So easy for me in some aspects of my life… So hard for me in others.
The 2 biggest struggles I have with confidence is the fear of failing at something & comparing myself to others.
I find myself keeping myself from going after my goals at times because I’m scared of failure. It has nothing to do with my disability. It has to do with being a perfectionist, and if I can’t work out all the kinks ahead of time, I tend to give up as soon as it gets tough or doesn’t turn out just right. The second my confidence gets shaken, I give up usually.
I find myself comparing myself to my calligraphy teacher and having such a high standard for myself that when my work isn’t “as good” as hers, I get discouraged. I know she has 25+ more years experience than I do, but I can’t help but compare my work to hers. In this case, it does give me a goal of “This is the level I want to be at.” and it helps me make sure that my work is as good as it possibly could be, but it also slows me down being a perfectionist, because I want it to be perfect the first time & RIGHT NOW, but yet I tend to do something over & over until I get it “just right”. I’m an impatient person, and if it doesn’t happen quickly and easily, I tend to get discouraged.
I also find myself (as I mentioned in an earlier blog) comparing myself to other females. I know this is a “typical girl thing”, but I always think things like “Am I as pretty?” “I wish I could be as outgoing as she is.” or “I wish I could pull off that outfit”. Seems silly, but I do think there is a small bit of self-consciousness and lack of confidence that brings me down and I wish I could just exude self-confidence all the time with every aspect of my life..
Then there are things I am extremely confident in. I know I have my strengths. I know I can take care of myself, even if something were to happen to Wes. I took care of myself for years without any help before him and I could do it again, if I had to. I know I’m intelligent. I know that if I went back to school, I would probably do well, but I’m scared to go back, because I’m scared of failure. I had confidence when I moved to live with Wes, because #1, I had confidence in him, and #2, I knew I was prepared enough & had a backup plan if things didn’t work out.
I do think that the hardest thing is I get into my own head space, because I have had comments made to me of “How can YOU drive/cook/live on your own?” and then I start doubting myself. I start thinking too much about these comments and then I allow that to cause fear and doubt in myself, and I allow those thoughts to prevent me from achieving my goals… The thing is, if I think about my past and the things I’ve been through, I can see that I got through them. There were bumps in the road and unforeseen circumstances that might have changed my route, but I somehow always end up achieving my goals. I can look back at my past & see that things always worked out, but I think for me (and lots of people) the fear of the unknown is really the bigger obstacle and it shakes me so much, that it affects the confidence I had in the beginning about achieving a goal.
I guess if I had one piece of advice for anyone (and for myself that I wish I could follow), it would be… Don’t let your confidence get shaken, if the road gets rocky or people try to fill your head with thoughts of doubt. Self-reflect on your actions and your past and learn from THAT. It shouldn’t matter what negative comment a stranger makes to you online or if someone is critical of you… Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Be aware of your weaknesses and try to work on them, but focus on your strengths & go where they take you! If you can look back at your actions and feel like they were the right thing for you, then you have the right to be confident in yourself and don’t let anyone take that away from you! Finally, never settle for anything less than what makes you happy. Sometimes just being happy with where your life is can help you gain confidence naturally!