Life in the Fast Lane


On Confidence

By 3:01 PM , , , , ,

I've realized something lately. And this came about because of a conversation I had with my sister yesterday. She was really happy with what I was doing to one of her photos for her Lookbook page and I said something along the lines of, "It's not that amazing." She said, "Why do you say things like that?"

Basically, I realized that I don't exactly believe in myself.

Sure I acknowledge that God gave me talents and skills and I thank Him for them. I'm grateful that I can string together sentences and words and that I work as a writer. I'm grateful that I have an artistic side; without this, I wouldn't be able to doodle, render artworks on Photoshop and have photography as a passion. I'm grateful for my love of languages and that I can actually pick up words and pronunciations fairly quickly. I'm also grateful for my pseudo-athleticism (I wouldn't say I'm an all-around athlete, though; far from it).

However, whenever I engage in something that requires a skill or talent of mine, half the time, I'm wondering if what I'm doing is good enough. There's a part of me that always feels that someone can do it better. There's also that part of me that wonders why I bother.

I guess you could say that I tend to self-deprecate. It's the reason why I always downplay words of encouragement by saying things like "No, anyone else can do this" or by giving a sheepish smile. Sometimes, I'll give suggestions in relation to compliments given to me, i.e. "You should check out so-and-so. Her writing's so much better!"

It's weird because in the industry I work in, the ego must be present. The ads that we create are our babies: products of our imaginations and emotions. We have to have enough confidence to sell these ideas to our bosses first, followed by our clients. It's why we feel bad whenever we don't get an approval. It's why we take things personally when something negative is said about our work.

I have enough of that much-needed ego to survive in this industry. I'm confident enough to believe in the lines I write and the stories I fabricate. I bank on this confidence and put on my game face and sell my ideas — oftentimes with flair.

Perhaps this is because I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

Okay, fine. I am one.

I'm never satisfied. When I was younger and I used to draw Disney-inspired comics, I would trash or rip apart an entire page if, say, one strand of hair didn't come out right. I could've just erased my mistakes, sure, but I wasn't happy with the thought that something was wrong. Today, whenever I have to write something, I check, triple check, then quintuple check to see if there's anything I missed out on. Whenever I take a photo, I make sure that my settings are always on burst mode so that I have six to eight shots per pose/layout to choose from.

There's always this strong desire to better myself in every way possible. I always believe that my most recent ad should be better than the last one. That my photography should've improved tremendously compared to how I shot six months ago. That I should be able to do a 50-kilometer bike run by now.

I think I need to believe in myself more. I need to believe that God gave me these talents and skills for a reason. Not because I am to be compared to a zillion others out there with similar talents and skills.

I'd like to believe it's because He gave me all these because He wants me to fully realize who and what I can be.

In the meantime, I'll try my very best to make Him proud.

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  1. God never asked or expected us to be the best with whatever craft He gave us, He just asks that we DO our best and give Him back the glory :)

    I was also reminded of this verse recently, "For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Sam. 16:7
    It's so easy to feel like we're always being judged, being compared (hey, I'm like that too), but let's not forget, that as long as our motives are in check, and we do it for Him, we've already done our best. And THAT we can be proud of :)

    And hey Tin, as what is obvious, you amaze me :D Sitting by your side as you Photoshop like it was a reflex action is totally awesome! I've always believed that you have great talent. Cut yourself some slack. Try to look at yourself with the kind of pride that we have for you :)

    I love you my forever artsy, SPECIAL sister! ;)

  2. You are so amazing and talented, Tina. God has blessed you with SO MUCH and it is a lie to think you are not good enough or that you don't measure up. You are extraordinary. Embrace it and use it to touch the world <3

  3. @ Cooks: Thanks so much for your encouraging words (and wisdom)! I appreciate how hardworking you are and the fact that even if our personalities are as different as night and day, somehow, we complement one another. Love you, too!

  4. @ Isa: You bless me so much with your wisdom through your writing. Keep shining for Jesus! I'm proud of you!


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