General Question

fremen_warrior's avatar

Have you ever lost due to a sudden blow to your self-confidence?

Asked by fremen_warrior (5461 points ) December 18th, 2012

No matter what area of life – did you ever start succeeding in something only to fall short because you either started doubting in your ability to keep on being great, or perhaps someone “clipped your wings” as you were taking off?

I can think of a few cases when the perspective of success I was bound to achieve made me crash and burn, and at least one time when one sentence from a ‘nobody’ completely shattered my self confidence, and blasted me out of “the zone” I just entered…

Did you ever experience something like this? What’s the logic behind this?

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7 Answers

Paradox25's avatar

The only time this happens to me is when some type of obstacle hinders me from doing something that I was initially interested in. Many times when this happens to me I’ll tend to lose the motivation that I initially had, due to just time factors, life circumstances or new interests. Confidence is nothing, motivation is everything, well at least to me.

burntbonez's avatar

I can’t give you an example, but I feel certain this has happened to me.

Unbroken's avatar

Yes. I can’t think of an instance. But I know I am pretty judgemental of myself. If I am expanding my bubble I am already in a delicate position mentally. Cumulative effects of negativity from others and myself easily create a vortex for me.

However I can also see think of instances where it spurred me on. At least initially if the task or change is a shortlived process I can make it. Those are the instances I remember the most. Where someone’s criticism and disbelief propelled me on.

Shippy's avatar

Yes very much so. It became a circle I could not break free from. I’m still trying to overcome this, by thought switching. As the negative ones can become ingrained very quickly. :)

SABOTEUR's avatar

Two instances immediately come to mind. But these failures occurred because of my own perceived inadequacies, not because of something someone said. The first occurred while serving in the military. After 4 years of working primarily in the ship’s laundry (US Navy), I opted to try something a bit more challenge. So upon my reenlistment, I decided I wanted to ride submarines. Upon graduating sub school and arriving about my assigned sub, I quickly discovered serving aboard this vessel required a lot more study, physical effort and drive than I was willing to commit to. In short, being assigned to a submarine is just the beginning. You have to “qualify” to stay on! “Qualification” requires demonstrating a working knowledge of Everything…I mean everything concerning the operation of that sub and the job functions of everyone aboard it. I couldn’t cut it.

After 6 months, with the help of a congressman, I was permitted to go back to what I did previously. That failure continues to influence my decisions today.

The second instance occurred when I decided to become a tractor-trailer driver. Again, I graduated school, got on the road and discovered I wasn’t cut out to be away from home for extended periods. After several semi-successful driving delivery jobs, I opted for a less strenuous position with the federal government.

Which brings me to how these failures influenced me in later years. I was perfectly satisfied with my entry level mail room position , but I tired of people advising me to put in for promotions so I submitted an application for a job I had no particular interest in. Upon being accepted and trained for my new position, I was assigned to a permanent work area for mentoring and on-the-job training…only to discover I had no mentor and there would be no additional training. To make matters worse, I had moved from a manual labor position to a technical position, but there was no one to advise me on technical issues. What’s more, there was no one to correct me concerning errors.

Now, because of my previous failures, I carried the fear that someone would discover I didn’t know what I was doing! I carried this fear for close to 2 years. (Had I known that no one would be monitoring my work I would have relaxed and simply collected my paycheck every 2 weeks.) The ignorance of this fact and my fear of being “revealed” (and possibly fired) PUSHED me to master my job function on my own. What a miserable year and a half that was. The end result, some 11 years later, is I’ve become one of just a handful of employees who actually KNOW and UNDERSTAND my job function.

I’m not privy to why a change occurred, but within the past year or so a major reorganization began. My agency has awakened to the fact that they’ve been literally paying people to simply show up for work. Up to now, KNOWING your job wasn’t a requirement. They merely wanted the work MOVED. To make matters worse, my job has become more specialized. The workforce has decreased through promotion and attrition. New hires have to be trained and the “old folks” must be retrained. There’s also a continual demand for technical assistance on pending issues.

Guess who they’ve turned to to get the job done.

fremen_warrior's avatar

@SABOTEUR thank you for the story :-) I chuckled at the end, karma isn’t all that bad as it seems after all, heh. I’m still in the process of making something out of my life, hopefully I will be able to use my failures to my advantage like you did someday. Cheers!

SABOTEUR's avatar

It was a friggin’ story, wasn’t it?

(How embarrassing.)

It does go to show how those things in our lives we label “good” or “bad”, “success” or “failure” really just reflect our limited perspective. In reality, we don’t know the purpose of anything other than the value we assign to it at any given moment.

My first marriage was a big “failure”. If that “failure” hadnt occurred I wouldn’t have met the woman who I’ve spent the past 30 years with.

Far better, I think, to ask oneself “what do I need to learn from this” than to delude ourselves into thinking we know what an event means in our lives and quickly assign it a label.

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