What Does It Take to Believe in Yourself?

The other day I was just having these thoughts around what we attach our self-worth to. That must’ve probably been after watching Being Mary Jane and coming across this quote, ‘net worth is not equal to self-worth.’ And though I can’t remember at what point it was used, it’s something we tend to generally throw on ourselves. We spend the better part of our lives trying to make more money or amplify our material wealth in the belief that it will make you feel better about yourself.

I fondly remember when I started my first job with my meager salary and a subordinate role. I was fresh out of campus, and finding a job was rather the proverbial needle in the haystack kind of situation. So when a job opportunity arose at my friends’ work place, they gave me a heads-up. I was then called for the interview with a broad-spectrum job description. I didn’t know what I was being interviewed for, but I was prepared for anything. Having studied I.T and the firm being an I.T firm, I could bet the interaction would be around I.T, and I.T it was.

However, at the end of the interview they revealed to me that only position available was that of a personal assistant (P.A), with a promise of career growth. So after going home and thinking I definitely must’ve flunked the interview because the questions were quite technical – I’m talking coding – it wasn’t my cuppa tea, but I managed to get through, of course with some mishaps. It was the first time (and only time) I ever told an interviewer (or anyone for that matter) when I needed to write the database connection code, “honestly, I usually Google this bit and edit it, I’ve never memorized it.” – Double face palm. Ps. they allowed me to google it and I edited it perfectly – happy camper.

Anyhow, when I went home I told my parents about it and how this opportunity must have just slid off my fingers just like that – I even narrated to them the Google bit, which now sounded quite hilarious. Even though it was a P.A job and not in line with what I had studied, I really wanted re-assurance that I can do this. And to my surprise, they called me and told me that I could start as soon as possible. That’s how I became personal assistant to my very first boss in an I.T start up. It was such a challenging role I must say, because I could barely organize myself and here I am now in charge of the bosses calendar and technically, life. Organize all his files in chronological order, mark them, book his meetings, apply for club membership, and make sure his bills were paid – from big bills like his kid’s school fees to small one like water bills and much more.

Meanwhile, my friends were doing techie jobs or rather jobs that just seemed of superior than mine. And it got to me, because then I would be somewhat embarrassed about what I used to do. And of course after enjoying my meager salary for a few months, I started feeling like I was too refined for this kind of job (and salary). It’s also when thoughts like, “when I have a better position and earn more, it will definitely make me feel better – better about myself and about what I do,” constantly crossed my mind.

At that time my confidence was an all-time negative, because I attached my self-worth to my job description and my non-existent net worth.

I had forgotten the essence of who Kawi was. Although it’s not like I was really sure at this point any way. I was a young 22 year old girl trying to figure herself out.  But most of all, I had forgotten that I was just at a phase which I would get out of, eventually. That it was just a foot in to the world of work, and a stepping stone to my career. It was never really about the job description, or the salary – it was about me knowing my worth and my raison d’etre; what I am capable of doing (based on my capabilities) and showing my boss that I had the potential to take the next step.

It’s also at this point in my life, 6 years ago, that I started ‘Kawi Snippets’ formerly known as ‘Stupendous Tidbits, because I had so much time on my hands, a lot on my mind, and strangely, something to share with the world. It wasn’t until this year that I actually felt that what I had to share was important enough for someone else to read – and be confident enough to tell someone that, “I’m the author of Kawi Snippets – and you can read what I write.” I might have shared it, but it didn’t mean that I was believing it. Now I do.

Believe in Yourself

Photography by Bspoke Kenya (@thanabster and @keganking).

As they say, everything has its beginning, and that was mine. That’s what it took to for me to believe in myself. It’s taken almost 6 years – a little of a late bloomer, but worth it all the same. What did it take for you to believe in yourself?

I have also been featured on Hai Africa. You can check out the article and get to know a little more about me and my craft.

Happy Throw Back Thursday!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*