Sometimes what you really need is a believer. When the wind has come out of your sails and the world seems against you, your tribe of people are so important. And the tribe may not be who you think they are. The stranger at the bar that tells you it’s going to be ok. Your distant friend that texted you to say “they weren’t worthy anyway”. Your mentor that says to stay the course, because you’re doing all the right things. The acquaintance that sent you the nicest note, giving you a glimmer of hope – a silver lining. Your brother who says the universe is in your corner, just be patient.
These are the moments that have helped me get through some of my darkest hours. The moments that helped me get out of bed and to the gym, go in the shower or go back in front of the computer in the quest to keep on, keeping on. These believers are there even when I have lost faith in the way the world operates, in people and even myself. Believers have the ability to put the slightest breeze back in my sails to get me going full speed. They put that other stair right in front of you, to bridge that confidence gap. They are there when you reach out and ask for it. And if you have your eyes open, they are there when you don’t. Over the years, I’ve focused on nurturing my relationships with the believers. And these days, they have become my lifeline.
Believers do to my confidence what a cup of coffee does to my morning; provides a boost. So let’s talk about it – that thing called confidence – that so much seems to hinge on.
In grad school, I remember dreading the personal introductions in class. Everyone was so much more interesting – I mean come on, my most interesting fact about myself was what, that I had the lead in a play when I was in 5th grade? Everyone was so much more talented. Let’s be honest, my last job before school involved schlepping apples on a cart in a grocery store for goodness sake. These people were in consulting jobs, Fortune 500 companies; aka REAL JOBS. What the heck was I doing there? Networking events were painful. Sure, I’m an extrovert but the idea of talking to strangers, talking about myself, telling a story? I felt like I was the 30 second commercial everyone would rather fast forward than sit and watch. And then there was the whole internship THING. It seemed like companies were just handing them out, and I was not even in line. The weeks and months passed and the statistics would come out reminding you of what a failure you were. In October 35% of your class has confirmed internships! Wow amazing. December update: 65% have internships, and on and on. I looked around me, feeling hopeless, unwanted and sometimes like a fraud. I mean I was the loud, aggressive marketer that rallied troops to do stuff and actively participated in class; so much PASSION. All the while, I was losing the believer in me, in the process and in myself. And then in May, just as I was prepping for final exams, I finally landed not one, but two internship offers. *Wheeew* Suddenly I was a believer again.
Looking back, it was those close friends who always reminded me to keep the faith and not focus on other people’s own timelines. I guess at the end of the day, I refused to settle for an internship that wasn’t going to help me with my ambitions for a full-time job in marketing after graduating. Because of this (and of course many other factors) my journey appeared like I was “behind” everyone else. Still, it didn’t seem to matter at the time , because the process chipped away at my confidence.
I suppose this topic was meant to be. I had three nice opportunities in the balance over the past few weeks and today, they all came to an end with the final door slamming shut.
It’s like building up your core muscles over several weeks and being so excited that you are really seeing progress; your gut isn’t sticking out quite so much in those pants! Score! Then in an instant you lose all that muscle mass, your pants feel tight again and you are back to square one. Just this morning, I literally fell on my face with a tumble on my bike in rainy weather. So, I’m feeling literally battered and my ego bruised. I guess it’s time to summon the believers, to help me find that next stair.
Oh hell, this is when the tough get going. This is when you stare doubt in the eye and say: “I’m gonna win this war, even though I may have lost this battle”. I’m grabbing that bottle of Barolo, calling my believers and plotting my next move to win the war I waged to take my power back. Truthfully? I’ve done it before, and your damn skippy I’ll do it again. #getbackup