Shy Brave Girl

This week, I’ve been asking myself some really difficult, uncomfortable questions like:

  • How do I ask for a pay rise and
  • how do I speak up during meetings.

Thinking about these things makes me nervous, that I start questioning my competency and confidence.

I guess I’m trying to be brave. I know I will have to eventually just go and ask, but it’s hard to face up to these things because I don’t normally talk about them, yet I know I have a right to.

So I figured I’ve got to build up my self-confidence.  I know there will be many more uncomfortable and difficult questions I will have to ask people in the future, and I don’t want lack of confidence to get in the way of what I want.

I’m starting by doing more of the things I’m good at, rather than constantly reminding myself of all the things I’m bad at.

For example, I remember going to school camp as a kid and even though I was the shyest kid, I was one of the few who could climb up the rock wall and abseil down without being afraid. My teacher was so proud of me she told all the instructors how I was the shyest kid in class but the bravest one here.

It’s a reminder that just because I can get all shy in certain areas, it doesn’t mean that I don’t know how to be confident in other areas. It’s just that communicating with others affects everyday life much more than any other fear out there, so much so, that I’ve forgotten I can be good at other things.

That’s why I’ve signed up to go on a kayaking adventure with a bunch of people I’ve never met. That’s why I’ve started playing volleyball and am planning to join dance classes.

So to answer my own question, how do I become confident enough so that asking for a pay rise doesn’t seem that big of a deal?

I guess I need to remember that I’m worth it. And that starts by shifting my focus on building my self worth, doing things I’m good at and that I enjoy. I want the exhilaration of life to outweigh the scary little things.

We can be good at the things that would surprise other people to know we’re good at. We can be brave and shy. After all, we’re complex creatures with all these little gifts inside of us and we can use them to help us build our own self worth.


New year, new thoughts

When I was a kid, I honestly believed that I would never find a job.
My logic was that all jobs required interviews and since I was very shy, I’d never be able to talk to the interviewer.

This sounds a bit weird and kind of extreme, but it sort of makes sense if you knew that I didn’t start talking to my classmates and teachers until I was 7 or 8. Not because I couldn’t speak, but because I chose not to. I was petrified.

So by the time I reached 12, I started believing that I was never going to be able to find a job when I grew up.

This put me quite a bit behind my peers, because at 15, when they were all starting to look for jobs, I kept delaying it until the next year and then the next.

I didn’t get my first job until I was twenty two years old.

And then, it felt kind of liberating.

That was the first time I had broken a decade long childhood myth about myself. And ten years is a whooping long time to think this way about yourself. And I’m NOT OK with thinking that way about myself anymore.

This is why New Year’s resolutions have become so utterly important to me.
It’s a chance for me to hang up old fears, try something different and find out what other myths I can debunk about myself.