There’s been a theme to the advice I’ve gotten this week: act confident even if you don’t feel it. This has always been one of those things that confuses me massively – I don’t believe in lying to myself about how I feel, as I’ve learned from hard experience that it’s a good way to lose touch with what’s going on in your head.
On another level, I still have a hard time grasping the idea that I deserve to have confidence. A look at my work should reassure me, but instead it seems unreal, or as if I magically slipped by somehow. I’m my own harshest critic, the first to tear down my own ideas, the one that notices how unambitious, illogical, and unfocused I can be. When I behave with confidence, good things happen, but I feel ridiculous – like a faker making a fool of myself in front of the world.
So far this has been pretty consistent with my worldview. I’ve gotten through life by finding out what others want from me and making it happen, doing what’s expected of me, meeting standards. Given the landscape of libraryland, it’s hard to say what the standards are going to be, and that’s rough for me.
On the one hand, it can be paralyzing, but it also puts me in a position where I have the freedom to be a success at whatever the hell I think librarianship should be. I just have to choose not to be paralyzed, and to give a big middle finger to my own inner critic. I doubt that this will be a change that will come easily, but I’ve gotten to a point where doing what’s expected is no longer satisfactory or effective. I need to stop waiting for opportunities to take advantage of, and start deciding what I want to do and doing it.