I have always projected an aura of self-confidence to those who know me, but the reality is much more stark. It is a facade. It is a protectionist device. I am not so confident.
I don't cower in corners, but I truly struggle with the idea that I am not as good as other people. In many ways, it doesn't bother me. I am not as good an actress as Emma Thompson - that doesn't even register. But where I rank in my job, where I rank in terms of my favourite hobby - well, that's a different story all together.
I am currently working on an event related to my hobby. It will feature work of mine and work of other people who I have invited to partake in the event. It has been a lot of stress to plan and prepare for.
So the problem that I am having is one of confidence. I know that at least one of the other contributors is better than me - I knew that when I asked her to be part of the event. What I didn't expect was that she would have a certain snootiness about her. She has rejected my request that she submit the most challenging of her work and has instead chosen things that will appeal to my poorly educated (in her opinion, I assure you) audience. And through the course of it all, she has managed to injure my confidence in small, cumulative ways, such as explaining some of the most simple terminology to me.
She has a master's degree; I do not. She has made this her career; for me it remains a hobby.
The difficulty for me is that I don't know how to balance my complete understanding that she is better than me while keeping enough ego alive to put my self out there in front of an audience next weekend. It is my event, after all; there's no backing out now!I made my choice a long time ago to not pursue this career. Instead, I attempt to keep my passion alive by hosting these type of events. It isn't very helpful when what is meant to help me feel impassioned and alive instead makes me feel small and amateurish.
Don't get me started on how this woman popped out 2 baby boys with no problems, 2 hours labour for both, without gaining a pound or missing a moment of her fantastic, rising career.
Okay. So maybe I'm just jealous.