It can only get better

Today’s WordPress writing prompt is an interesting question, that I thought would be fun to ponder on. Let’s see where it goes.

How would you rate your confidence level?

This is it… The prompt

First of all, it’s hard to really judge one’s confidence levels. Should I give it a score? Maybe a percentage, where 100% is a bucket full of confidence. Filled to the rim… Let’s do that.

Then. Confidence level. On what? It’s not exactly something that holds true across all layers of personality. Or am I the odd one out here? For me, it varies tremendously, from a bucket with a few drops, to a bucket that’s close to full.

I could come up with an endless list, but I’ve decided to cap it at seven things to showcase the range. Why seven? Because I say so. Write your own blog if you want more. They are not ordered. That felt out of place for confidence levels.

Writing (30%) – This number may seem remarkably low for someone that writes as much as I do. The thing is, I don’t find my writing to be particularly remarkable, and if I read back some old posts (I rarely do) I don’t go fuckyea about them. I think the same of my academic writing, which can be painfully boring and dull to read anyway. I find my papers rather uninspiring. I think scientific papers are dull ans uninspiring writing by design, and I don’t think that will change much. I can live with it. Their point is to get the message across. For that, they work. I’m satisfied. With the more creative writing and storytelling, I think there’s a lot to gain. I’m 100% confident that I will become better and more confident as long as I keep writing. But for now. Thirty is a reasonable number. Room for growth, and it’s not zero.

Green thumbs (87.3%) – I’m pretty fucking good with plants. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve worked with plants professionally since I was thirteen. And before that as a hobby since forever. I’ve created gardens that you would wish were yours, and have maintained some that were even more impressive. I’ve cared for hundreds of tropical plant species, from the simple Monstera deliciosa (which is awesome anyway) to Welwitschia mirabilis (which I killed after a year of care – so I’m not 100% confident).

Cooking (65.4%) – I cook well. I cook better meals for much less money than any of the restaurants in the area that I can afford. However, there’s still substantial room for improvement. I’m good with Middle Eastern and Asian flavors, and reasonable with Mexican. Mediterranean is a mixed bag. I’m probably not the best meat chef anymore. And I suck at anything doughy. I would love to work on it and make pasta, pizza and bread from my own dough. Maybe it’s something I will work on in the coming summer. I’m considering a bread oven for the garden…

Public speaking (12.1%) – This probably sounds stupid for someone who teaches regularly and has to present a lot of stuff to various groups of people. I probably don’t completely suck, but I am also not confident about it. I’m more introverted than people think, so I don’t like the act of public speaking very much. It’s something that drains me. Some people seem to thrive on it. Not me. I ramble my gibberish in a nervous darkness, and then I cannot recall what I have talked about in any way. People sometimes compliment me on a nice presentation, and I firmly believe they are lying. I think I could be better than I am. I’m most unconfident about my academic speaking. I’m much more confident about more free styles of public speaking. For instance, I really like q&a sessions, where I can answer stuff from my perspective, using personal anecdotes. That sort of speaking brings my confidence up to 12 ish %. Otherwise it would hover around 5%.

Tying shoe laces (97.8%) – I’m no artist, but I tie a solid knot, that rarely loosens. I’ve practiced the craft, and have mastered it. I believe I could do this with my eyes closed. It’s not a 100% because my kids have velcro shoes…

Dancing (2%) – I give myself credit for sometimes being able to wiggle on the beat. Other than that, I’m uninspired, uncreative, and have two arms. I like the concept, and try to teach my kids to dance with confidence, but I’m a terrible example.

Parenting (80%) – I’m pretty confident about the way things are going. Almost four years in and still going alright. None in prison. No little shits either. Just two little happy humans. I’m by no means perfect. But owning imperfections is part of confidence. It really helps that my son goes through this phase where he has to comment on everything: “This is the best XXX you have ever made”, where XXX can be anything from breakfast cereals to a tub ful of bath water, to some cut up toilet paper rolls. It’s a confidence boost. I know it won’t last.

Seven random things, and as you can see, it’s quite a rollercoaster of confidence. How would I rate my confidence overall? Probably at 15% or so. My mind believes that 85% of people are more confident than me.

I guess it all doesn’t matter nicht. Confident or not. Just go for it. It can probably only get better.

The Staffelsee has little to do with confidence, but the weather was nice!

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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