20th November 2017
Self-belief is a complex thing, and we hear so often, people telling us to believe in ourselves and that we can do it. But actually feeling that sense of self-belief, really believing in yourself..how easy is that to accomplish?
I had a Psychology careers conference at Uni the other day and it got me thinking about pathways in to Psychology and what might be holding me back. The area is hugely competitive – every area requires work experience and a PHD to even begin to work in your specialised area. I listened to a PHD student who recently became employed at the Uni, an educational psychologist, health psychologist, occupational psychologist amongst other people. All I could feel towards them was envy. I don’t even know what I want to do – we hear so much about career pathways but little about what the jobs are actually like. I don’t know where I belong, and I don’t feel confident in my ability to succeed in this field. This lack of self-belief has made me forget about the option of clinical psychology which has to be the hardest areas to get in to, but there is a lot of confusion and uncertainty regarding my ambitions for the future.
I do believe in myself in some areas. I believe that I can get a decent degree. I believe I can volunteer well in what I do. I believe that I have certain skills and can manage my anxiety well (at times). But as the days go by I’m getting closer to the end of my degree, and my future just feels like a big question mark and I don’t have any confidence in myself with regards to facing the real world. I’ve always been an academic – I don’t know whether I trust myself to do well in the workforce.
Maybe self-belief is also about trusting yourself. Trusting that eventually, you’ll make the right decision and you will eventually know and pursue what matters to you. I’m a young student and all I feel is this pressure to make a decision, but maybe that uncertainty can be a positive thing. I don’t want to rush in to further education or a job, because I don’t know what I want to do yet and I don’t want to make any rash decisions that I’ll regret. I have to also think about my mental health – I still need counselling which I’ll probably pursue after my degree, and I’m relying on myself to get the support I need. Maybe this acceptance of reality, and acknowledgement that it’s okay to be uncertain, ties in with my belief that I will do the right thing and I will take the time to make the right decision for me. And I think I do have that belief in myself. Self-belief is complex!
I hope this touches someone’s heart today, and I hope we can all work towards believing in ourselves, however hard it may be.