I’ve always considered myself entirely average; I’ve never excelled at anything and, unlike seemingly everyone else, I have no hidden talents. Self confidence was always a huge issue for me and held me back in so many ways.
Work wise, I constantly compared myself unfavourably to my colleagues. There was a brief period many years ago at Cardiff Uni when I had two lovely, wonderful managers – one of whom in particular became (and has remained) one of my dearest friends – who made me feel truly valued. But since then my self confidence at work nose-dived. I ended up being my own worst enemy, made things worse for myself and I was very miserable. Even when I changed jobs, finally leaving international student recruitment and the frequent jet-setting around the world (not nearly as glamorous as it sounds, though it did of course have its moments), I struggled to find my niche. It has to be said that wasn’t helped by dreadful, undermining management but I always assumed people thought I was ok but really weren’t that fussed and not particularly impressed.
Personal life wise, I wasn’t much better. I blamed myself for losing touch with friends and then thought they wouldn’t want to hear from me because they resented me for it.
I treated friends – and colleagues – as if they didn’t like me so ended up pushing them away further.
Becoming ill changed all that. I had visits from friends – and family – I hadn’t seen for years, who travelled across the country to see me just for an hour or two. I’ve received such lovely messages from long-lost friends too. It was truly humbling and very, very touching. I’ve had visits and lovely messages from colleagues as well. Not to mention the fundraising events that were organised for MND in my name (sadly cancelled due to coronavirus) – that really blew me away. I consider myself very blessed.
I wish I’d known what people thought of me. What a difference it would have made. But that was no one’s fault but my own.
So if I can pass on one message to you, it’s this: believe in yourself and treat people as if they love and value you, because the good ones will reflect that in their treatment of you, and the horrible ones will show their true colours and can take a running jump! We’re all just stumbling along in this world – be kind to others but be kind to yourself too.
Besides, the world needs us average people – otherwise how would the superstars look like superstars?!