Life

Confidence: Where Did You Go?

Had to stop what I was doing to write this blog. For a few years now, there has been an underlying issue that I have refused to fully address. Whenever it rears its ugly head, I try my best to distance myself from it. The issue – my lack of confidence.

I believe I somewhat addressed this issue when I wrote about an incident that happened in 2017 or 2018 when blew a presentation. I just could not seem to bounce back. Today, I am still dealing with the aftermath of what happened that day. Last year when I co-authored a book, I felt like my confidence had returned. But it really hadn’t. To this day, I still find myself second and triple guessing things as simple as tweets, posts and blogs before, or if, I post them.

This morning, while reviewing a recording of a presentation I gave, I saw it. I saw my lack of confidence! It wasn’t that I was not prepared for the presentation. I had rehearsed it so many times. I knew the material. However, when it came time for delivery, I failed. I am not even sure why I was so nervous. I looked like an amateur. What happened? What happened to my confidence?

I keep saying it was that one failed presentation that caused it, but to be honest, it is an accumulation of things that have happened over the years. For one, going back to college later in life. I rarely felt out of place when I was getting my associates degree. But once I transferred to the college/university world, things changed. As much as I tried to fit in, I never felt like I belonged. The students were younger, more vibrant, and smarter! Honestly, I felt like I had no chance of competing with them. I remember having so much confidence when I graduated from high school. I guess over time that confidence dwindled. Remaining in academia and working with research after graduation did not make things any better. I went from being surrounded by elite undergraduate students to sitting at tables with professors using their “scholarly” voices. I do not blame them one bit for my discomfort. Many never knew how I felt internally. Those who did, intentionally made me feel welcomed. For that, I will forever be grateful.

Back to the downward spiral of my confidence. Social media! Social media really made me feel inadequate. So many opinions. Early on I found myself trying to carefully craft my words before posting. You know, I didn’t want to sound illiterate. And don’t let me get started on grammatical errors. I would literally have anxiety attacks whenever I made mistakes. It was too much! Sometimes it’s still too much.

So, how will I get my confidence back?

Give myself the grace that I give others to be human. I know that God has placed me where I am, and where I have been, for a specific purpose. I can see how my lack of confidence has been a hindrance. So, now that I know what makes me feel inadequate, I have to be intentional about being confident. I have too much to achieve!

As always, thanks for reading! I am going to publish this as written. I cannot continue to allow my imperfections to control me.

Enjoy your weekend!

Shaun

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