Cultivating Confidence After College
When I was in young, I was bullied, as many kids are at some point or another. To help build my confidence back up, my mom enrolled me in the youth theater program, where I danced, acted, and sang my heart out, even though I wasn’t very good at it. It got the job done and made me feel more confident in my own skin again, and eventually I realized I was better behind stage (lighting, sound, crew) than on it.
I didn’t think about the fact that starting my career I’d have to learn how to build up my confidence again. I was naive to the fact that I’d be nervous when presenting to people more senior than me, meeting clients, making phone calls, submitting documents, and all of that.
But I’ve found that I get anxious whenever I have to do these things; a swirl of nerves magically appears in my stomach. This hasn’t been easy to deal with, I admit. This probably has to do with my type-A tendencies and eagerness to perform at par.
When I ask for things at work that I’m nervous about the answer for, I get so unbelievably nervous, and I hate it.
I realize that these feelings will dissipate once I become more accustomed to my work environment and feel empowered in the things I do. As with all things, I remind myself that everything will be okay. I think: what is the worst thing that can happen if I submit this document and totally mess up? And compare that answer to actually awful things (losing a job for example, doesn’t sound awful versus losing a loved one). That might be a tad dramatic, but isn’t it true?
- A lot of the things we spend our time worrying about actually don’t come true.
- When we worry about stuff, we jump to the WORST thing that could happen, but rarely does the worst thing happen.
- The things we worry about that come true aren’t the end all be all - it’s unlikely that they will they ruin our lives.
Slowly, slowly, I am learning to be comfortable in my “work skin”. I feel anxious more often than I’d like to and let my work worries into other areas of my life. I envy males, who have a better capacity to box things up and deal with them individually, rather than females, where we blur the lines between all things; unable to create independencies.
Finding the strength to have confidence, feel at ease, and notice my worries without letting them demoralize me is something I am continually striving for - and it’s damn hard. I wish I had a concrete list of tidbits of advice; perhaps in six months or so I will. This post is more of a “I feel this way - maybe you do too? Maybe you did?” sort of thing.
Anyway, thanks for listening (reading) to my emotional unraveling. If you have any tips on dealing with these feelings, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.