So, I was wondering how did you overcome low (self) confidence even though you have accomplished so much? I received this direct message from a student nurse anesthetist (SRNA) having a tough week in clinicals. And if you are reading this you may also be asking yourself this same question.
Before diving in any further, I have received a ton of questions and great comments this past week on various things. From lack of confidence to helping develop a plan for nurse anesthesia school. Just remember, no matter what keep pushing and moving forward on your CRNA journey. So anyway, I just wanted to get that out there!
What others say about low self- confidence
Before I get into the “how did you overcome low (self) confidence” question- here is what other more knowledgeable people than myself have to say about low self- confidence:
– Discovering how to be confident in yourself isn’t an overnight process – it takes time. By shifting how you present yourself physically and what you focus on mentally, you can create confidence that will help propel you toward your goals. Source
– There are many reasons for low self- confidence, the obvious being not believing to be good enough. Research has shown that it is built on early life experiences and it can also vary from time to time as per the situations. Source
– The first step is being able to recognize the negative self-talk when it’s in action. The second step? Flipping the commentary to something more positive. Source
– Low levels of self-esteem can be linked to social anxiety, lack of confidence, and depression. The healthiest type of self-esteem is moderate self-esteem that is based more on valuing one’s inherent worth as a person and less about comparing oneself to others. In this sense, if your goal is to develop more self-confidence, it is better to focus on having high levels of self-worth rather than high levels of self-esteem. Source
– You might have low confidence now because of what happened when you were growing up, but we can grow and develop new ways of seeing ourselves at any age. Source
Are you confused yet? I hope not- but it can be overcome. My answer was basically put this way- overcoming low self- confidence while in CRNA school requires daily tactics. There is no cookie cutter way. In my opinion, it all starts with believing in yourself and ditching the imposter syndrome.
Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – E.E. Cummings
Let me share a little secret with you- prior to going to CRNA school I was actually quite confident. I always felt I could do anything I put my mind to. At that time, I already had a number of degrees ranging from Engineering up to Nursing. But the moment I stepped on campus to start my CRNA program, my confidence ran the other way.
In my first 6 months of CRNA school, I spent countless hours at my school’s counseling office working hard to muster up some confidence. There I learned low self- confidence is also a symptom of imposter syndrome. As you may remember from a past article I wrote, imposter syndrome is when an individual has this overwhelming sense of fraud. Basically not being good enough for the success they’ve achieved. This is what I felt, then one day things changed for me.
My way of overcoming it
This is what I did and how I answered the question:
– You have to give yourself permission to not know everything while in CRNA school. If you did you wouldn’t be in school.
– You also need to realize you are not the only one experiencing imposter syndrome. You are not alone.
– Also speak daily affirmations, think about all you have accomplished in order to become a SRNA. If that doesn’t inspire you- think about becoming one of 52,000 CRNAs in this country. This is a big deal and such a huge accomplishment. And if that doesn’t work, write down all you’ve done and visit it as often as needed until you believe you are worthy to be where you are.
– And definitely share your thoughts with a friend, mentor or counselor. Oftentimes speaking will a counselor, like in my situation, is needed to overcome imposter syndrome and regain your self- confidence.
I found there are definitely ways to increase your self- confidence although it may take time. Hopefully, you are still not confused. I found the above articles helpful on this topic. There are a lot more available by doing a web search as well. Always feel free to reach out to me. Above all, there is no need to go at this alone.
Have you experienced low self- confidence? If, so how have you overcome it?
All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.