All Posts · Emotional Baggage

Challenging Confidence

I have problems with confidence.

And, that statement might be an understatement.

confidence
Photo credit: Flickr (glsims99)

You might not suspect that this is the case if you meet me because I do a pretty good job of pretending that I’m confident.  But the truth is, I lack confidence in almost everything I do. I don’t really understand why, because I do things pretty well, most of the time.  I am a Type A personality… maybe that explains it, maybe it doesn’t.

Sometimes I forget that I lack confidence and I go and do something that suggests otherwise.  I might, for example, tell my attending physician that the way he interacted with his patient (and the patient’s mother) made me a little uncomfortable because [insert reason here], and I may have done it differently.  I didn’t just volunteer the information: I mean, he did ask me how I thought it went.  But immediately after I said it, I wished I could pick up the words and shove them back into my mouth.  Unfortunately, even if that was possible, the words wouldn’t have fit because both of my feet (and possibly his feet as well) were in my mouth.  He didn’t seem to care, however.  Clearly I was embarrassed by my candid comment for no reason.  In fact, he later told me that he appreciated my reflection and my honesty.

I also had a small chat with KM today.  She wanted to know how A. was doing, and I brought her some yummy squares that I baked last night.  I don’t really remember much of the content of our chat, but I do remember walking away from the conversation wishing I could go back and say or do some things differently.  I do this every time I interact with KM.  If you don’t believe me, you should read all my posts about KM and you will see.  I feel insecure about every little thing that I do or say around her – like I’m somehow going to reveal how fake and phoney I am.  I think that she’s scrutinizing me in every way, even though I know that she’s not (and just now I almost typed “probably” in this sentence).  If I was confident enough, why would I be so insecure about my interactions with KM, even after all the history?

A friend of mine was telling me today about an interaction she had last night with a resident from our department.  I know this resident but only in passing and I know that she knows who I am.  We’ve never really talked, but  we’ve seen each other plenty.  Every time I see her, I want to start a conversation with her or just say hi, but I don’t; partly because I feel like it would be awkward, but mostly because I think that she doesn’t like me.  Why?  I don’t know… It’s just my initial instinct to think that if people don’t talk to me (especially when there have been multiple opportunities AND they have a higher status position than me) it’s because they don’t like me.  Anyway, this friend of mine said that my name came up in her conversation with this resident, and almost without thinking about it, I asked if she had anything good to say about me.  My friend told me that she seemed to respond positively to my name and based on the resident’s facial expressions/body language, she assumed that her and I had talked or interacted in the past.  Huh.  I don’t really know what to make of this.

I don’t know what to make of all of this.

I don’t know how to make it better.  Does it just need time?  I really don’t know, but it sure put a damper on my whole day.

13 thoughts on “Challenging Confidence

  1. I get this. I think it’s the dark side of being Type A. You’re driven and motivated yet also feel unworthy somehow. I am well liked & considered a leader in my org, yet I have ongoing periods of feeling like a fraud. A talentless, overrated fraud.

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  2. I understand the feeling but don’t know how to make it go away. I rarely feel confident about anything i do, even though i usually do a good job. I also always assume just about everyone dislikes me. I’m definitely a Type A but I’ve always attributed these things more to my anxiety and often low self esteem. I don’t have any advice but i hope you’re able to overcome it!

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    1. Yes, I am also very anxious and have low self esteem. I’ve worked on it and its getting better, but it still gets the beset of me sometimes! If I ever find a solution, I’ll let you know!

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  3. The longer I live, the more I believe that almost everyone feels this way about themselves. We have to remember that most people are too worried about how you are feeling about them to have a negative thought about you. Be interested in other lives and be kind – that’s all you need to do and people will like you and think well of you, even if you make some silly mistake.

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    1. You’re right! I need to just take the plunge and start the conversation! Awkward or not, maybe she feels the same way about me!

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