiler alert: it didn’t. If anything, it made me feel even more inadequate and this time to an extent I have never experienced before. The other day I found myself in a negative spiral. It started with me not understanding one of the homework questions but very quickly progressed in me believing that I am not smart enough to study medicine. How stupid of me to think I belonged in medical school. How am I supposed to save lives one day if I can’t even understand -let alone answer- a question they gave us as homework? I tried talking myself out of it, but when that failed to work and I couldn’t stop the tears running down my face, all I could think about was how incapable I was.

That is until I saw a press conference of Donald Trump in which he said that injecting disinfectant would be a good idea to fight of the virus that causes Covid-19.

Wait a second-- how come I’m over here thinking I won’t make a good doctor because I have to retake a few exams, meanwhile the president of the United States is telling people to inject themselves with surface cleaner?

What baffles me most is that the thought of not being educated enough to make health recommendations (let alone recommendations that are so ridiculous I couldn’t believe they were real) doesn’t even seem to have crossed his mind.

Sure, I failed a few exams in my lifetime and yes, I’ve have also said certain things to certain people that I wish I could take back but can’t; what I’m trying to say is that I too did many things I’m not proud of, but never in my life have I done anything half as ignorant as the things he’s done. I dare you to think of something so incredibly ridiculous that no one in their right mind would do, certainty not a president. Whatever you came up with, I’m sure he has already done way, way worse. Like pulling the financial support for the WHO during a pandemic or -again- suggesting people to inject disinfectant in their bodies to fight of a viral infection.

So seriously, how come I’m doubting my own intelligence and self-worth and he isn’t?

It’s clear that Donald Trump isn’t president because he is the most qualified person for the job. I simply refuse to believe that there is no one out there who could do a better job than him, but what I do have to give him, and what I suspect is the reason he has come so far in life, is this unwavering belief he has that makes him think and act like he can do anything.

And this is where things get interesting, because what if that’s all you need? Henry Ford -founder and leader of the Ford Motor Company- once said: ‘whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right’.

If Donald Trump would start panicking and crying every time he didn’t understand something -if he believed that ‘not being smart enough’ would ever prevent him from achieving his goals in life- he wouldn’t have been where he is right now.

Had Donald Trump thought like I did, then there is no way he would be as ‘successful’ as he is right now.

To me, Donald Trump embodies the very fact that you are capable of achieving literally anything you set your mind to—regardless of how smart, kind, pretty or capable you are(n’t) in the moment. He proves that anyone can do anything, by simply believing they can.

If he is fit enough to become president, then surely all of us are fit enough to fulfil our dreams.


Look, writing about this didn’t come easy to me. Admitting that I sometimes struggle deeply with things others have no issue with, obviously isn’t something I’m proud of or excited about to share. However, I decided to do so anyway, because I no longer believe I’m the only one who deals with this.

I’m not going to tell you that you should talk about your insecurities because I know very well how difficult that is, but what I do want you to take away from this story, is that once you address those irrational thoughts, they become less potent. Acknowledging your fears and deciding to not let those stop you—will be of great benefit to you. There is seriously nothing that can stop you from achieving anything in life, besides your own thoughts. I’m not saying you should be fearless. I’m saying that you don’t have to let those fears stop you.

Remember ‘whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right’. And you don’t have to take my word for it; Donald Trump is living proof of that.


About the author

Dalila Abdelkhalek

a 22-year-old girl, born and raised in Amsterdam, with many interests.

One of them is writing.

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