I have recently come to understand the importance of small victories. You need small victories to build up confidence.
Ulcerative colitis shattered my confidence. Going through so many life altering surgeries had a great impact. And hardly ever being able to finish tasks without my body failing me certainly didn’t help to give me the “you can tackle the world” mentality.
I get really excited about opportunities when they present itself that I sometimes fail to see that they might be more than I am ready for. This causes me a lot of anxiety, which hinders my ability to sleep and exacerbates my migraines. It is always the same.
I recently walked away from an amazing opportunity for this exact reason. The opportunity fell into my lap and it was an amazing one but I hadn’t had the chance to conquer anything small yet. I had no confidence in myself. But I felt like I should be able to do it so I kept pushing. My body and mind were completely breaking down but I wouldn’t allow myself to stop until I pretty much reached rock bottom.
In hindsight, I realize that the issue wasn’t really the job or the situation, but more the timing of it all. I needed to have some wind under my wings, so to speak. I needed to have a little time where I was in a position where I was doing things that I could be successful at in order to restore the confidence that IBD took from me. I was never going to feel comfortable tackling things I had never done before or had no experience with until I had some other things under my belt that I had done WELL in.
I love learning new things, enjoy meeting new people, and visiting new places. However, I need to have some small victories before I can take it a step further and be challenged. I recognize that my psyche can’t handle failure right now and that is exactly the position I felt I was in.
Was I failing? No. But it didn’t matter to my body or mind how I was being perceived. I had lost a lot of who I was and anything that could be perceived as “not good enough” or “letting anyone down” was truly eating away at me.
Inflammatory bowel disease can wreck havoc on your body and mind in all sorts of ways. The one thing none of us can afford to lose or have shaken is our confidence. And when we do, we need to do whatever we can to take baby steps to get it back. It is far from easy and I am clearly not an expert but I do believe that having some small victories under your belt will give you the confidence you need to go after some of the bigger things you’d like to accomplish. And that in and of itself will help to restore whatever confidence you may have lost.