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2011 Bucket List - #26 Become More Confident In Myself

#26 - Become More Confident In Myself
Confidence: belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self confidence; self reliance; assurance; certitude. 

DP devotees have long known that yours truly has dealt with the issue of self-confidence. For you new readers, don't worry, it's not a sappy cry-baby-type of issue, but one where sometimes I've struggled with the thought of something be deserving. More so, believing in the abilities that I possess.

I'm sure in some way, shape, or form, we've all been there.
For many years I've dealt with this, and was greatly due to my timid attitude in my teenage years. I was never rattled or insecure, but merely never believed that I was cut out for certain roles, talented enough for specific situations, or downright the answer to the current problem. I've often wondered whether such a characteristic flaw stemmed from lacking a certain killer instinct, or even whether my intense hate for attention prevented me from breaking through. 

My biggest hurdle with confidence came in my Senior year of college where I struggled in many facets of my life. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I was a mess. I had torn ligaments in my left foot and could not perform on the baseball field the way I wanted to. Practices consisted of me barely finishing springs at embarrassing times, as I refused to sit out, or give up on the season. Too much of pride. Pride that would shatter into eventual doubt fueling further confidence issues.

Mentally, I was drained. College and it's lifestyle had taken it's toll, and I was ready to not only graduate, but get out of small town Cazenovia, NY. Yet, the worries of what came next, and the unanswered questions caused me to examine if I was capable of a successful career. 

Emotionally, I was a wreck. My tag-team partner always claims I do a good job of hiding my feelings, and she is dead right. I guess I am good at it. Somehow, I was able to mask my unhappiness with a plastic smile for most of the year as I worried about what loomed for my future everyday. 

Even after college, in the workplace, despite accomplishing various tasks and projects, there was a side of me that always wondered if I was good enough. Always wondering if the expectations others had of me were justifiable, and whether the pressure to meet those expectations created a mental block. 

Or maybe it was another aspect that always lingered as well in my mind - am I afraid of success?

Sounds silly, but sometimes a combination of all of the above came down to a certain fear. Afraid to actually be the guy. Afraid to be the leader. And with that came a certain fear to fail.

Then I realized, I'm your classic play it safe guy.

However, in 2011, I vowed to find someway to begin turn this around.

In college, our team's pitching coach once told me my biggest problem as a pitcher wasn't the fact that I was hurt. I found a way to fight through those all year. He claimed my biggest problem was that I thought too much. I analyzed everything, and became afraid to make a mistake.

A blatant, all out, thinking perfectionist.

And looking back and examining my life today, he was is correct. He couldn't have been more correct.

After all, my crazy thoughts and rants fill this wonderful blog.

I do think way too much. I'm not sure if it is by nature or by reasoning, but whatever it is, it has certainly affected my assurance in my ability to meet the situation at hand. 

As 2011 has gone on, I've found myself in exuding a certain confidence in myself today that I didn't have one year ago. A certain confidence that has come about as God has thrown me several responsibilities and situations where I had to take lead.

Most specifically - a marriage.

I have no time to wonder or analyze specific things. Everything is done not only for the betterment, protection, and growth of my wife, but to ensure that others such as my parents, who now enter a time in their life where some assistance here and there is necessary, are well taken care of.

And as the year has gone on, I find this new confidence has stemmed from a somewhat protective but forward attitude of, "I will do what is necessary for me, my family, and my friends".

And most importantly, through it all, I have gained a true understanding of Philippians 4:13: 
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Confidence. 

Especially of the right blend. 

It's a power that is beautiful when it finally comes together.

I've been thrusted into this spot, and quite honestly, I have no time to think.

...and even for a thinking perfectionist like me, I love it.

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