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Proneness to stupidities causing loss of self-confidence


   In submitting a computer program a few minutes ago I was 
   looking all over for the pen to sign it in.  I probably looked 
   for at least a minute when Janet asked if I needed a pen and 
   went to get one.  Then Grace Peters walked in, saw what was 
   happening, and pointed the pen out to me.  It was stuck right 
   in the clipboard that held the sign-in sheet!  I said "Oh!". 
   And I felt a bit foolish and stupid.  Worst of all, this same 
   thing has happened once or twice before.  And Grace has had to 
   show me the pen!  What is the explanation?  Absentmindedness, I 
   suppose.  But the main point I wish to make is this:  There is 
   a connection between incidents such as this and problems of 
   lack of confidence and the inferiority complex.  Now when 
   something like this happens to me I am embarrassed but have 
   forgotten it in a few minutes.  It doesn't work on my mind as 
   such things once did.  Why?  Because I have proven myself to 
   myself.  I have confidence in myself.  I have accomplished too 
   much, attained too much, to seriously doubt myself.  But when I 
   was younger I was indeed prone to such unaccountable 
   "stupidities" and then I couldn't pass it off so easily.  I 
   would feel stupid and mortified and it would start working on 
   my mind.  I looked stupid to others and to myself.  I didn't 
   have to ask others what they thought. It was obvious what they 
   thought.  I didn't have past deeds and accomplishments to 
   support me and bolster me up.  Was there something wrong with 
   me?  Was I stupid?  Why not?  What proof had I except wishful 
   thinking?  The acute mortification and agitation of mind would 
   soon carry into anger and bitterness against people and 
   society.  "People and society judge too quickly, they draw 
   conclusions too readily", I would bitterly think.  "Reality is 
   not simple --- it is very complicated, deceptive and ill-
   understood".

   My mind played tricks on me.  I did stupid things and didn't 
   understand why.  I wasn't willing to regard myself as stupid 
   for it, yet there was that nagging doubt. 

   Aug 1977




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