Labels

Friday, November 25, 2011

Am I Good Enough?

As far as I can remember, I have never felt like I needed to prove myself academically until now. I was lucky enough to be a nerd since kindergarten. I would plead my mother to give me math homework so that I wouldn't have to go to bed. The kid who'd get scolded for reading her book secretly at night when she should be sleeping. I was also lucky to be in schools where, although nerds were not necessarily liked by everyone, we were not bullied. Yay all-girl schools. I did incredibly well on all national exams, ranking among the top 10 students in the country several times, studying at the top national school and earning straight As for my A-levels. I got easily accepted to all universities I applied to, which was quite expected from my entourage. I was just known to be this hard working kid. The truth is I slacked off a lot until the month before the final exam (worth 100%) where I would successfully cram hard core. Homework and term tests were not worth any credit. I believe this system makes students lazier.


In university, however, everything counts! I hated having to actually care about my grade in assignments. I quickly realized that there are people far smarter than me, more experienced than me, more passionate than me in every corner. It's incredible the amount of talent around U of T's campus. Success stories keep amazing me every day. I do admit that a few bad experiences and having two passions has distracted me from academia for most of my 2nd and 3rd year. By then, I had lost most of my academic self-confidence, feeling like I'd just never be good enough. Still haven't failed any course, but I've come close enough to feel what it's like. It's not a good feeling but I wasn't the only one. My friends were not too far so I didn't feel that bad about it.

After a one-year internship, I've finally gotten a deeper understanding of a particular language. So far, I had only dabbled in various languages but wasn't very proficient at any due to the limited exposure in class. In my spare time, I was far more interested in building a fan base and creating music than learning more about other technologies. But come my last year of school, important decisions impose themselves. What do I do next? Where do I wanna work? What value can I bring to a company? For the first time ever, the feeling of inadequacy is very real and constantly shadowing my thoughts. What if I'm not good enough? What if people actually think I'm really dumb? Do I have my place in this game? Can I be a good researcher? Can I be a good entrepreneur? Can I even be a good employee?

The fact that my internship has gone well (I'm still working there part-time) is encouraging and makes me think that maybe I'm just being a bit paranoid. Times of transition are full of uncertainty, it's hard to know where you stand. The fear makes me more prone to having a "fixed" mindset (I'm just not good at this) instead of a "growth" mindset (I don't know much about this but I'm confident I can do well if I work at it). I suppose anyone is scared of rejection to some degree. But I really feel like it's the first time when I've had to ever prove myself academically and I'm scared that I slacked off too much in those math courses to succeed. But I also know that, judging from my past experiences, I perform best when under pressure to prove something. So maybe this is all going to work out.

At the end of the day, I'm trying to remind myself of how big obstacles have been my best motivators to
1. become a songwriter at 14
2.. create a music club at school (at 17) and pull off a show with a cast of 22 in front of a sold out venue of 700 people
3. change subjects "erratically" and still doing great on the final exam even though I missed two trimesters
4. get the attention of a local label, which gave me enough credibility to launch my own EP
5. put together a CD release in 2 weeks and collect MUR 10650 for charity (giving 50% of revenue)
6. recover from open heart surgery without letting scars bother me

In each of those situations, people told me "you don't know how to do that" or "you won't be able to pull it off", "it's too risky", "you're too late", "you're too ambitious and unrealistic", "you'll never get noticed", "you should hide your scar", "there's not enough time".  People just wanted to prevent me from being disappointed. Instead, I was even more adamant on pursuing whatever I had set my mind to. I was not discouraged but pumped. I was ready to prove them wrong. I strongly believed in something and I went for it. Along the way, I suppose some people saw my vision and became supporters who played a key role in my success. Looking back, I smile and say to myself.. We pulled it off! We actually did even when no one believed in us. Maybe this is another case where public opinion will turn out to bring out the best in me.

6 comments:

  1. But come my last year of school, important decisions impose themselves.

    (How you impose yourself on those important decisions makes all the difference. Fear not, be bold, take action, remember, it is your life, your right to make those choices.)

    What do I do next?

    (Do what is reasonable to your soul to do next.)

    Where do I wanna work?

    (Work where you feel fulfilled to work. That may change over time or it may not.)

    What value can I bring to a company?

    (You bring your heart, your soul, your ideas, and your experiences to a company. Each is a unique value and resource. Some may never appear on a resume.)

    For the first time ever, the feeling of inadequacy is very real and constantly shadowing my thoughts.

    (Don't hide from your accomplishments at a young age. You list many in your post. You will overcome any inadequacy you encounter in the future; work-related or personal, based on past accomplishments.)

    What if I'm not good enough?

    (What if you are the best!?! That's possible!)

    What if people actually think I'm really dumb?

    ("What do you care what other people think?" Book title and quote from the wife of Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman, who had his own doubts about himself. Accept your own intelligence and wisdom. Be pleasantly surprised when others do too. If they don't, that's their mistake. Overlook it.)

    Do I have my place in this game?

    (You're here. You have a place in this game.)

    Can I be a good researcher?

    (There is no reason why you can't be a good researcher, if you choose to be.)

    Can I be a good entrepreneur?

    (You will be a good entrepreneur. I urge you to be one. You will learn a lot! You will learn to independently support yourself.)

    Can I even be a good employee?

    (You will be a good employee. Even a good entrepreneur must be a good employee first.)

    Best of luck. Hope my replies prove worthy to your future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wyman! Sorry I didn't see the comment, that's why it wasn't posted right away. Thanks for being so encouraging. It always helps to get some positive energy sent your way :)

      Delete
  2. Quite Impressive I would say :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hope this works this time. Posted originally 12/28/2011, but posting failed.

    But come my last year of school, important decisions impose themselves.

    (How you impose yourself on those important decisions makes all the
    difference. Fear not, be bold, take action, remember, it is your life, your
    right to make those choices.)

    What do I do next?

    (Do what is reasonable to your soul to do next.)

    Where do I wanna work?

    (Work where you feel fulfilled to work. That may change over time or it may
    not.)

    What value can I bring to a company?

    (You bring your heart, your soul, your ideas, and your experiences to a
    company. Each is a unique value and resource. Some may never appear on a
    resume.)

    For the first time ever, the feeling of inadequacy is very real and
    constantly shadowing my thoughts.

    (Don't hide from your accomplishments at a young age. You list many in your
    post. You will overcome any inadequacy you encounter in the future;
    work-related or personal, based on past accomplishments.)

    What if I'm not good enough?

    (What if you are the best!?! That's possible!)

    What if people actually think I'm really dumb?

    ("What do you care what other people think?" Book title and quote from the
    wife of Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman, who had his own doubts about
    himself. Accept your own intelligence and wisdom. Be pleasantly surprised
    when others do too. If they don't, that's their mistake. Overlook it.)

    Do I have my place in this game?

    (You're here. You have a place in this game.)

    Can I be a good researcher?

    (There is no reason why you can't be a good researcher, if you choose to
    be.)

    Can I be a good entrepreneur?

    (You will be a good entrepreneur. I urge you to be one. You will learn a
    lot! You will learn to independently support yourself.)

    Can I even be a good employee?

    (You will be a good employee. Even a good entrepreneur must be a good
    employee first.)

    Best of luck. Hope my replies prove worthy to your future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks again, it made me smile, so that's a start ;)

      Delete