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.


  1. I have experienced similar feelings, Andrea, and I am 45 years old and have been teaching for 21 years! Like you, I always feel at home in my classroom. It's when I'm faced with meeting other professionals, or even new friends in a social situation, that I feel I need a pep talk. The last conference I attended, I was so nervous I spilled my coffee on the registration table. There were no napkins, so I had to sop it up with sugar packets. I consoled myself with the fact that I'd have something funny to write about later. Stay true to yourself and hang in there! You're not alone!

  2. You are definitely not alone! And there is quiet power in an introvert who observes and waits. I think we've all experienced the sense of insecurity you describe. Good for you for breaking out and going to the conferences. Keep that up!

  3. I know my confidence waxes and wanes, as well. I will say that I am an extrovert with introvert tendencies! Proud of you for moving forward!

  4. Those feelings of insecurity are powerful, but I am glad that you're resisting them. You have so much to share!

  5. This is an interesting question. I can't say I have ever experienced the confidence you had as a kid. I remember going entire years without raising my hand. If called upon, I'd usually say I didn't know rather than risk an answer I wasn't 110% confident with.

    There seem to be lots of answers in the online world of educators, not enough questioning. Are people presenting themselves (and their ideas/knowledge) as more confident than they feel? I suspect they are, but I still feel intimidated by it.

    I enjoyed reading your reflection.
    Not very fancy in 1st