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Self Doubt: The Beginning

I want to do many things and I always strive to at least try each of them. Growing up, I have a small space inside the house where I just sit and do whatever I feel doing on my free time (I used to have a lot back then). I gather old newspapers and spread it on the floor so I could do anything on it and easily remove the mess I make. I played colorful clays, painted sunsets, drew girls wearing beautiful dresses, built whatever I imagined with my lego, made pop-up books, recycled papers, and did many other different “artworks” there. I also used to crochet even before it was required at school, I learned watching my mom make beautiful crochetted table covers. I also tried sewing and made canvas bags and pouches. I also made stuffed toy once. I always bought different kinds of colorful square papers and paper strips which I used to make origami and paper stars. Whatever I wanted to do I was able to try at least once and, I think, did fairly well on each of them. Not exceptional or great, maybe, just nice, just good enough.

Before, I was sure about myself. Slightly proud even, that I can do everything that I try fairly well. In grade school, I was the student they pull out of class anytime and without prior notice whenever they needed someone to represent our school for anything. I was the one who didn’t have a permanent position in journalism because they think they can put me anywhere come competition time. I never won though. But I thought it was okay. I thought, they trust me and the things I can do enough to carry the responsibility of carrying the name of our school in these various competitions. It didn’t matter if I missed some classes in the process. I still did well in my subjects and was even a part of the top students. I thought I was good.

I wasn’t as great in high school though, but even with the little effort I gave, I still survived. I didn’t have to really study or focus. I joined the dance club. Still, I survived the subjects I didn’t really like, and did well on those that I did like. It was okay for me, because I know that my schoolmates then were also the top students of their previous schools. I relaxed too much. I forgot how to really make effort. I still believed I was good and can be better if I really try.

When I was in college, one professor said something in class that really hit me hard. It something along the lines of, “Why be a mediocre engineer if you can be exceptionally great at something else?” I felt bad after hearing that line. I started to doubt myself. Can I really do great if I exert more effort? I wouldn’t know for sure because I don’t remember a time that I really worked hard for something before. I thought, I wasn’t great at all. I’m mediocre. I’m not great at anything.

But is it really bad not to be great at anything? Is it really bad to not be the best at least at one thing? How important is it to be the best at something? Is it more important to do great at something and really suck on the rest? Being able to do well on many different things, can’t that be considered something great as well? Should I find another college and choose another course? Or, can I continue doing whatever I’m doing and try to improve instead?

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