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.