I've been talking about working for some time now as a newly hired substitue teacher, but I haven't worked a day yet. I am afraid, more than I care to admit, though I am getting use to the idea of being employed. It is early in the school year. I will have my first day soon enough.
Way back in my high school era I recall going to a certain clothing shop downtown. I remember an older woman who was newly employed there. I believe I may well have observed her first day on the job.
She was sitting in a chair close to the back of the store behind the counter, not trying to look conspicuous. She was weeping while another employee was softly whispering to her and comforting her. After some consoling, she wiped her eyes, took a deep breath, and got up to go about her business. She had a look of determination, but it was still obvious that this job was difficult for her. She was uneasy in her assignment and her behavior showed that she very much lacked self-confidence, but you could see she was trying. It was hard for her to talk with people, to go up to them and ask if they needed help.
I very well remember that day so long ago and remember too how it touched me. I felt such concern for this woman. I also observed her through the coming years. I saw her confidence grow with time. She became very self-assured. Her actions once hesitant and faltering became abilities of poise and certainty. I wanted to tell her how proud I was of her, how I had seen her flourish and mature. In my eyes, I was "just a kid" and she was 30 years my senior or so I thought. I didn't have the self-assurance to give her such a complement. And now, I look back, focused on this memory wishing I could tell her how her example has inspired me. As I carry out my employment responsibilities, I too will grow strong in my competence and abilities.
Here I go!
"The way to develop self-confidence
is to do the thing you fear."
--William Jennings Bryan