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Awards for Having Self-Doubt

I would like to tell myself this story…

There is someone I know. He has very little self-confidence and always doubted his abilities. He knew this weakness and he was totally honest with it. But by being too honest with his feelings, it causes him to run away from himself relentlessly.

He often thought of becoming someone great, not greatness as in being famous or saving the world, but greatness defined as living out his bestest, fullest potential. To be special. But as soon as he thinks about being special, he knew that everyone in this world is trying to feel that way too. “Get in line!” he told himself. The competition to be special is stiff. Lacking confidence, he abandoned trying to be special and dropped out in the queue. He was torn between knowing what he wanted, but knowing too that he couldn’t do it.

He often questions himself about success and what it means to have a fruitful, purposeful, and rich life. He is 35 years old, but he often fantasizes about what he would remember about his life as he breathed his last breath. He wondered if a fruitful life is counted by the number of people who attend his wake? Or the great loves in his life? Or a gold coffin he could possibly afford to lie in?

And it occurred to him that his definition of success is earning a five or six figure sum a month. But he doesn’t believe he can make that kind of money. He often read stories about young entrepreneurs like the founders of Facebook, or some millionaires in their 30s who had a great idea and think why he couldn’t think of that. He is constantly in awe of other people’s intelligence and creativity, borrowing from them, and never confident that he has anything original.

Now, this person has won several awards in his 30 plus years. He came in first place in a story-telling contest in primary five and third place in secondary three; he won the best supporting actor title at the Asian Television Awards in 1996; he won a campus-wide vocational training report competition in 1998; he graduated with distinction in his Bachelor degree in 2000; he was nominated as the chairman of the Recreation Committee in the second company he worked for and was nominated as gala event emcee for two consecutive years in that same company.

Then he went into insurance and attained the Rising Star status in 2003, followed by the Million Dollar Club award the year after. While working as an insurance advisor, he took on a permanent part-time position in a company as its Creative Writer. He was nominated as the Recreation Committee Chairman in 2008 in that company.

An amateur with much interest in photography, he came in Runner-Up at the Channelnewsasia photography competition in May 2009. In August 2009, he won the trophy for Top Group Insurance Advisor for the Year 2008.

And yesterday, 20 August 2009, he won the latest 16gb iPhone for his marketing idea in a company-wide challenge where he works as its Creative Writer.

It is not a long list nor are they earth-shattering achievements, but that person, despite his doubts about his abilities and frustrations with being financially maladjusted, has achieved.

That person is me.

As soon as I wrote the above sentence, I felt this whole blog entry sounds like some narcissistic self-promotion. Winning an iPhone in a challenge where about 20 people took part is no big deal.

But this time, I won’t allow that kind of self-talk. I truly realized today that self-worth is not something other people will give to us. I did put in a lot of after work hours and thought into that small winning idea. Regardless of how many things we may win or excel in, if we don’t acknowledge our abilities, or try to be humble about it, we will never be at peace with ourselves. Man destroys others with their actions, but destroys himself with his thoughts.

Of course winning awards and getting recognition helps crystallized our abilities that are of value, abet being judged by a select few to represent the majority view. But looking at my own story and recounting what I went through, all I can say is that even if I didn’t think I will win, I tried. I made an effort. I did something by continuing to try.

Of course I try because I hope to win, but I tried perhaps because, that’s what it means to have a fruitful life… to have sown a seed. To have given my best ability and knowing that if I look back in life without losing my sanity to old-age dementia, I never once withheld my passion to feel alive.

Of course everyone wants to be passionate about life la… but I will stand in line.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
@mega hugs@
Sep. 10th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
mega, mega... THANKS! :o)
Aug. 21st, 2009 08:32 am (UTC)
i think you have done pretty well! :)
Sep. 10th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
thanks for sharing in my joy :o) but i think it's just a stroke of luck. a case of the best amongst the worst? hahahaha...
Sep. 10th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
hey... thanks for the encouragement :o) hope all's going swell at your end :o)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )