Interesting, as I had expressed this to three select individuals over the past week, which sparked the topics of confidence and security in all three conversations. Inevitably as human beings, we'll experience moments of self doubt. Casually, life will interject with it's earthquake like challenges, leading us to question our abilities and strengths, making us vulnerable to ourselves and to the rest of the world. I believe this may partially reflect natural selection, which the strongest will survive, and which the weaker are weaned.
As a high school student, I couldn't understand why the boys I liked didn't look twice in my direction. My rationale was that I was not pretty, smart, or fun enough. I also thought that whichever girl that boy liked at the time obviously had something better to offer that I couldn't.
The kids I surrounded myself with in High School were all extremely bright and gifted. In a graduating class of 1100 students at Sachem High School North, the majority of my friends were ranked in the top 40. I was an above average student, was in some honors classes, but my struggles with Math and Science made me feel inadequate. Comparisons to SAT scores also were a blow to my self confidence although they were also above average.
As a college student I questioned my ability as a Freshman Music Education student at Fredonia State. Music theory strained my brain, and I thought that the fact that I failed to mathematically dissect a song made me a poor musician, and diminished my musical worth. I eventually dropped the program and switched majors to become a fine arts student.
After Graduating college, I once again reverted to the thoughts that I was inadequate due to the fact that I couldn't successfully land a job in the professional world. I had a degree, but was waitressing, and hated every second of having my life ruled by a meaningless job.
Taking the risk I took with music was the one giant leap of womankind which broke my questioning cycle, and made me realize, "Hey….. I AM smart, I AM capable, and this is WHERE I belong." I'd be lying if I said there weren't and aren't discouraging moments. However, to me, those discouraging moments are what have kept me grounded and is the fuel I need to willingly accept a challenge and battle it to its end. Throughout the process I've evolved, and have become wiser, stronger, and confident. I've worked hard, and I've been rewarded. I've learned to accept myself, and love myself for my strengths and weaknesses. I am not superhuman, I am me. People will love or hate me regardless, so why care? I just want to be happy, and I am happy. May happiness be my shield.
It's when I stopped comparing myself to others that I felt most comfortable in my own skin, and complacent in life. The fact of the matter is that if I walk into a public place, there will always be someone prettier, more talented, smarter, etc. Every person has their hang-ups, their weaknesses. I never wanted to be any of those girls in high school, and in college I never wanted to teach music. All along, I really wanted to do exactly what I am doing now, but I was told that there was no job security in a Music Performance degree.
Capitalize on what makes YOU unique, your strengths, and most importantly what makes you feel whole and significant. No one will ever be better than you unless you allow them to be. Don't forget it ;-)