I find that the humility/self-confidence line is a hard one to straddle. I have been taught that to have both characteristics is virtuous, but the reality of balancing the two is frustrating. Does humility prevent self-confidence? Or does self-confidence automatically prohibit humility? Maybe I merely use humility as an excuse to not be over-confident?
Does anyone else struggle with this?
While I may appear to give the vibe of being very confident, in reality I doubt myself much of the time. Self-confidence is an issue that comes up frequently in my field of work, being a woman in engineering. Additionally, humility is not a character trait respected in academia. Its almost as if you emit humility, you emit fear, and they seek and destroy. Before I left for college my dad gave me these words of advice.
“If you learn anything, learn to have these two things: patience and self-confidence.”
Those words have echoed in my head for the past what, almost 10 years now? Unfortunately, so did another comment my dad made to my in high school.
“Do you think anyone would like you if you weren’t tall and blonde?”
You mean they wouldn’t still like me for my charming personality? Not to paint my dad out to be a bad guy, he’s definitely the opposite and was usually very encouraging of me, which is probably why I took those words to heart.
It seems I am either extremely confident in what I do to the point of over-confidence or I doubt everything and fall back into thinking that the only reason I’m where I’m at is because they needed to fulfill a “tall, blonde girl” quota. Middle ground in confidence is hard to come by. Usually I get there by accepting the fact that I don’t need to be the absolute best at something in order to be proficient, my worth is not determined by what others think, and gloating is never appropriate, even as a response to gloating.
So, how do you maintain humility without losing all self-confidence?