Confidence. Google Dictionary defines confidence as a noun meaning, “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” When was the last time you felt confident? When was the last time you brought to mind affirmations of your own abilities or qualities? Each person responds to confidence in a different way. For me, I’ve always shied away from confidence. I more commonly experience bouts of self-doubt and insecurity. During grad school, I’ve found these moments of uncertainty bring unnecessary stress and anxiety to myself. Luckily for me, I have a supportive thesis advisor who recently (and time and time again when I express these challenging moments) said to me, “own it.”
Now, by no means do I want to become a person filled with arrogance or who loves to brag, but I absolutely love my PI’s (Principal Investigator) words, “own it“. Sometimes, I think we all need a cheerleader, especially for graduate students who may be routinely facing things that don’t seem to work. Everyone can benefit from having someone there to remind us that we know things and we have (and are developing) valuable skills. For me, I’d like to make “own it” my personal little mantra to guide me through the remainder of my graduate school journey. For those who struggle from self-doubt and lack of confidence, I encourage you to consider doing the same.
Cultivating self-love and self-appreciation creates a healthy perspective that could lead to greater happiness. The practice of mindfulness is one approach towards cultivating self-love and self-appreciation. In my experience, mindfulness is teaching me how to bring kindness to myself. Building kindness for myself also builds my confidence. By owning my science, and owning myself, I’m better able to communicate my work to others, and I’m more likely to speak up at group meeting. I desire to weave a small sphere of confidence that can shine deep inside of myself, that I can call on to illuminate the way when I face the lows in my research. I hope that all graduate students can create their own internal beacon, whatever it be, to help guide them through the ups-and-downs of research. Always remember,
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