Last week, I handed in a paper on feminist interpretations of Genesis 1-3. I was nervous because this is my first class at a new school, and every university is a little bit different, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, and there was a nagging doubt in the back of my mind telling me that maybe I am just not smart enough to keep up with my classmates. Add to that the fact that there are less than 20 students in the class, and most of them are either in their final year of Religious Studies or in an M.Div. program. I was intimidated. Considering that most of my university education up until this point has been in Math and Chemistry, I felt like I was drowning the first few days. But, I digress. So, when I sat down to write this paper, I wasn’t really sure how to structure the writing, or really even how to start thinking about the paper. I had a minor meltdown and called one of my friends in hysterics, thinking that I just wasn’t smart enough to do this. After a laborious weekend spent pulling my hair out and biting my nails down to the quick, I finally had a finish product that I considered presentable at best. I handed it in, braced myself for a C, and pushed it to the back of my mind.

Yesterday, I got the paper back. I didn’t even want to look at the grade because I figured that it would depress me too much, so I stuffed it into my shoulder bag and left the school. Later, sitting in a coffee shop and trying to do my readings, I decided that I might as well get it over with. I pulled out the paper, flipped to the last page, and there was an ‘A’ staring back at me. I was floored. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I can be a smart Kiwigirl. I know that I am a good writer, and I have always been at the top of my paper-writing classes, but the problem is that I have always been a big fish in a small pond. Now I’m swimming with the big fishies, and I was worried about being eaten alive.

The point to all this is that we so often doubt ourselves. In fact, it seems like society encourages us to doubt ourselves. We’re never good enough to measure up to what we see around us: never thin enough, pretty enough, likeable enough. But, at the risk of sounding like a Hallmark card, we rarely take the time out to just sit with ourselves and think about the things that we *are* good at. A little confidence can go a long way, and I find that when I have that spark of self-assurance, I actually perform better. Nobody can do their best work when they are constantly feeling like they are not going to measure up.

That little comment opened up a whole new world for me. There are things I am good at. And, yes, I might be in a bigger pond now, but I am still *me* and I am still capable. It’s easy to become intimidated. I feel it whenever I start something new, whether it’s a job, school, or even spending time with a different group of people. But I beat myself up when I don’t really need to, and I’m coming to realize that it’s unneccessary because it doesn’t really improve anything anyway. And it doesn’t always reflect the truth.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Abby said,

    Your blog says the same thing I have been trying to say for years. Stop worrying so much about what will happen, stop thinking you’re always going to fail, and just do the best you can. The worst thing that happens is you get a C on your paper. You learn from your mistakes and you go and get the A. At the end of the day, your weekend of panicking was without merit because as always, your writing was awesome. Start believing in yourself, don’t worry so much about how big you are in your pond and just focus on doing what you were meant to do, which is be you. My dad and I live by this motto, it’s lame, but it’s true: “Do your best, and leave the rest, it will all come right, some day or night”. Stop worrying, start living. In reality, no one really knows what they’re doing, everyone’s playing by ear. Just live life one day at a time, and make sure that at the end of the day, there are no regrets and theres a smile on your face.

  2. 2

    kiwiofknowledge said,

    Thanks! I need the reminder sometimes. I like that motto. I think I will write it down so that I remember it. Love ya!

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: