Everyone makes mistakes, and when it comes to my youth work I’ve made some clangers! Hopefully by reproducing them here, it may give you a bit of a laugh and help you to avoid doing the same thing.
Mistake #8: Not believing in myself
This may seem a strange topic to follow on from Mistake #7 about thinking I know best, but the truth is I can be quite contradictory – at least internally. On some things I know my own mind and am absolutely convinced I am doing the correct thing, yet at the same time I can be doubting and second guessing other choices and decisions constantly! Self doubt can be a crippling problem that stops us being effective in our job, relationships and general life.
An important example of this for me was when I went for my first ever youth work job interview (and my second ever interview). I was 19 and confident that I wanted to work with young people despite not really knowing what that entailed. When I was taken into the interview room, I suddenly felt very self-conscious and couldn’t bring myself to look at the three people interviewing me! They asked me a bunch of questions which I must have answered well, but I simply didn’t believe I should be there. Why had I even gone for that job? What was I thinking? These people would never hire me! In that situation, nearly everything positive faded away and left me feeling pretty useless.
Amazingly though, I was offered the job! I later found out it was because of my local knowledge (as I wrote about here), but my manager spent the next few years publicly encouraging me at every opportunity.
I do still have moments where I doubt my own abilities and think that I’m not good enough or educated enough or liked enough to achieve something. ButÂ I love what fellow youth worker Roy Hutch wrote on his blog a few weeks ago:
Remember â€“ you will make mistakes, you will get it wrong, you will screw up once in a while.Â Thatâ€™s life, it does not mean you are finished.
Have confidence in yourself, a right understanding of your ability, learn to love yourself appropriately.Â Be confident that you are capable of many things â€“ you are not a failure because you have failed.Â Learn to have confidence in yourself.
So what about you?
Have YOU ever had a moment when you really wondered if you were cut out for this role? What happened? Share with us in the comments!