Let’s talk about confidence

It has always been hard for me to feel confident in my opinions and authority in different subjects. Once, after giving a timid presentation in undergrad, my professor approached me after class and asked me what was up. I told him I didn’t feel confident about presenting my reading of the text and he told me: “You’ve been researching and writing about this topic all semester. What do you mean you don’t feel confident? You have more authority about this passage than anyone in this class!”

It was really hard for me to come to terms with this for the rest of my education. It hasn’t been until now, in library school, that I’ve felt comfortable speaking authoritatively about subjects. People ask me questions and I can give them honest and informed answers without feeling like I have to send them an article “because the author knows what they’re talking about.”

Confidence hasn’t been a problem this past year. I’m not afraid to speak up in class, I love answering questions and having discussions, and while I’m not the best presenter, I no longer feel unprepared to give them. There are two big changes that have influenced my growth of confidence:

  • Passion. I am a lot more passionate about the topics I discuss in and out of school. Library science and libraries in general are wonderful institutions with lots of potential for conversation. And I love talking about them.
  • Community. I get to be surrounded by other people who love libraries, too! And they not only love libraries, but for some reason other students seek my opinion and help outside of class. People trust me, and that makes me trust me, too.

I’ve looked at a couple of articles about building confidence so I could include their advice in this post… But really, I think the most important thing is to keep reminding yourself that you’re awesome and to keep up to date on topics that interest you.

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