Have you ever heard a successful person say, “Confidence is key!” when she’s asked how she accomplished such-and-such a feat?
I know I have, and that’s NOT an easy thing to hear when confidence isn’t embedded in your system.
It’s tough seeing the go-getters around you rise to the top, take chance after chance, grab opportunity after opportunity. In college, I feel like I encounter those people all the time. Many of my classmates snag internships with this company, interviews with that media personality, writing gigs for this website, and I’m sitting there like… uh, I’m just trying to pass this class?
I’m in my second semester as a junior in college now, and the clock is ticking faster than it ever has in my life. Feeling the pressure, I walked into a professor’s office, who is also an advisor for my major. I knew what question he was going to ask me:
“If you could have any job in the world right now, what would it be?”
I told him I want to work for a basketball magazine called SLAM, and he leaned back in his chair, smiled and said, “Really!” I said yes, and he proceeded to print out names and email addresses of people I could contact.
I expressed the concerns I had about the go-getters: “How did that guy get an interview with Mr. Big Shot!? He’s a freshman!” Don’t get me wrong — it’s AWESOME that people are achieving and succeeding. It just reminds me of how much I myself haven’t done.
My professor’s response: “You underestimate yourself.”
I was silent.
More recently, I got another professor’s comments back on a horribly boring cover letter I handed in. His comments read,
Insert your name where mine is above, because that comment applies to all my fellow sisters who are guilty of occasionally underestimating themselves. I’m not saying grow an ego the size of a whale, but be confident that you ARE good at whatever it is you’re good at — writing, teaching, speaking, thinking, learning, whatever it is! There is something that you’ve mastered, and you know it deep inside.
There’s always room for improvement, so don’t be satisfied with where you’re at either, because then you won’t grow. At the same time, don’t underestimate yourself so much that you shut the wide open doors ahead of you.
Allow my professor’s slightly scolding, but incredibly motivating words speak to you: “Ahem, you’ve got game. Why not show it?”