Self-doubts kill self-confidence

Aishling Doherty

Have you ever second-guessed yourself about getting good grades, work, or even life itself? Questioning yourself in life something everyone does, including me.

Over the summer, my cousin Jaclyn came out to visit from New York. She told me that she was going into the Peace Corps in Cameroon, Africa for 27 months. Spending her two years and three months in Cameroon would include technical, cross-cultural and language training with other volunteers. She didn’t seem worried or even slightly apprehensive about moving to another country with a completely different culture.

She gave me an ‘I can do anything’ attitude.

Now that my cousin is in Cameroon, I’ve given more thought to our differences in handling life. Where she displays conviction and motivation, I have fears, apprehension, and always second-guess myself. Whenever I’m preparing to give a speech, take a final or do a paper for class, I spend time worrying rather than just taking a deep breath and telling myself I can do it — I can pass my final and do well in class. All that results from my constant worrying and self-doubt is not enjoying an accomplishment and congratulating myself on a job well done.

There have been times this semester where I’ve second-guessed myself a lot. A couple of weeks ago my mom and I were sitting outside talking about how my fall semester was going so far. When I said it was just “okay,” my mom asked if something was wrong. I said, “Nothing, I just wish I could have that kind of belief in myself that Jaclyn has in her.” My mom nodded and said I do stress a lot over little things and don’t believe that I can achieve my goals in life.

My mom was right, I don’t believe in myself at all. I wish to change that, but sitting and wishing is not what creates change — I need to develop the self-esteem I want on my own. In an interview my cousin gave to Girl Scouts of NYPENN ( saying “I joined the Peace Corps so that I can be both selfish and selfless.” She continued, “I am looking forward to becoming more independent, taking risks, and acquiring new skills[…]. I hope that […] I will have shaped my interests and will have a better idea of how I want to further my education. I am also looking forward to helping people by giving them the resources to help themselves.”

Whenever I read that story, I realize that she was afraid and worried too. Taking this big step into a country that has a lot of problems with food, water, illness and more, she is apprehensive about her future and how successful she will be, but still believes in herself and knows she can do well.

I ask myself, why can’t I believe in myself and wonder if I will ever be able to. They say you can’t take on the world until you believe in yourself. Yes, you need to believe in yourself and there are steps people can take accomplish this inside of them.

There are some steps I’ve read in a Seventeen magazine. A couple of the steps were give yourself to concur something you’ve been working on. What I learned was don’t second-guess yourself as soon as you’re assigned something. I think when we have thoughts of something that will not go right, it’s stuck inside the mind and will not go away. Another step I read was try and think positive and not negative. If you think positive then maybe the negative won’t come into mind. Staying positive is the key.

Everyone has a way of believing in oneself. Some have it hard and others find it easy when it comes to believing in themselves. I still don’t believe in myself but, I’ve been trying to more lately and it feels good. Everyone should believe that they could do anything they set their mind to in life. So, don’t be afraid to believe.