02 December, 2002

A Lack Of Confidence

Well, final exams have finally arrived. 

Strangely, I don't feel confident that I will do well, despite the cognizant knowledge that of course I will. After all, I always do well in my classwork, except when I don't put in my best effort. I imagine I will pass every test with flying colors, and yet still I feel this unease. 

I hesitate to say that I am an unconfident person, despite my lack of confidence in this one area. On the contrary, I honestly believe myself to have the opposite problem; I consider myself better than most other people. It's a problem that I wish I could fix -- I don't want to feel better than others -- but it just comes naturally. Often, a thought will pass through my head that obviously carries the connotation that I am better than others in nearly every way. Whenever that happens, I scold myself for it, but it happens no less due to the scolding. 

So when I say that I am used to feeling super-confident, I truly mean it. Whenever I enter a contest, I always have full confidence that I will win that contest. Whenever I start a new job, I always have full confidence that I will become the best employee that has ever worked at that job. Whenever I do just about anything, I always have full confidence that I will do it better than anyone else attempting it. 

And you know what? I'm nearly always right. 

I've only lost three contests out of the dozens that I've entered with the intent to win first place. I've only had one job where I didn't win special awards, honors, and sometimes multiple raises within the first month of working there. 

Maybe this is due to me picking jobs I know I'm good at and entering contests I know I can win. This is certainly a very valid way of looking at it -- indeed it is probably the best explanation for this phenomena. 

But the point is that I never waver in my belief. It's just not in my nature. 

And yet... 

...Ever since I started college, I've had doubts of my ability. 

You can even see proof of this by looking back to my earlier entries... Even though I really haven't had any problems with my experience here at Spring Hill College, I've always felt... well... a bit behind. 

I mean, I probably have one of the top five grades in each of my respective courses, and I know that I understand the material better than anyone else in any of my classes (save religion, of course), but still I cannot help but feel... behind. 

No, that's not quite right. 'Behind' is not the best word for it. But I don't know what is.
It's not that I feel I don't know the material. God knows I know the material well enough.
It's not that I don't think I'm going to do well on the tests. Of course I'm going to do well on my tests.
... So I say that I feel... behind. 

I feel like I should be light-years ahead, but I'm not. In high school, I knew more than most of my teachers. But here, I don't. 

And it makes me nervous. 

I think Dr. Schaub recognizes this. On my last paper, she gave a grade somewhat lower than it would have been if she had thought someone else had written it. She recognized that I could do better than what I turned in, and she graded my paper accordingly. I respect her for this. 

Incidentally, she wore something different today. She was wearing a woman's style of suit, of all things. While the suit itself was very nice, and although I would have thought any other woman wearing it would have looked quite beautiful in such an outfit, for her I was disappointed. I was spoiled, I guess, by her other far more beautiful outfits, and so this ordinarily brilliant suit looked positively bland in comparison. I wonder if she would respect me for this analogous impression...

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