I've Got Confidence

By Olivia Barker

If I was not in higher education, I would definitely be an actor. My most notable performance is that of a confident young woman and I played the role for years. My senior quote in high school was “act as if you have confidence in yourself until you do” and I not sure if I made this up or if I read it somewhere, but at just a few months shy of my 28th birthday, I am just now starting to feel truly confident in myself as a person and as a professional. Thank goodness I am getting there, but why the heck did it take me 10 years of acting?

Why is it that I don't get a little confidence boost when I go to the gym every day after work, but when I lose a pound I am over the moon? Why is it that I didn't believe in myself as a writer until I was asked to write weekly for an amazing blog? Why did it take being awarded advisor of the year, before I was confident in my advising?

The real question is: why have I been counting on results to empower me instead of the hard work that goes into getting those results?

We need to figure out a way to be confident through the process. As a young professional this is really hard. A lot of times, we need to see the end results, have the pat on the back and get words of affirmation before we believe we've done a good job, but we have to be confident in ourselves without relying on results or others to get us there. I think we can start by recognizing that we are trying our hardest. I'm not the fittest person at the gym, but you better believe I am putting in max effort when I am there and I am not the best advisor in the world, but I work really hard to develop my advising style. As long as we are doing the best we can, we should be confident in our work and in ourselves. 

My good friend Christopher Robin once said, “you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” All you have to do is your best. Challenge yourself and TRY! So whether it’s a new workout at the gym, contributing to a blog or recognizing areas for improvement as an advisor, believe in yourself and let the progress build your confidence, not the results!


Student Affairs - the First Years

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