Confidence. It’s a funny thing.
I am confident (funnily enough) that my friends would rank one of my characteristics as being confident (there’s that word again). I think it would be more accurate to say I typically have quite high self esteem and self image.
Confidence is situation dependant. I’m confident I could run 10km right now without overly taxing myself. I’m confident I could pass an anatomy exam. I’m not so confident I could play a musical instrument, or draw anything more coherent than a stick man.
Self esteem though, self image. That’s different. That’s how you view yourself overall. Self esteem is shaped and moulded by situations and experiences that determine how you view yourself. So typically I have pretty high self esteem. Which helps with the confidence I suppose.
Except recently the self esteem upped and left. It wasn’t even a slow process. It literally just got up and bolted out the door one Monday morning. Personally, and academically I have been very much feeling like I’m just not good enough. Daily I have been wondering what the hell i’m doing. Maybe I’m not as clever as I think? Maybe I’m not as good as I think? Was it just arrogance making me think I could do everything well? I don’t feel good enough to be anyone’s partner or even like I’m a good friend or parent.
I’ve been writing a research paper and I massively tanked my planning paper. Didn’t even anticipate I wouldn’t do well. I WAS arrogant and I assumed I would be fine. I wasn’t and It was the fright I needed. Over the last few weeks I have massively upped my game. I worked solidly on my developing paper, and everything else, with a focus that I thrive on. I LOVE the pressure. I LOVE being challenged. I worked hard and nearly two weeks ago I submitted my final paper. And I’ve been shitting myself ever since. I’ve woken up in cold sweats about my mark, I’ve convinced myself I’m not good enough to teach, that I don’t deserve my qualifications. When actually, I just didn’t work hard enough the first time around. I don’t have anyone else to blame except myself. So I’ve hoped and prayed that the work I did actually put in would pay off.
And it did. I got my mark back today. Guaranteed A. I barely, and I mean barely, scraped over the pass mark on the planning stage. Now I have a guaranteed A and still have an evaluation paper to submit. Not bad going for someone who isn’t good enough eh?
It’s funny how one little thing can worm it’s way in and have such an impact. And actually, it was all me the whole time. If I’d worked hard from day one I wouldn’t of had to stress so much these last few weeks. I am good enough. I know what I’m talking about, this stuff is what I’m made of.
Hard though to accept the responsibility that it was me in control the whole time. In control of my own self esteem and in turn my confidence. We all control how situations and experiences define us. The lesson I took from this?
Don’t quit. Ever. Keep going, keep pushing, keep striving for what you want and work hard. Most importantly – don’t quit.