I’m confident, most of the time…

An image with the words 'believe in yourself' and a woman with her arms stretched out looking at those words

I never had confidence – never. The hardest thing to know is your own worth, and it took me years and years to find out what mine is.

– Peggy Lipton

The quote above could’ve been my own words. It has taken me years to find and understand my own worth, and build my confidence. Even so, I still have my moments where I doubt myself, where my self-confidence falter and I am returned to be that scared teenager, standing against the wall and hoping no one noticed me.

Confidence in my school years

In all my school years, I have never been part of the popular group, and never wanted to be, because I didn’t have the confidence the members of those group radiated. I have also never been part of the group that became the targets of the popular group, and neither have I been part of the nerds, or the high achievers, or any group for that matter. I didn’t want to belong. I preferred to keep to myself, and always had only one or two friends I spent time with during breaks or after school.

I had to learn real hard to get good grades, which meant I mostly had my nose buried in the books. Books were as much my friends as those one or two school friends. Looking back on it now, I think studying hard and doing what was expected of me, somehow made me feel in control, and in turn that must’ve made me feel confident in some or other way, even though I still shied away from being the center of attention.

Gymnastics

One place where I had all the confidence in myself and my abilities, was when I was doing gymnastics. Whether it was during hours of training, or a competition, I absolutely love going though my routines. I spent many afternoons after school practicing some of my floor and beam routines on the grass in our back garden. Over and over again.

Together with two other girls in school, I was selected to attend the national competition. We trained even more than before, and my confidence grew. Somehow this must’ve shone through, because one day the three of us found ourselves in the headmaster’s office because complaints were made that we were arrogant. I surely knew I wasn’t, and the reprimand by the headmaster did shatter some of my new-found confidence. After the national competition, I returned to being the child not wanting to stand out.

My confidence nowadays

I am a hard worker, and I have always worked hard to master the things I do.

In my work I have gone from being ‘just a worker’ to managing a department of 6 people. When I was appointed manager, I took up a bachelor study to have the skills to properly do my job. I had been manager until August 2018, when I chose to step back, because of my mental health. This was one of the best decisions for me, the same as when I decided to go from working 5 days a week to only 4 days. Somehow I think that it’s because of self-confidence and self-knowledge that I was able to make these decisions. I have learned what I needed, and made the decisions. Years before, I wouldn’t have been able to make those decisions, because I lacked the confidence and knowledge.

Nowadays — I have been working for the same company for 16 years now — I am very confident in my abilities. I know my job, know the things I can and can’t do (re knowledge), know my priorities, and know when to ask for help.

The other big thing in my life is my online persona. I have worked hard to build this website into what it is, and have gained a lot of (technical) knowledge over the past ten years. What’s on my blog is all me, no pretense, but just who I am. I am the same person here as I am offline. This blog is part of what has helped to build my self-confidence, through sharing not only my words, but also my images.

I am in a point in my life where I am content with who I am. I know my self-worth, know what drives me, know my intentions, my view on life, know what I can talk about, and know what not, know what I need to study more to get a better understanding, and know what subjects don’t interest me at all. I know what I need, know how I learn, know what I can handle and what not.

I know all these things, and still sometimes I… forget?

Back to the basics

One thing I have also learned over the years, is that returning to the basics, to get back to my core values, grounds me. I tend to get all excited about new things and run with it, or push myself too hard for things I have to do. No one says I have to, but still I push and push and push myself, until… it blows up. And when it blows, I know I have done it again: got over-confident. That’s when I also know I need to get back to the basics, to remind myself of why I am doing things, what I want to achieve by doing it, and what makes me happy.

Currently I am in the process of getting back to the basics, back to my core, re-evaluating what is important, where I want to go, what my goals are and what makes me happy. And I know by doing this, I will get back the self-confidence I have lost.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay


4 Thoughts or Fiction

10 thoughts on “I’m confident, most of the time…

  1. Do you ever get a thought in which you talk yourself down but because of your life experience you know that it might not be the truth so you sort of tell it off or calm it down and it just keeps on going like that, the back and forth? I don’t know entirely how this is related to the things you wrote but somehow reading your post sparked this thought in me.

    I think confidence comes with years, self acceptance and it sounds like you certainly started loving yourself more over the years, which you show in being able to mention the things you are proud of and rightly so!

    1. You don’t want to know how many times have those ‘back and forths’ in my mind, to the point that I tell myself to stop it!
      Confidence definitely comes with the years. Someone once told me once you’re 50, the confidence seem to just happen, and I didn’t believe it, until it happened… (not that I am confident all of the time though!)

  2. “ Currently I am in the process of getting back to the basics, back to my core, re-evaluating what is important, where I want to go, what my goals are and what makes me happy. And I know by doing this, I will get back the self-confidence I have lost.”

    Exactly this! Great post ?

  3. How did you do at nationals?? I think Peggy Lipton was one of my first media crushes. I loved The Mod Squad. But I fantasized about her. It wouldn’t have made any difference if she had met me. I was too young and really lacked any confidence with women. I might have stammered a “hello”. But likely would just have stared quietly.

    1. At nationals I was the best of those who qualified with me from our province, but far less good than those from the Western Cape, which back then was the top province for gymnastics (and rugby).
      And I get the quiet staring… I would’ve done the same 😉

  4. Sounds like you have the correct idea of confidence of knowing what you can do and knowing limitations to get others whether co-workers or whatnot to fill the gaps. “Confidence” is fetishized when competence is what should matter. If only certain political leaders were as wise as you!

    1. I wouldn’t call myself wise, but there are definitely certain political leaders who definitely need more wisdom!

  5. I too somethimes have to find my way back to basics at times – otherwise I lose impetus and simply meander. I am always so impressed with what you achieved with your gymnastics as a young woman.! Good job a real thing to be proud off for sure
    May xx

    1. If I look at gymnastics nowadays, I realize how amateur we were, but back then we were good. The sport has changed so much over the years.
      And yes, back to basics is something we all need to do at times… it acts as a sort of ‘reset’.
      ~ Marie xox

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