Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Confidence Conundrum

Confidence is an amazing thing.  One minute it's flowing like a mountain snow melt river and the next it's dried up like a scorched earth scene from a dystopian novel.  Your confidence can be high regarding one subject and low to non-existent for another.  You could be an all around confident person or perhaps the type who's confidence is only raised when feeling secure in knowledge of specific topics.  You can be over confident, which often leads to problems and failure or you can be under confident and unwilling to even try something foreign. Yes, confidence has time and time again proven itself difficult to understand and near impossible to master.  And nowhere was that more evident for myself than the previous week.


I'm going back to work outside the home.  It's exhilarating, exciting, nerve racking, and a whole host of other adjectives.  It's been roughly four years since I've worked a job outside the walls which I reside and I'm finding getting back on the horse more difficult than I'd imagined for a variety of reasons.  The need for a somewhat flexible schedule due to both my caregiver responsibilities as well as my desire to continue coaching are clearly obstacles to take into consideration and to be worked around.  That eliminates some potential opportunities off the top.  The fact that I haven't worked traditional employment for the past few years will clearly play a roll because there's no history of what I've learned and done recently.  And lest we forget, the way many things are done today are not the same as they were even a couple years ago.  While they likely existed when I was seeking employment prior, computer programs today search resume's and cover letter's for key words while it and other technology has limited the initial interactions potential employers and employees have with one another.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning the practice because I have no doubt it's been magnificent for companies and particularly recruiters and HR people because it saves a lot of time and resources, but it can make applying for jobs with those firms harder for good candidates who may not be as educated or versed in the, "art of applying for employment".

So why do I mention all this?  I do so because in the past week I've have a couple different experiences while attempting to gain employment and a vast swing in confidence was on display.  The first job I applied for a week ago was a coaching position I wasn't sure I'd get but I still felt good walking in.  I had a rough idea of what I wanted to say and even the couple curve balls fell within parameters I felt prepared to discuss. While I didn't end up getting that particular job, I think it had more to do with my lack of experience and I was actually extended the opportunity to apply for another position that will allow me to gain that knowledge in the future.  My limited experience, practice, and preparedness built my confidence to a point where I was able to present myself as who I am and that's absolutely important.  Unfortunately, that's not close to what happened yesterday.

Yesterday I put on nice clothes, nice shoes, and printed resume's and cover letters before heading to a local job fair.  Leaving the house, I felt pretty decent and ready to discuss with some of the 45 potential employers the opportunities they had available.  I felt good right up until the time I entered the parking lot when suddenly and without warning, my confidence decided keep going up the main rd instead of turning with me. My confidence dropped immensely while driving around in search of an empty parking spot.  Walking in, what little remained was looking for a way to exit and by the time I actually entered the room with all the employers, I'd basically relegated myself to feeling overwhelmed, unprepared, and basically incapable of displaying my best self.  The few employers I did speak to, there's no way I left a good impression. Frankly, if I left no impression at all it would make me feel better than what I'm thinking I left them with.  Leaving the floor half an hour later, I felt completely deflated and exhausted.  My confidence was shaken and I knew reevaluating, regrouping, and refocusing was going to be necessary.

And that's where today's post comes from.  This is a necessary part of the reevaluate, regroup, and refocus process for me.  Writing it down allows me to think deeply into the subject and make corrections as they arise.  In this case, sharing it is really the easy part because I'm pretty positive others have had their confidence shaken before as well.  I know what happened yesterday and going forward, acknowledging problems, will allow me to hopefully avoid the same pitfalls in the future.

Yesterday I lost my confidence but by acknowledging that my confidence was reduced it's allowing my confidence to increase so in the future I'll have more confidence and will be confident that my confidence will be there when I need it, confidently.  And thus, we have the confidence conundrum.

The Confidence Conundrum
                 

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