October 10, 2014

Confidence and Other Four Letter Words

Confidence is a four-letter word. Not literally, of course.


I am not a confident person. When faced with unfamiliar scenarios and conflict, I cower behind a facade. I sing my confidence song (from either ‘The Sound of Music’ or The King and I’) and I pretend that my stomach is not twisting around inside my body, threatening evacuation. Over my lifetime, what little confidence I had was shaken by multiple moves and cruel peers. I have never been part of the in-crowd. I have never tried to be popular or have a ton of “friends”, I have always danced to the tune of my own drum. I consoled myself with the fact that eventually I would be accepted for who I am. I’m fine with who I am, I like who I am. But I am not confident. Over the last two years, especially, I have been dealt a serious blow to my confidence in my professional capabilities due to a prolonged, difficult work situation.


When I look into a mirror, I don’t see a true image. I see the consorted view of my mind. Like a thin person only seeing weight and an attractive person only seeing ugliness. I don’t want my boys to feel this way. I want them to view themselves the way they truly are. Every night I say an affirmation with them, detailing a few of the ways they are good and important. I want them to believe these things (after all they are true) and I want them to have healthy self-esteem and self-confidence. Unlike their mother.


Can I be truly comfortable with myself and lack confidence? I tend to second-guess myself. At my day job, I constantly need direction and review. Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work? Maybe there is something out there where I would be completely confident?

Even when writing I have some doubts about my ability. But I find it so relaxing and liberating that I keep on trying. I ignore the voice in my head that says my story is ridiculous and I'm just wasting my time. I feel free when the words are pouring out of my mind onto the screen. The same feeling I get when I ice skate, play the piano or sing. The weight of the world slips off my shoulders for a fleeting moment in time.


The circumstances of the past influence the path of the future. At my current job, I have been inadequately trained and constantly criticised. I've been there for two years. I am finally getting some more training after two years of requests. Now I wonder if I can do the job? What is my path forward? Am I doing the job I'm meant to do? At thirty-four, I'm still asking myself what I should be when I grow up.

There's no guarantee in life. No sure fire way to select the right path. In fact, we often have to choose the wrong path before we find our way. You simply have to pick and forge ahead. And sometimes you have to fake your confidence and convince yourself to believe you can do it!


“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t -- you're right.”

Henry Ford.

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