Sitting behind the wheel of the jeep, I am nervous, anxious and I can barely think straight. The more I try to remember the sequence –adjust mirrors, lights, seatbelt?—the more frustrated and embarrassed I become.
At the age of 24, I feel like I can’t measure up to my peers. Sure I have a bachelor’s degree from a pretty good university and I am fortunate to have a great job, but somehow, I’m not satisfied. I often think to myself, book smarts are great and all, but what about practical skills? The fact that: I take my time to learn things, I need lots of practice and my anxieties consume me —create the feeling that I’m far behind others. These feelings frequent my thoughts and often interrupt my day.
Needing a serious boost of confidence, I have developed a more open relationship with my mother, concerning my insecurities. She believes in me and has no doubt that I’ll be successful, even as a driver, when the time is right. My mother also struggles with anxiety and nervousness. She gets through life, though, and inspires many people a long the way. She has given me the best advice and tools to face my inner challenges.
My mom has instilled the “If there’s a will, there’s a way” mentality in all of her children. She strongly encourages that I keep looking forward. I believe that there’s such a thing as: “healthy competition” to stimulate motivation. However, think of a race, she says. If you find yourself looking to the left and to the right, it takes away from your speed, concentration and ultimately limits your potential.
My mother inspires me to be confident. I am not incapable or incompetent. I keep in mind that everyone has different learning tactics. I am not afraid to ask questions. We often hear that, in a room full of people, at least one other person might have the same question but is afraid to speak up or be judged.
Building self confidence does not happen in one day. I have worked on loving myself and complimenting myself at least once a day, no matter how trivial this may seem. I once read an article by Denis Waitley that says, “You are your most important critic. There is no opinion so vitally important to your well being as the opinion you have of yourself.” This inspired me so much that I have it displayed in my cube at work.
After a while, we start to believe the ‘lies’ we often tell ourselves. How many times have we called ourselves stupid after making simple mistakes? Words are more powerful than we credit them. The next time I think to myself, “Are you STUPID?” I’ll remember, no, I am not STUPID, I am SIMONE and I am WONDERFUL, nice to meet you. :-)
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