24

February

Confidence Trick

Thursday February 24, 2022


I struggle with confidence. There are times when I appear to have it but that is a façade. Beneath the suave (ish) exterior, I am terrified.
 
I get so nervous before such as interviews that I am now seriously considering sticking with the current job until retirement. I just can’t cope with the stress of the application, seeing if you get through the paper sift, the sleepless nights before the interview. Then comes the personal debrief and the worry about whether I can do the job. That’s a long worry that lasts for years, even with constant reassurance from colleagues.
 
This is a recent thing. I used to do amateur acting and managed stage fright well. I have a couple of thoughts about why this worry has reappeared more recently. Indeed, it might never have gone away, just been suppressed for a time.
 
When at school (a time I hated), confidence was not high. It was an aggressive all boys school and run around the sports teams. I am not sporty so was low on the pecking order. I couldn’t fight and so was lower in the pecking order than the toughs as well.
 
My father, a child of the 30s, didn’t help much. When I said I had some ideas about computers, he deflated me immediately by comparing me unfavorably to Bill Gates.
 
So, confidence didn’t come from home or school.  I suspect that it needs to so we get in the habit of it but that didn’t happen to me.
 
I have largely gone through life unconfident, hiding nerves, and responding to awkward moments with aggression or bravado. My abilities are, to me, modest. I seek constant reassurance that I am doing OK and trying not to be too English about minimising compliments.
 
I am sure there is a trick about confidence. I never knew what it was and it’s probably too late to learn.
 
Do you know what it is? I’d love to know.
 
Alex
A Moodscope member.

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