I always believe I was smart. Mainly because my parents told me I am.

I was an honor student when I graduated from high school, I passed quarterly exams with flying colors even though I just reviewed for an hour. I passed the University of the Philippines’ entrance exam which further confirmed my “smartness”. I got 3 scholarships going to college which again further validated my intellect and built my confidence.

Well, it all came crashing down on my first semester in the university… I failed a subject that is a pre-requisite for all future major subjects and it didn’t stop there, I failed a couple more and I wondered, where did my so-called “smartness” go?

Of course, I tried to make up for this blunder by taking a graduate course to hopefully get that confidence back. I did, most of it, but from time to time I doubt myself.

And just today, thanks to my coach, I learned that confidence has 2 parts, one is you feel you got the skills to be here and the other, you deserve to be here. One cannot exist without the other. You will not have confidence if you feel you lack the skills and you feel you don’t deserve to be where you are.

What’s my point? It took me a while to get my confidence back, I’m not saying I don’t doubt myself anymore, I’m not saying I don’t fear failure but I’m more confident now after that faithful semester! I think acceptance has a big factor in moving forward, knowing when it started and why it started helped me mend that wound. So the next time you doubt yourself, say this to yourself… I got the skills to be here and I deserve to be here!