I did a quick Google search for this, and I found a lot of sayings about confidence breeding success. If you believe in yourself, if you have faith that you can do something, then you will be able to do it.
However, I can’t help but wonder if that equation goes the other way around for some people.
For me, I feel much more confidence once I’ve already had some proof of success.
Take last week for example. I spent days poring over websites about freelance writing, scoping out blogs to pitch to, and sending emails to editors asking them to let me write for them. I applied to job boards and waited and waited, but absolutely nothing was panning out.
You can bet I wasn’t very confident around then.
In fact, I was downright discouraged, especially when one of my job board postings came back declined because the client “chose another freelancer.” That made me feel JUST GREAT.
I had absolutely no faith in myself that I could do this.
Actually, that’s not necessarily true. While I had faith that I could do it – after all, I had done it before, hadn’t I? – I wasn’t necessarily confident that it was going to work out this time.
But then did.
I finally got accepted as a freelance researcher for this online website. Once I had that success in my pocket, then I felt like, Okay, I can do this.
Until I couldn’t. Yet again.
My first assignment came back with the header Response not approved. I immediately felt my heart drop to my stomach. In the end, it wasn’t that bad. I just had to add another header and add some more hyperlinks. Literally nothing was wrong with my writing itself at all; I just needed to make it a bit clearer. But the fact that the very first time I tried something I failed, even just a little bit, made me feel terrible.
And once I got it approved, and got my score back from the client, I felt like I could do it again.
I felt that same feeling again this week when I finally got an interview for a part-time position at an international preschool here in Japan. I had been applying for a few days, and hadn’t heard back from anyone. I couldn’t even use the excuse that it was a holiday weekend, because the Fourth of July doesn’t happen in Japan! Yet here I was, expecting to hear back from all these companies on the same day, clamoring to get to my awesomeness.
It didn’t happen.
Until it did.
Until FINALLY someone emailed me saying they would love to have me for an interview next week. And I happily accepted. And I was so fucking excited that I went and worked on something completely irrelevant that I had been putting off all day because I’d felt like a useless failure.
Once I got that interview, I felt like I could do anything.
I’m sure there’s a lesson in here for me to take away. Something like, “Well, it’s okay for success to breed confidence in the beginning, but eventually you have to take that confidence and hold on to it so that it can get you more success!” But I don’t feel like thinking that deeply right now. My stomach is empty, and I can smell the rice cooking five feet behind me.
So I’m going to go eat some food, read up about preschool teacher interviews, and bask in the glory that is my confidence-building success :3