The Co-op Confidence Boost
Self-worth and self-confidence both have many different aspects. They are fluid, they change, they fluctuate. However, in my experience, there is a baseline, much like an average.
A person with lower self-confidence may sometimes still feel confident in certain situations, but on an aggregate basis, might feel confident less often than another person with higher self-confidence.
Another perspective of this could be the volatility in the fluctuations of self-worth. Maybe a person with higher self-worth has less volatility between feeling really great or feeling really bad about themselves. They instead trod along at a somewhat constant level.
Why does any of this matter? Firstly, because what I am about to discuss is a trend towards higher aggregate self-worth, and because I am not an expert, I have articulated my view on how I see it. Secondly, because it impacts us and has impacted me daily.
While I can’t quantify where I am or was at on a theoretical scale of self-worth, I can tell you that my current state is relatively higher than it was 4 months ago. Why is that?
Well, when you start a new job, such as me starting my new and first co-op at BCI, you are constantly seeking approval from others, such as your supervisor, and are focused on the external validation of your work.
In my experience, if I felt something was received well and I was awarded positive feedback – woohoo – I was on top of the world and the best co-op ever. Then, if I didn’t receive that same level of positivity and encouragement for the next deliverable, I started doubting my value or feeling guilty for not working hard enough.
It took me a little while to realize, when I was thinking about BCI’s Clients First value, that I was making the work I was doing more about me than the actual deliverable that I was working on.
The quality and work were still there, but I was attaching my ability to add value to it. The work needs to be about producing the top result if it is received by or associated with a large client.
It’s not about me, and it is about me. I became confident in my abilities, which led me to understand that no one was expecting me to deliver a perfect product requiring no revision or edits.
Most of the time, things will be edited just based on some level of personal preference anyways that would be nearly impossible to account for. Before, I was more reluctant to ask for help or stop at the earlier stages of a draft for feedback because I was insecure and wanted to make it the best I could before anyone saw it.
Now, I am confident in my ability to do the best I can while asking questions to make sure that what I am doing is aligned with the desired output for clients. Part of this is putting in the effort to fully understand a task and the purpose behind it when it is assigned. This way, you can optimize it towards its purpose throughout the task instead of following instructions.
You can follow instructions perfectly, but if those instructions get changed, then you still need to make changes. I now see revisions, edits, and feedback not as an attack on my ability, but as a way to improve. Furthermore, I now understand that the work I do adds value, saves time and that the final result reflects the team’s process instead of placing a judgement on my individual effort.
Thank you, co-op, for the confidence boost.