Knocking Your Confidence Down A Peg

I don’t have much confidence in myself. I often describe myself as awkward, uncomfortable, not a very emotional person. And physically, I’m even meaner to myself. So when my confidence is knocked down a peg, it’s pretty detrimental to me.

I’ve had my eyes opened a lot lately. Although I’m hard on myself, I do know what I’m good at. Mostly because people tell me I’m good at it and I eventually believed them. I know I’m a pretty good writer because I’ve been told that since 5th grade when I wrote a short story about faeries (inspired by Neopets, there’s a tbt for you all). In college, I was knocked down a peg when I did horribly in my journalism classes. I’m a good story-teller, but I’m not a very good journalistic writer.

At the time, I thought it was so odd that someone was telling me I wasn’t good at something that most people told me I was good at. When someone asks me what I like to do for fun, I say writing. It’s what I know how to do.

So I went through some denial like this (pretty decorated) journalism professor didn’t know what she was talking about and I could write a strong lead if I really wanted to. But after my acceptance and many bad grades, I learned it wasn’t my strong suit, and that’s okay, but I also learned how to do it if I ever needed it.

And I find myself facing that same kind of scenario in different ways in my adult life. I have always prided myself on being independent but when I can’t get myself out of lazy slumps I think how did I ever even get by? The field I work in now, everyone has always told me “you’re SO good at social media” or “you’re SO good at writing” and yet I face challenges every week that knock my confidence down a peg.

Retelling that journalism story to you now has made me realize that I need to just accept these growing opportunities. That while I may be good at something, there’s always room to grow and it’s not necessarily a criticism to me. Funny enough, I even boast that I love to learn. But when I’m challenged on the things I thought I knew, I kind of shut down. Confidence isn’t always easy to come by, so we can’t let little things or little opinions make us feel bad. We have to take them, analyze their credibility, and either throw them out or grow through them.

17 thoughts on “Knocking Your Confidence Down A Peg

  1. I wrote a story in 5th grade that led to people telling me I was a good writer, too. I mean, mostly it was my mom, so I chalked it up to mom goggles. It wasn’t until I started keeping a blog that I started hearing it from other people, too. A part of me wishes I had taken some journalism courses back in school when I had the chance. I wonder if I could have cut it as that kind of writer. Judging by the sorts of things I write about now, I tend to think I wouldn’t have made it. I definitely put too much of myself into what I write. So, maybe like you, I’m a good storyteller. But maybe I’m not… I’m sure it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

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    1. I think most bloggers are more storytellers 🙂 I actually didn’t think of myself that way I was just like oh I’m good at creative writing until I sent samples to a company and they said I’m good at storytelling! It really is different for everyone who reads our work. I think I’m fine at writing, other people think I’m great, and other people think I’m bad lol

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  2. Funny you should mention journalism. I was a journalism major in college. I always thought I’d be at the top of my class, instead I was always near the bottom.

    It was common for me to be in my instructors office, door closed, being reminded to report the story instead of telling it. I love to tell stories and that was my problem. Once I realized that I was drawn to the creation of a story instead of telling someone else’s story everything changed.

    Sometimes we have to take a step back and give things a good hard look. Sometimes all it takes is finding our place. We all find it, it just takes time, persistence and a sprinkle of failures.

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  3. When I read the first couple of sentences, it was like reading my own autobiography…
    Sometimes, we need to revisit what we love about ourselves and allow that to be our reality, huh?

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  4. I had a similar experience where I had always been told I’m a great writer. I did so well in every English/literature class except my high school AP lit class where I inconsistently got Cs or lower on almost every essay, which made me question everything. I now work as a writer haha. Funny how that works.

    Also Neopets! I used to be on that site all the time. Good times haha 🙂

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  5. I think so many of us go through this somewhat regularly, and part of it ties into your recent post on navigating impostor syndrome. Once time I was in college and I was the Managing Editor of the university’s newspaper, and I took the entry level journalism class, hoping for a really easy elective. After all, I already knew how to run a paper. Wellllll, my ego took a hit several times throughout the semester. It was a learning opportunity in the end, but during, my confidence took several hits.

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  6. I majored in journalism for undergrad. I even interned at a local newspaper. I didn’t like it and I was not very good at it. I took journalism cause I always loved writing and like you, was always told I’m good at it. But journalism is a very different type of writing.

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