I am not a person who can harness hardcore confidence out of thin air … some may call this arrogance.
I gain my confidence through listening and assessing. However, don’t mistake this for trying to figure out what others care about either. It’s about finding what I care about.
I often silence myself when someone challenges me because I have the tendency to think I’m wrong and have something to learn. Knowing I have something teach, that realization takes a bit. This mental tyranny is a catch 22 really. Silence has led me learn that I’m smarter than I give myself credit for. But it’s also shown me that I’m smarter than others give me credit for. My silence is often mistaken … but I know no other way to learn and better myself.
I guess the real question is – who’s fault is it that I am perceived as less? Mine for not speaking up? Or theirs for assuming? Who wins and who loses? Maybe it’s a case of the quick win vs. the long-term success. What’s more important?
I know I care deeply about what I believe … but I’m also open to learning, hearing what others think are right and wrong and open to being wrong myself. Sometimes that means not speaking up and instead, listening.
I’m 27. I’m still forming my convictions, opinions on career and professionalism, and figuring out who I want to surround myself with. I’m trying to decide what I think it means to be right, to be ignorant and to be wrong.
That ‘figuring it out’ process … well, it’s shitty. And along with it, have come people who think I have nothing to offer. It hurts … sometimes. It pisses me off more than anything. But that pissed off feeling – that just makes me want to prove them wrong instead of change my ways because deep down, I know I’d rather listen and soak it up now than speak and never hear.