Probably not the last time I’ll envy Dumbledore

I spent most of last week prepping for a new online workshop I taught on Friday. I always get nervous giving a new workshop, mostly because of a complete lack of faith in my ability to think on my feet. Is admitting to being a loser brave? I’m going with “yes.”

The workshop went well, I think, and except for one blip early on, the notoriously tetchy eLearning platform didn’t give me any trouble.

But I was nervous throughout, and it got me thinking. What if I could remove the pervasive “I don’t know what I am doing” worry from my brain? If I could have it surgically removed, or for the Harry Potter literate among you, dump it into a pensieve and never look at it again.

What if I had complete confidence that no matter what happened, I could handle it? Who would I be? Who would my girls grow up to be with a mother like that?

There is nothing funny here and no real story. Just pondering something that has frustrated me for, oh, most of my life.

Clearly I need to watch this video again (and again).

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15 Responses to Probably not the last time I’ll envy Dumbledore

  1. Maybe you just need a theme song like the little boy in the video.

  2. booksnob says:

    I have wondered the same thing many times. I think I would be a completely different person if I was actually confident about anything. For the most part, any confidence I show for myself is a front to get people to leave me alone. >.<

  3. Good questions! Got me thinking…does it count if you always act like you know what you’re doing even if you’re completely clueless? I wish I could remove that worry from my brain as well (and some days I wish for a full lobotomy). ; )

  4. Muff says:

    It’s funny. When I think about the portfolio of women that I know in totality, and filter that list to focus on the confidnet, capable ones, you definitely are on the list. It’s peculiar to me that you see yourself so far removed from that.

    Can I make a suggestion? If one of your friends came to you with a problem, you would dig in and help them solve it, and likely boost them up along the way. I know this because I have seen you do this. Now, make yourself your own “friend in need”.

    If the evidence is in the data for you, then start to gather data to help you convince yourself that you are really good at what you do, and that you have the mind to solve problems as they occur. You can do this by asking for fedback at the end of the session, asking your customers who are sponsoring the workshops, ask the participants, etc. If you really want to get data, develop a 360 feedback forum about yourself that you send to your client base and see what you get back. Ask questions like “What are Dory’s best strengths”, What does Dory need to improve upon”, etc. Then you have feedback from those that matter most – the clients. If they are telling you that that think you are great, believe them. If this is too candid an approach, come up with one that works for you since I know how good you are at creative solutions!

    From the immortal words of Stuart Smalley – You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!

  5. I wonder about these questions, too. Some days I think I have a handle on how lack of faith in my abilities became my default gear and I believe that knowledge, and just saying “no,” can change my pattern. Then it all starts up again as if by some remote control, as if these thoughts are a drug — my illicit drug that works as horribly as all the others in the news.

    Maybe someday there will be love and support inside my own home. Or maybe someday I’ll find the depth of my own love and support for myself. If either of those work, I’ll sing it from the rooftops. Figuratively speaking. 🙂

  6. notquiteold says:

    My husband can sometimes be too cautious. When we first got married I gave him a paperweight that said, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” I thought it was profound and a beautiful paperweight too. He thought it was a criticism. Oh well.
    For you I offer this: What do you want to do, even though you might fail?

  7. You would be Hitler. Nothing personal. I just think that anyone who is that completely confident is bound to be an oppressive tyrant because they never question whether or not what they are doing is right. Trust me, you are a better person this way.

  8. Gilly says:

    IMHO, your girls are lucky to have a thoughtful and introspective mom who is trying new things and daring to be brave when it isn’t easy. You are certainly not a shrinking violet. You rise to all of these occasions–leading workshops, tap dancing, managing clients, bee handling (still jealous), sticking up for yourself and your kids. That will inspire your girls when the going gets tough.

  9. I’d like to remove that worry too but I think everytime you worry and get through it, you naturally climb a notch on the confidence scale.

  10. gojulesgo says:

    I feel like I would be a completely different person if I could walk into those kinds of situations without thinking “I know nothing!” But just the fact that you’re still doing them despite your fear is what makes you brave! 🙂

  11. Angie Z. says:

    I don’t know how this relates but I would promptly throw up on my shoes if someone were to at this very moment call to tell me I have to give a speech in fifteen minutes. That might include leading an online workshop. So I’d say you’re brave there, no matter the nervousness.

  12. workmomad says:

    It’s the same kind of worry when you (or at least I) get two thirds of the way through writing something and start to think that it’s not any good. I think whether we admit it or not, we all are saddled with that voice in some aspect of our lives. The more important lesson your daughters are learning is that you should not give in to that voice, but keep working towards things you want to do in spite of it.


  13. workmomad says:

    P.S. Remember that bravery is not being without fear, but having the ability to overcome fear. Bravery is much more to be admired than fearlessness!


  14. ottabelle says:

    Admitting that you don’t know what you’re doing is important. Thinking you don’t know what you’re doing when you do isn’t so great. I think it’s important to have the thought of “I don’t know what I’m doing.” It causes us to lean on people.

    You should admit to yourself when you do know what you’re doing, though. I think, deep inside you, you do know. Because I have the same feeling.

    I could be wrong about you though, and applying me to you may not fit you exactly. I’m just saying how I’ve experienced something similar.

    Good luck becoming brave, I’m going to keep watch!

  15. Food for thought, there. On the one hand, I think it would be wonderful to never question myself, to always KNOW that what I was doing was the right thing, and that my work would always come out well. But on the other hand, I don’t particularly enjoy being around people who are quite that confident. Does anyone? As tempting as it sounds, I think it might be lonely.

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