Many times we doubt ourselves and don’t believe in ourselves. Why do you think that is so? What can you do to believe in yourself?
I read a book over winter break that talked about the pressures that many young people feel to always project a pulled-together image on social media. I also think that this social media pressure impacts adults as well. We all know (even if it’s just on social media) a teacher with the Pinterest-worthy classroom or the adorable Instagrammable crafts or the cupcakes that could appear on a tv show. That can be daunting for a teacher, like me, who doesn’t feel particularly “crafty”. My classroom tends to be functional but not very cute or pretty. Usually this doesn’t really bother me; I can admire the charming things over people do in their classrooms without comparison. But sometimes…when my handwriting is crooked on that white poster paper, the other teachers’ posters and white boards and handouts look so much more impressive.
This kind of comparison happens in the real world as well. This year, my husband and I decided to take an art class. I have always enjoyed looking at art, and I like the idea of me doing art, so I thought an art class would be fun. Which it definitely is. But I can feel a bit rattled in our small art class with a teenager whose art appears in competitions and a husband who has kept his artistic talent (and numerous previous art classes) very well-hidden indeed. I know I am growing and improving, and I am proud of the work that I am doing as a novice artist. But sometimes…when I can’t get the shading right and my flowers look flat, the other artists’ shading and contouring and details look so much more impressive.
The best thing I can do to believe in myself is to not compare myself with other people. I will never be the best at everything, and I am good with that. But I know I do many things well, and I look for ways to improve on the things that I do not do well. I try to reflect on what is important to me and improve on those things. There will always be a cuter bulletin board and neater drawing.