Fighting Self-Doubt

By Yamila García

The worst mistakes are made when we don’t trust ourselves. I am fully aware that self-confidence is not an easy thing to build. But I also know that there are some tricks that we can use to build it little by little. At every beginning of the semester (or anything else) I find myself in a situation of overwhelm and despair, convinced that I will not be able to overcome the challenges that come my way. And every end of a semester, surprised once again, I tell myself: I don’t know how it happened, but you did it! Anyone would think that after the same thing happens repeatedly, one would have learned… but no, it doesn’t work that way. You remember, but somehow you manage to think that those previous times you overcame everything you did, was by accident, luck, or whatever but your hard work or intelligence. Considering that this always happens and it is statistically complicated that luck is what every semester makes us overcome all the challenges, I think it extremely necessary to force ourselves to remember and to try to be objective. 

Now, every time I think I’m not going to be able to face the next challenge, I ask myself: This feeling is the same thing I experienced last semester, right? That felt impossible, right? What evidence do I have to think that I cannot achieve it? How is this different from everything I have already lived and overcome? And even, what would be the problem if I couldn’t get over it? I can always try again. It doesn’t have to be perfect! In this new beginning of the semester, as ugly as every beginning sounds, I hope that you can be your own best friends and remind yourself that you have already achieved many things that at first seemed impossible, and that you will do it again this semester. Put sticky notes everywhere, set alarms on your cell phones, and write on your notebooks and blackboards whatever reminds you how brave you were in the past. Here’s to another semester that ends up surprising us because we did it again!