I have struggled in a love-hate relationship with confidence for my entire life. Honestly, probably the longest relationship I’ve ever had. There’s these periods in my life where I am flying, no one can touch me, and I am positively superior. Then there are the less utopian periods. The ones where I am so down on myself that I underestimate all of my abilities, sell myself short, miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and avoid anything out of my comfort zone. (Sometimes that comfort zone is even my bed.) These self-deprecating periods are much more frequent than the first, of course.
However, I’ve recently been forcing myself to do things I normally wouldn’t.
- hanging out with a group of people I don’t know that well
- offering up one of my ideas in a meeting
- driving to an event and arriving by myself
- attending a career fair
- asking for help on an assignment or project
- applying for a prestigious position
- asking a stranger in class if they want to be partners on a project
- honestly, just speaking to a stranger in any context
A lot of people wouldn’t even blink at the thought of doing any of these things, but for a self-conscious, introvert like myself they’re the equivalent of singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. This has recently been on my mind because of AUDM Vice President applications being out, and because I’m currently looking for a summer internship. These 2 circumstances have shoved me into situations that make me sweat, fidget, and question all of my expertise, qualifications, and experience.
But here’s the thing… (I’m going to talk to myself now)
You are so incredibly capable. Every single thing that you’ve done outside of your comfort zone has helped you grow into the amazing person that you are. I’m just gonna name a few to really drive this home:
- choosing to go to Auburn University, a place where you knew no one
- going into recruitment completely blind and rushing your sorority
- applying for your Freshman Leadership Program, PAL
- joining AUDM’s Morale, a committee meant for extroverted people
- becoming the Assistant Entertainment Director at Eagle Eye TV
I don’t know about you, but I can’t even imagine your life without these organizations, experiences, and people that you’ve met along the way. Your leadership and creativity grows every day. Your passion inspires others; they’ve even told you so on multiple occasions. You continue to impress others, and even yourself, with your lighthearted humor, commitment to your cause, and shameless methods. Don’t you dare pretend to not have ideas or opinions for the sake of offending others or embarrassing yourself. Nothing could be more embarrassing than to not live up to your full potential. God created you for a purpose, and I can say with full confidence that that purpose is not to lay in bed, never trying anything new, and silencing all of your innovative thoughts. I’m tired of having to deal with your anxiety every time you’re introduced to something new. You’re freaking incomparable and I’d love it if you recognized that from here on out. Now go out there and live life like you mean it. You’re gonna kill it.