Confidence is not one of my strengths. I am the first person to doubt myself, the first to be surprised when things go well or I do a good job, and the first to underplay any sort of accomplishment I might actually acknowledge. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll agree.
There are plenty of times when I almost talk myself out of doing something because I'm afraid, or because I think I'm not up to the task, not good enough for the task, or even because I'm afraid I might actually do well. Is that crazy? I get afraid that I'll succeed.
I've been noticing this a lot with school lately. I am a double major in Accounting and Aviation Management. I would love to fly, but it's not possible right now. Have you ever looked into flying lessons? That stuff is EXPENSIVE, not to mention that tuition is expensive enough. But I love airplanes. I love looking up in the sky and watching an airplane carve out a path, wondering where it's coming from and where it's going. I love the sounds. I love the sights. I love being on a airplane. And I really really really want to be a part of that industry, in whatever way I can.
So when I go to my aviation classes, they're really difficult. And here's why: the flight operation majors outnumber the management majors. From what I can tell, the majority of aviation students are flight ops majors. Duh. Flying is awesome. But that also means that most of my aviation classes are geared towards the student with flight knowledge. For those of us who have none of that flying experience stuff, it gets a little tricky. And for me, I get discouraged.
I discovered that I enjoy and have a knack for accounting. So I added that major last year. I thought about changing my major to Accounting and making Aviation Management my minor, but I really want to take those classes and learn more, even though it's difficult. Sometimes I think I'm crazy. But then this little determined part of me speaks up and says, "no way is anyone going to tell me I can't do what I want to do."
No, I don't do well with the confidence, but when I find that determined part of me, I go with it. Don't question it when it shows up.
I've also been trying to get more involved at campus. I'm a senior this year but I've got just about two years left before I graduate (hurray for class of 2014!). At my school, networking and perfecting your resume are things I hear about almost daily. So I'm looking to build my resume and find opportunities to network with professionals (and if you are such a professional, wanna be part of my network?).
But again, I get scared.
So yesterday, when I was on campus and waiting for the time to head over to the Alumni House for a meeting, and planning to attend a meeting in the student union building right after that, I was trying to encourage myself rather than let my insecurities talk me out of doing things that will help me later. And yes, as I'm sitting in my car, the thought came to me more than once that "maybe I won't go."
As part of me trying to psych myself up, I took to Twitter...because social networking can be surprisingly supportive. And here's what I said:
"Sometimes I just want to stay in my own little world. But I know there's a bigger world out there. And if I keep myself from it, I could be stopping myself from doing something awesome. So I make myself get out there and interact. Not easy. But I can make it happen."
Just as people make a difference in your life, you have the opportunity to go out there and make a difference to someone else. If you hide from that, you might be hiding from someone who really needs you to be there for them in some form or another. Where would I be without the people who got out of bed in the morning and put themselves out there, not knowing that they would make a difference in my life? Well...I don't know, but I'd rather not think about it.
Sure, I have days where I feel like nothing I do matters, and that I can't make a mark on this big old world, and I don't have what it takes to do something amazing. But every now and then, I have that determined moment, where I grit my teeth and believe that I can do something great, I can be someone great, and I can be more than I think I can.
I have greatness inside of me. So do you.