Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Slice of Life: Where Did The Confidence Go? 6/23
Every Tuesday, a group of bloggers share a Slice of Life. If you are interested in joining in, visit the Two Writing Teachers blog for more information.
When I was younger, I think I was much more adventurous. It may be just my imagination, but I remember being able to let go of thinking about how I looked or sounded and being able to just be me. This was especially true in classes. I was the student who always had her hand in the air. I love learning and I had an insatiable drive for learning more and discussing that learning with my classmates.
I still have that innate drive to learn more. I still love to attend conferences and professional development opportunities. I still sit relatively close to the front. I still raise my hand and participate in discussions. However, it seems to cost me more now. It takes an extraordinary amount of self-talk to convince myself to get to the session in the first place. I get anxious about it before I am even dressed for the event. I feel this ridiculous amount of pressure (from myself) to not appear pushy or like a know-it-all. I sometimes refrain from introducing myself to people because I am afraid that they won't know who I am or that they will think me annoying. This isn't at all about the other people in the room. I am pretty sure that the other people at the conferences won't actually find me annoying and might actually like some of my ideas. However, I seem to be almost cripplingly unsure of myself. My confidence seems to have vanished.
I wonder why that has happened. I don't think there have been any ridiculously awful experiences that I have had with other people reacting to me in a weird way. I do not experience this lack of confidence when working with my students. In fact, I think they would be shocked that I even know what it is like to be doubting oneself. How can I have such confidence in the classroom and so little confidence when faced with a social situation?
The introvert in me cringes at the mention of a new experience with a new set of people. That is why I am proud of myself for attending not only one, but two new conferences last week. At both conferences, there were people who I "knew" online from blogging communities and from Twitter, but it was nerve-wracking to go into these new experiences. I found some people to learn with and enjoyed meeting some of my online friends. However, I never got up the guts to approach some of the other people who I "know" but have never met face to face. Maybe next year I will ditch the self-doubt and branch out to meeting new people.