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Perhaps it is a confidence issue?

There is a little back story to the one I’m about to tell. I am studying a journalism diploma in Brisbane, which is an amazing, fast tracked, 10 month, in-the-field course. However, I am desperately struggling with such a fast-paced news environment and to be honest, it’s sending me a little crazy.

On top of that, there is the travel to and from the city everyday on crowded public transport with grizzly, tired and quite boring people. There is also the fact that while I’m out travelling for three and a half hours everyday, and my husband is working full time and studying his own diploma, nothing around our home gets done. We eat sloppily, things are messy and our dearest cat spends many of her mornings cooped up inside instead of eating grass in the beautiful winter sun (we only let her outside when we’re home, after a very scary incident when we let her out and left the house… another story!)

It is, of course, a life that is not uncommon. I know many people that work their little bottoms off through long hours, fast food meals and not as much quality time with family and friends as they may like. but to me, it’s not something that I’m wanting to do. I cringe to think that I might spend all that ‘wasted’ time doing something that I cannot love and missing out on things I do.

So I said to my teacher “I’m really struggling with [insert long list here], journalism isn’t for me. I’m dropping out”.

And he said, “We can’t have that”.

Deary me! For a starters, what a shock to have a teacher that will be helping me through my challenges. Secondly, I honestly am freaking out about the world I’m entering into.

So there I am, still plodding away at trying to get this work done after I’ve been informed I’m not allowed to quit, when I get a message from one of my peers informing me that our teacher had told the class of my rejected decision and that perhaps I needed some pep talks. He had told my class that perhaps I have a confidence problem.

Now, this is a shock! Me, confidence problem? I don’t think so! Although slightly erratic, I know who I am. I am quiet, but I don’t let people walk over me. I can usually get the job done and I have a bunch of experiences that have filled my every day with new perspectives on this world we live in. But as the idea mellows in my mind, I wonder if perhaps he’s onto something…

I sometimes find myself in situations with others around me, that I find quite obvious or easy to get out of. Now I am not really a group work person. When I’m in a large group of people, I very much tend to hang out quietly by myself until the session is over and I can do my ‘own thang’.  However I find myself helping others to find what they need, not because I know more then them, but I know what to do if I don’t know. It usually seems obvious to me. I feel like this is rude to think, but it gives me an inkling that perhaps I do have a confidence problem. Here I am thinking that I can’t do it (though a lot of it is motivated by not wanting to) when in fact, perhaps, maybe I can.

What else am I limiting myself from by thinking that I can’t do it? We all know that it’s a bad attitude to say that ‘I can’t do it’, but how often can we embody a positive attitude in everyday life? If anyone out there is like me, you’ll know that on some days, it can even be a struggle to get out of bed, let alone to jump out with an ever-lasting supply of ‘can-do’ energy.

I’m left thinking, what do I do?

I have to admit that I’ve only recently gotten myself out of a phase of aiming to be like other people, so perhaps attaching myself to an inspirational figure isn’t the best way to go.

So I’d like to put it out to our lip readers, what do you do to boost your confidence and ground yourself to the true capabilities that you possess, rather then getting caught up in a busy world of other people’s success?

Sincerely,

Siobhan.

One thought on “Perhaps it is a confidence issue?

  1. Dear Cheby,

    As a collegue and friend in the course, I’m so glad you wrote down your thoughts. All of us have been wondering what has become of you, so it’s good to have that out in the open now.

    Not so secretly, I’d love to see you more in class, however, I understand you have other commitments too and with all that travel and course work it may feel like a burden- but I have no doubt you can handle it.

    I spent the majority of my secondary schooling aiming to be like others and as a result my grades suffered, my truancy record was getting higher and the whole time I had teachers on my back telling me to get on the straight and narrow.

    At that point in time, I hated my teachers for pulling me aside and reminding me I was capable of so much more. For me, popularity and fun memories of high school was my only priority.

    I began to lose confidence when more and more people were becoming disappointed with my attitude towards my education.

    I saw my friends progress and still maintain that place in their friendship circle and it was then that I decided it was time to change and fix the problem.

    For my final year I started prioritising, my mum was constantly on my case with her famous motto: “First work, then play”. So I took that advice and found a happy medium between my education, my work and my socialising.

    My grades lifted and my popularity increased because people were looking up to me as someone who was capable of balancing their life.

    It felt good. It still does, but I didn’t feel entirely confident about it all.

    So, to this day, if I don’t feel comfortable, if I feel I’m under pressure or I don’t feel confident, I pull myself away and have good ol’ -ME TIME!

    During that “me time” I do whatever makes me feel happy. Sometimes I go to the driving range and hit golf balls (usually because I’m pissed off) or I do some kind of sport e.g yoga, boxing, volleyball. I even curl up in bed and read a book or watch an entire movie series on my laptop (with a nice glass of wine) -so long as I feel like i’m doing what I want to do.

    After my “me time” I usually feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. I feel my confidence is back up and oddly enough, I’m smiling more than usual. I noticed I also have more of a tendancy to want to go out and do things, I take a lot more in and I feel so much more motivated.

    The only downside to “me time” is getting too comfortable and staying in this rut of being alone and not achievng an awful lot. It’s during that extended period of time you tend to think too much into things and put yourself into a state.

    But all that aside- You don’t always need “can-do” energy to get by, take life at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

    Anyway, I hope to see you in the not-so-distant future as your company in class is definately missed.

    Best wishes,
    Lena

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