Friday, 13 May 2011

Self esteem and confidence

Following a conversation with a friend of mine today I have been pondering self-esteem and confidence. This particular friend is someone whom if you don't know very well comes across as a confident self-assured person, but once you get to know her, you discover that inside she has low self-esteem and hardly any self-confidence at all. This pondering led to me to wondering about other people that I know and judgements I have made about them and their confidence levels. Also at what point does it become vain to talk about what you are good at?

As a child I was very shy and I didn't have a lot of confidence in myself - I was bullied for my weight from a very young age and it certainly had an impact. As a young adult, I was still shy but I began the process of bullying myself out of it. Amongst friends I was completely confident but place in a new situation and I was a blushing mess. Friends, family and boyfriends could compliment me but I'd think they were only saying it to be nice, and I didn't really believe them. These days I'd imagine most people would be surprised to hear me describe myself as shy as I probably come across as quite confident. I guess the truth is I am far more confident than I have ever been before. I do have good days and bad days the same as anyone else but on the whole I am more confident in myself. 

It's not that I just woke up one day and discovered self-belief but gradually I came to realise that I was more confident in myself. In part I think it's down to my family and friends and the belief that they have in me - eventually it has to rub off right? However mainly I think it's because I finally found the one thing I believe I can be good at. I think I will be a good midwife....if I didn't think I could be good at it then I wouldn't be doing it. I also think I am a good Mum...I'm not a perfect Mum but who could be? I'm not afraid to say where I made my mistakes. I'm a good Mum because I learn from my mistakes. 

I'm not the best but I don't need to be. It took me a long time to find my niche and now that I have found it, I am determined to make it work the best way it can for me. It's made me feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin and a lot less worried about what others think of me. I know my weaknesses, so when they are knocking at the door, I can't always make them go away but I no longer invite them in for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Love me or loathe me, that's up to you. Loving myself makes me a stronger person, and a more confident person.

I also believe that confidence is going to be a vital component of being a good midwife. I need to confident in the decisions I make. I also need to be confident enough to be able to say when I don't know the answer to something. Confidence doesn't mean knowing all the answers...confidence means you know it's ok not to know the answer. 

So if you aren't confident, if you don't believe in yourself....then I just think it's a case of finding your niche....and sadly for some it takes longer to find. 


  1. So very true, you can't find happiness until you stop being who you think people want you to be and be yourself, the people that matter will love you for it!

  2. Really interesting reading, I am surprised at the number of student midwives who have had confidence issues and yet in a professional capacity they just bloom, I know myself that I am chatty, calm and nearly confident with the women I see everyday at clinics but somehow I clam up at the school gates! Perhaps part of being a good midwife is knowing when chatting isn't constructive and being confident in silence.

  3. I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that many people consider themselves to have confidence issues even though it's not obvious lol