Picture your ideal version of yourself. What is that person like? We all have different versions of ourselves depending on the environment we are in and the people we are around. There are probably some “yous” that you like more than others. It is difficult to have completely consistent character because we react differently in different situations. I’m my favourite Caroline Ehrhardt when I am training and competing (shocker!). When I’m on the track, I’m my most confident, most comfortable, most determined, and the best part, it’s when I am the happiest. At practice, I try to take on a leadership role. I’m comfortable being in control because I am very sure of myself. I’m outgoing. I love helping others and being part of a team. I know I know, this chick sounds pretty cool! Okay, so what’s the problem?
Unfortunately, I don’t live on a track and field. There’s about 20 hours out of each day where I am not training or competing which means I am not this ideal version of myself. So who am I the rest of the time? If I’m not at the track I’m usually in class. When I am in the classroom, I am literally the exact opposite of who I am when I am on the track. I have little confidence, and as a result I do not participate in discussions. As soon as I step into the classroom I am overcome with apathy because I feel like I’d rather be somewhere else. In group projects, I let others take charge because I’m not very sure of myself. In oral presentations I sometimes am on the verge of tears because I feel so shy having to speak in front of people. Don’t get me wrong, I do care about my education and get good grades because outside of the classroom, I put in a lot work. But something comes over me when I’m in the classroom and I just don’t understand it. Shy? Indifferent? Unsure of myself? That’s not me!
That’s not me.
Yet, it is. In fact, the classroom version of Caroline Ehrhardt is just as much me as the track and field version of Caroline Ehrhardt is. That is scary to think about, and it is certainly something I want to try to work on. I won’t always have track and field, and I do NOT want to be classroom Caro 100% of the time once I retire from sport! So what do I do?
I think that this can be fixed with a common remedy – confidence! If I am more confident in the classroom, I will be more comfortable participating. Once I become more comfortable participating I will feel more sure of my role in group projects, and eventually I might even feel okay about public speaking. This all in turn, will probably make me less apathetic because I won’t feel so bored now that I’m actually doing something and contributing to the class. How do I be more confident though? As I’ve said before – fake it ’til you make it! I need to walk into the classroom each day like I’m the Usain Bolt of academia!
THERE! DONE! I’M A CHANGED WOMAN! If only it was that easy. But hey, the first step is recognizing the problem, right? So let me turn this over to you. When are you the “you” that you like the most, and what can you do to try to be this person more consistently in other areas of your life?
For the record, I think all versions of “you” are just super (winking face).