Until this year, I really didn’t know how much I was worth.
I really thought I was just another average kid. I mean, academic success was the only thing I considered myself good at, and I was never at the top of my class. Sure, I got all A’s, but that was about it.
Last year, I won about four creative writing contests, and I thought that I was pretty good at writing. But then my friend got to give a speech in front of the entire school, I thought myself not good at all. Which, if you look at it, really isn’t true. What kid wins no less than four writing contests and then thinks themselves not good because their friend won one thing? Apparently, me.
So I continued what I believed to be a miserable existence where everybody was better or smarter or faster than I was. Until the beginning of this current school year, when I was awarded with first chair in my school’s band class. My gosh, I was elated. I was head-over-heels happy. Of course, I thought this was a mistake, and so it was no surprise when someone else was picked to be first chair in the next chair test.
Again, I believed myself completely average. In short, I had no confidence in myself.
And so when the time came to audition again, this time for both advanced band at my school and the orchestra I play in outside of school, I wholly believed that I wouldn’t get in to either of them. And my fears were not unfounded. I play clarinet, in which there is plenty of competition. There were probably more than 100 clarinetists schoolwide. And did I mention there were only two spots available in advanced band?
I played the audition anyways, because what else was I supposed to do? Give up? I pride myself on being very stubborn and determined.
And, two months later, I surprised myself by getting in to both the advanced band and the orchestra.
When I saw my audition results for band, I thought it was a fluke. Me, in advanced band? No way. But if it had really been a fluke, how had I gotten into advanced orchestra as well?
It was a revelation to me that I was actually good at my instrument.
In retrospect, it really shouldn’t have been.
There had been so many signs along the way, which I had chosen to just simply ignore. First chair clarinetist, getting a first part in my orchestra, my orchestra teacher not coming over and telling me I was absolutely horrendous this year (she actually did this last year–true story).
And then I finished my novel. Wow, what a boost of confidence. Something which I thought I’d never be able to achieve, finally done. But again, there were so many signs: hitting 50k, realizing that there was just the falling action left to write, hitting 130 pages in MS word (not double-spaced), hitting 63k.
I guess the message I’m trying to get through is this: you can do it. You can do whatever you want to do, or be whatever you want to be. The key to achieving those things, though, is just having confidence in yourself.
Let’s all have confidence in ourselves, and we can achieve great things.